Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Many differing thoughts exist as to what a revival within a church consist of. For many, if not most of us, revival is simply an event; it is something we attend or go to see. Many of us head out to revival, with some hope that, “Gosh, i sure hope somebody gets saved at revival.” I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but that is not what revival is for!
Don’t miss understand me at all; if a person comes to a revival and gets saved, that is wonderful. Just as it is wonderful if they get saved on a regular Sunday morning, Sunday night, in their fishing boat, on the golf course, or any other place where God chooses to reach out to a lost person and convert them. The salvation of a lost soul should always be a cause for great and joyful celebration by the saved themselves; however, the salvation of lost souls is not the purpose of a revival.
Let’s look at the word itself. Re simply means “again,” while vive simply means “life.” So, what we see here is the revival literally means “life again.” It doesn’t mean new life, or the birth of life; it means the restoring of life that already exists.
Here are some other passages that seem to express the sentiment here.
Psalm 85:6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that THY PEOPLE may rejoice in thee?
Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive THY WORK in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If MY PEOPLE, who are called by My name……
His people…His work. Revival, then is not primarily an effort to give life to those who do not have it. It is primarily an effort to bring back to life those who already have it!
I’m going to try something I think. We commonly greet our visiting preacher with something along the lines of, “Thanks so much for coming to be our evangelist.”
I wonder what would happen if somebody said, “Thanks so much for coming to be our revivalist?”
Next: Is there a relationship between revival and evangelism?