Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday, September 11th

Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 29-30, Acts 19:21-41

As we all know, today is the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. From what I've heard, immediately after the attacks, there was some revival in the States (and possibly Canada), but it didn't last and appears to have waned.

Which means, the attacks might have opened eyes, but, at least on a widespread scale, it did not cause our nations to turn back to God.

Which makes me ask the question - what will it take? And to fear the answer.

In our OT passage, we read about nation that DID turn back to God. Not everyone humbled themselves and turned to God, but the majority did. The revival was led by King Hezekiah who sent out a plea throughout all Israel and Judah for the people to return to the Lord.

The northern kingdom of Israel had recently been conquered by Assyria and most of the people had been exiled to foreign lands. Hezekiah sent the invitation to the few who remained, but even the exile of their people was not enough for some of them to return to God and some of them responded to the invitation with scorn and ridicule.

We are responsible to preach the Gospel, to spread the Good News, to issue the invitation. But we are not responsible for people's response.

But in this case, the exile of Israel, combined with the strong and godly leadership of Judean King Hezekiah resulted in revival in the land. In fact, the scripture says....
There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 30:26

For 200 yrs, there had been nothing like this revival.

But it took the exile of the tribes of Israel to get to that point.

What will it take to get us to the point of revival in this country?

What will it take to get us into the desert? The desert is the place where we recognize our need for God and turn to Him because there is literally no other way to survive it. We all have had a personal desert time - and if we haven't had it yet, it's coming. The severe illness or death of a loved one close to us would probably be the most common desert experiences.

The desert is a harsh and lonely place to be. But the truth is, it's in the desert that we turn to God. It's in the desert that we experience God in a way unlike any other. It's in the desert that we fling ourselves into His arms, where we long to see His face, where we experience His presence in a more intimate way than we ever have.

Now, when we turn to Him in our desert experience, He doesn't necessarily make it stop. But He gives us what we need to take one more step.

And so I pray for revival for our nations. But it's a prayer that's prayed with no little trepidation. Because 9/11 wasn't a big enough desert. And so I am fearful of what kind of widespread desert experience it's going to take to bring our nation to our knees and turn back to God.


Miriam said...

I remember watching the events unfold 10 years ago on TV. I've never seen anything so devastating. I can't imagine what it would have been like to actually be there. I'm with you on your last paragraph. I, too, am afraid to ask what it will take.

Pamela said...

so true. I remember too that I was watching the events of that day in horror wondering what would become of everything. Thank goodness for the desert (even if we don't realize it at the time) and the privilege of being able to turn to God.