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Revival in The Land


Dr. Jay Worth Allen

The book of Hosea (whose name means “Salvation”) was written to the northern kingdom of Israel, who was on the brink of disaster.  Outwardly, the nation was enjoying a time of prosperity and growth, but inwardly, moral corruption and spiritual adultery permeated the lives of the people of God.  The prophet Hosea was instructed by God to marry an unfaithful woman, and he found within his own life a vivid illustration of the unfaithfulness of God’s people and the faithfulness of God.  Hosea repeatedly echoes his threefold message: God abhors the sins of His people; judgment is certain; but God’s love stands firm.

Hosea pleaded for the people of God to turn back to God.  He cried for revival in the land.  But his cries fell on deaf ears.  Why?

The reason is simple, the people of God then, as now have the term “revival” misrepresented - misconstrued in our thinking.  We think of revival as a time marked by the people of God jumping up and down, quivers going up and down our spines, all manner of gifts of the Spirit being manifested and people dropping like flies, the saints of God moved by the Spirit of God and an alter full of sinners weeping for forgiveness of their sins.  But that’s not revival.  That’s something else entirely.

Revival begins, as always, proceeded by conviction of sin - conviction of sin in the people of God.  Understanding as Hosea understood, “judgment begins at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).   Not by singing in the Spirit.  Not by a preacher working the people of God into a frenzy.  Not by anything the flesh would glory in.  But rather, the one sure sign that God is moving in real revival among His people is conviction of sin in His people.  Not “tongues of fire.”  Revival is always proceeded by the people of God down on their faces weeping before God.  Because - for many of them, this is the first time in their lives - they see the degradation, the wretchedness of their own sin, their own flesh, and they are humiliated in the presence of a Holy God.

Every great revival which has ever struck this world - whether it is the Welsh revival, the Shantung revival (in eastern China), the Herrnhut (the Moravian Church) revival, the Great Awakening or whatever revival, which has ever moved across this world, notably in England and the United States, has always been in combination with the humiliation of the flesh and the conviction of sin in the children of God - conviction of sin as they stand in the presence of a Holy God.  I am deeply concerned that the chief problem with the saints of God in this day (and our country as a whole) is that the people of God have never been convicted of sin.  We have been convicted just enough to realize that we do not want to go to hell - we want revival, but we do not want to stop enjoying all our stuff.

We can pray (corporately and individually) seeking God’s deliverance from governmental subjugation, peace for our brothers, warmth from the cold, etc., but if we, as the Church, are never moved by the Holy Spirit with the convection of our sin first (repentance) we’ll accomplish nothing.  The Lord may answer our request, but send leanness into our soul (Psalms 106:15).  A sad state of affairs indeed.

The Lord made it clear that, “Everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.”  Every one.  Every sacrifice.

Fire, like salt, has a two-fold effect.  Both can bring life or death.  A fire can provide a romantic glow on a frosty night or a blister on the finger kissed by it.  Fire, just as salt, brings life or death; it depends on whether you have propagated the nature of the fire.

A great example of this is found in the book of Daniel.  Three faithful Hebrews were thrown into the fiery furnace of Babylon for refusing to bow down to a Babylonian decree.  They refused to follow an unholy dictum, even under pain of death.   The furnace was heated “seven times more than it was usually heated.”  The Hebrews were “cast into the mist of the burning fiery furnace” - clothes and all.  But the flames of Babylon had no effect.  Why?   Why didn’t the flames consume the three Hebrews?  Because they had previously shared in a greater fire.  They had propagated the nature of the fire of God.  They had been salted with the fire of God long before they entered the blaze of the Babylonian furnace.  They had earlier tasted of the nature of God.  And the nature of God’s fire - as it comes to the believer - will either bless or blast.  Depending on the walk of the believer.

We can pray for revival all we want, but if we haven’t been “salted” by the “fire” of the Holy Spirit of God with the conviction of our sin . . . watch out.

We are living, just as in the days of Hosea, in a time of one-sided love and faithfulness that represents the relationship between the people of God and the Lord Himself.  As Gomer was married to Hosea, so we are betrothed to the Lord Jesus.  As Gomer’s relationship to Hosea gradually disintegrated, so we as the Bride of Christ “have left our first love” - as Gomer ran after other men, we the Church have run after other gods:  position in the world, our government, etc.  Our spiritual idolatry is illustrated by Gomer’s physical adultery.

Hosea’s message reflects the terrible fascination of Israel with Baal worship.   Baal means “husband” or “lord.”  We, the Church, for so long have looked to our government to provide, to defend, to act as our “husband” and “lord,” to be the other lover to whom we have unfaithfully turned to.

Just as confusion and decline characterized the last years of the Northern Kingdom, so it is with the people of God today.  And just as the people of God, Israel, we are refusing to heed Hosea’s warning of imminent judgment.

Yes, we need revival in the land, but first we need, as the Church of the living God, to repent of our spiritual adultery, our unfaithfulness, our sins!  Then and only then will the Lord of Glory bring the much need revival to our land.


Revival in The Land
Published:  12 February 2010 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.

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