Revival is Needed
Pastor Michael Black
Josiah was only eight years old when he became king of Judah. After eighteen years, he had had enough of seeing the temple in such a sorry state of condition, and told the priests to gather up the silver and gold in the temple treasury and give it to the workers to fix the temple of God. (Reference, II Kings 22-23)
While they were searching out the money, they found the “Book of the Law.” This was the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, written by Moses. Josiah had the law read to him, and he realized what had happened in his land. What was the first thing he did?
He inquired of God. God sent His messenger to tell the scribes and priests what was going to happen. There would be wrath poured out on Judah, as it had been on Israel (the ten northern tribes), and the land would not be theirs to inhabit anymore. Others would take their places. However, because Josiah had a tender heart and wanted to do God’s will, He (God) would not destroy the land until Josiah was dead.
Even though God had already given him what amounted to a pass, Josiah still turned his nation around. He gathered up the priests and elders, and mad a covenant to the Lord. He promised that as long as he lived, he would walk after the Lord and keep the commandments, the testimonies, and the covenants which were in the Book of the Law.
He began by getting the idols out of the house of God. There were vessels there made for the worship of false gods in the temple; he commanded the priests to get rid of them. They didn’t just take them out and melt them down to reuse the metal; they burned them with fire and spread the ashes. He didn’t just remove the priests that led the worship of the false idols; he put them down.
He killed them.
He took out the grove, which was a wooden image to a specific god or goddess, probably Ashtoreth, which Solomon had put up for one of his wives. II Kings 23:7 says, “And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.” The sodomites were designated by their behavior, not their nationality. Sodom had been destroyed many centuries at this point. They were forbidden to help in the worship of the Lord. Notice, he did not kill or persecute the sodomites; but he also did not allow them to stay where they were. They were not to have anything to do with the temple worship.
Notice also, the sodomites were associated with idol worship.
Josiah defiled the places where false worship was taking place. He got rid of the priests that taught false doctrine and led the children of Israel astray.
This is what America has to do. As Josiah turned to the Lord and turned Israel back to Him, we need to turn back to Christ. Some say America needs revival; I say that churches need revival. America is just a country; Christianity survived 1800 years before America got here, and it will survive if America falls.
As Israel did, so do we need to do.
Get rid of those things in our lives that cause us to worship other gods. Idolitry can be anything; anything that keeps us from worshipping the God of the Bible. Get rid of the “vessels” that cause you to sin. It could be as simple as the television, or movies, or books, or your computer. Get people out of your life that cause you to sin. We all have those friends that don’t like it when we’re in church. There are sometimes family members that try to pull us down. Even personalities in the church that might take the place of God in our lives.
In the church we have to get rid of teachers of false doctrine. Paul tells us in II Timothy 4 about the dangers of those teaching something other than the truth of God’s word. They don’t care for your soul; many care only for their wallet. We have to get rid of false teachers.
We need to get rid of those that are in blatant sin. I’m guessing that when preachers start preaching the truth of God’s word, those people in blatant sin will move themselves out the door, because the pew has suddenly become rather uncomfortable. Don’t ignore the problem of sin; do something about it. They need to repent; only then can we bring them back in to the fold. If they do not repent, admonish them to leave until they get it right. (Reference: Titus 3:10-11)
Get rid of anything in the church that can lead to idol worship. New age dogma comes to mind, but really, any teaching that strays from the Word of God. This includes famous books. If there is heresy in it, it needs to go.
America’s churches do need revival. However, revival takes place in the heart of each and every Christian. We need to have personal revival before we can start to influence others into reviving their hearts towards God.