The Power of Living Water
"Timing is everything!" This phrase has been spoken to me multiple times by the Holy Spirit. The truth of this statement was played out for us last week. We visited a peony farm in Long Valley, New Jersey that is only open two to three weeks a year. The owner of the farm has this short span of time to harvest his flowers and prepare them for shipment to florists in the New York City area. How delightful it was for us to walk through the rows of plants and feast our eyes on the various shapes and shades of red, pink, white, coral, and yellow peonies! Many were still in bud, but even these golf-ball size buds attracted our attention. Workers in the fields were carefully cutting stems to be taken to the refrigerator.
We learned that the ants attracted to the peony buds actually assist in their opening. The stems are cut when the bud feels like a marshmallow or when it is just beginning to show a small amount of color. After being cut, the flower buds are dunked in buckets of water to remove the ants. Then the stems are bundled together, wrapped, and placed in the refrigerator. They can stay there for as long as a month. Our visit to the farm was not complete until we purchased a bundle of peonies in white, pink, and rosy red.
What amazed us the most about our peony excursion was the dramatic transformation of the stems after they were plunged into water. I recut the bottom of each of them at an angle so that the stems could absorb a maximum amount of water. Three hours after the peonies were placed in the water, the flowers were open. The next day these gorgeous heads were fully open, and we were enjoying their sweet scent. Life was quickened in these peonies as their cells were filled with water.
We, like the peony stems, will also come to life and reflect the beauty of God as we take in what Jesus calls "living water." In John 4 Jesus is having a conversation with a Samaritan woman who came to collect water from Jacob's well. He told her that He would give her living water. (Verse 10) He further explained, "If anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied. For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life." (Verse 14 - TPT) Again, at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus explains that the Holy Spirit is like water. He said, "'All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that river of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like Scripture says!' Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that Believers were being prepared to receive." (John 7:37-39 - TPT)
The Lord has made the Living Water/Holy Spirit available to all who believe in Him. His desire is for us to grow and blossom and spread His fragrance wherever we go. Micah 3:8 makes a declaration that we should confess: "But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord." We can expect that we will grow in the strength and beauty of the Lord as we remember that we are filled with His Spirit—that Living Water that continuously flows within us.
The Fire of Pentecost
The mention of fire in the Bible brings to mind images of light, cleansing, and power, and frequently represents God. In Deuteronomy 4:23-24 we read about how Moses warned the children of Israel. "Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that He made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." If we look back to the days when God called Abram to the land of Israel, we see that He made a covenant with him and came as fire in the process. "When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. (of the animals for sacrifice) On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram..." (Genesis 15:17-18) In Abram's day it was a custom to light a torch when a covenant was being made. God was making a promise to Abram to give him the land of Israel as an inheritance. The fire moving through the pieces of the sacrifice represented God.
The glory of God was manifest through fire during all of Moses' visits to Mount Sinai. Exodus 19:18 tells us, "Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire." During one of his visits to The Mountain of the Lord, God gave Moses instructions for Aaron and his sons regarding the tabernacle altar. "The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out." (Leviticus 6:13) It was the fire that consumed the sacrifice. The prophet Elijah demonstrated the power of the One True God to the prophets of Baal and all the people of Israel. A bull was placed on the altar of the prophets of Baal and one on the altar of Elijah. Elijah declared, "The god who answers by fire—he is God." (1 Kings 18:24) A pillar of fire guided the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land. This pillar of fire also gave protection to the Israelites when the Egyptian army pursued them. "Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them." (Exodus 14:19)
The familiar image of fire from the Old Testament is repeated in the New Testament. Before Jesus left the earth and returned to His Father, He instructed His disciples not to leave Jerusalem. He had a gift for them. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Jesus knew that many people would be coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. His followers had been counting the weeks from Passover to the celebration of the wheat harvest and the giving of Torah. Another aspect was about to be added to this festival.
As the disciples waited in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 2:2-4) Fire came again, as it did throughout the history of the children of Israel, to deliver them from fear and to empower them to move into God's mission to build His church with both Jew and Gentile.
Today is that day when the Church celebrates Pentecost or Shavuot. We have also been given the gift of power through the Holy Spirit so that we can carry God's Spirit to the world. Let us keep the flames of the Spirit burning through our humility and worship of the One True God. Pray, "Lord, set our hearts on fire so that we become blazing torches to bring the nations to You."
May 18 cannot slip by without my acknowledgement of my mother’s 100th birthday. What a privilege it is to have a 100-year-old mom who is still sharp in mind and physically well! She has been given good looks so that no one would know she is 100. However, she loves to share her age with others since reaching such a landmark! In Scripture, the number 100 represents a full measure, and that she has received.
Mom's life was not easy. She lost her dad at age seven, which required her mother to go to work. My grandmother, mom and uncle lived frugally and from the generosity of others. But God graced her and my uncle with higher-than-average intelligence, and they prospered. The hardships Mom endured in growing up gave her resilience, persistence, and spunk that continues today. One of my favorite stories about Mom is when she came into her eighties. She determined to take her income tax to a professional accountant to be checked after years of figuring it by herself. The gentleman was so impressed that he offered her a job.
As a widow, my grandmother had to trust in God for every need. She always sang the Lord's praises and knew His compassion for the widow and fatherless. "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling." (Psalm 68:5) When I think about my grandmother's walk with the Lord, Psalm 84:11-12 comes to mind: "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor, no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you."
I can trace the godly heritage of my family back several generations, and do not take this blessing lightly. As it says in Psalm 25:12-13 (TPT), "Who are they that live in the holy fear of God? You will show them the right path to take. Then prosperity and favor will be their portion, and their descendants will inherit all that is good."
The largest benefit of coming from a God-fearing family is that I have a mom who prays for me and my family and friends. When my girls have a need, frequently they will make me aware of it, and then I will say, "We better call Grandmom." We know that my mom will storm the gates of heaven until her prayers for her family are answered.
Today I stand in gratitude for the inheritance I have received through my mom. I aspire to emulate her prayer life and thank God for the wonderful gift He gave me in my mother.
Prayers of the Remnant
Have you wondered what has happened to the Bible-believing, Christ-loving people of the United States? They are not gone! Perhaps they are a remnant; however, they are alive and well and are praying and working in the background. Proof of this recently happened in two applications.
I have written before about the power of the tongue for good or evil. The tongues of many Believers were used at the United States Capitol at the end of April for the good of our country. Volunteers read the entire Bible around the clock. Established in 1990 by Dr. John Hash and Dr. Corinthia Boone, the event is meant to "draw attention back to the Bible." The current organizers of this event, Seedline International, say that this "tradition recognizes the Bible is at the heart of America's founding principles, and should be voiced at the heart of the nation." Many do not realize the significance of this yearly event. By proclaiming God's Word at the seat of our national government, we are coming into agreement with the Kingdom of God and reaffirming our commitment to the Lord's truth.
Another significant event that has been taking place since 1952 is the National Day of Prayer. President Harry Truman signed into law a bill calling for the annual observation of this day of prayer on April 17, 1952. There had been spotty observations of national prayer since 1775 when the Continental Congress announced "a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer." George Washington proclaimed a day of prayer and thanksgiving in 1789. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln found the need for a national day of humility, fasting, and prayer during the Civil War. Thankfully, we can count on having prayer for our nation yearly because of the law passed by the Congress and signed by our president.
This year's National Day of Prayer was based on James 5:16. "...for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heart-felt prayer of a godly believer!" (TPT) Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, co-host of this year's event, said that "our prayers for our nation are more important now in 2023 than ever before in American history...The 2023 National Day of Prayer carries an incredible amount of spiritual and moral weight as it pertains to the advancement of this idea we call the American experiment." The National Day of Prayer leadership gave some suggestions on how to pray. "We are praying for an awakening in America. We are praying for unity. We are praying for repentance. We are praying for hope; we are praying for truth to overcome the lies, for love to silence hate, and for America's problems to become America's testimony."
Revelation 5:8 tells us, "...the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people." Our prayers and declarations of God's Word will make a difference in the personality of our country. Let us praise God that are godly traditions are still being carried out in the United States and that the remnant of Believers will fill the bowls in heaven with their prayers that will return us to our godly foundations.
Israel's Diamond Jubilee
In 1948, Iyar 5 on the Hebrew calendar, and May 14 on our western calendar, the nation of Israel was born. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, stood in a Tel Aviv art gallery to read the nation's Declaration of Independence and declare that the Jewish State would be called "Israel." Long ago, God chose the Jewish people to demonstrate His promise-keeping character to the world.
If we look back to the time when the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land and drove out the unrighteous nations, we see that they forgot the way God provided for, empowered, and protected them. They quickly rebelled and angered the Lord to such a degree that He declared, "I will scatter you among the nations..." (Leviticus 26:33) Indeed, this is what happened several times. AD 70 was known for a huge dispersion when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jews around the world.
The Jewish people are tenacious and clung to the promises of God through their years of exile. Amos 9:14-15 was one of these promises. "I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them..." For centuries, the Jews made aliyah (immigration to Israel). When Germany initiated World War II, aliyah came to a holt and six million Jews were killed before the war ended. The importance of having a homeland for the Jews became obvious. So it was, in 1948, that the Jewish dream of having their homeland restored became a reality.
The young nation would immediately face a battle as five surrounding Arab nations with well-trained soldiers and abundant equipment came against them. It was only through a miracle of God that Israel prevailed. The question asked in Isaiah 66:8 was answered with a resounding "Yes!" "Can a country be born in a day, or a nation be brought forth in a moment?" Since 1948, Israel has been challenged by enemy forces on several occasions. With God's help they have prevailed and built Israel into one of the most prosperous nations in the world.
Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said it well: "In Israel, in order to be a realist, one must believe in miracles!" And the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is just that--He has been their consistent help and deliverer. He has guided them and helped as Israel transformed a once inhospitable region into a garden. According to the book Israel, 75 Years of Miracles, this small nation has "become a world leader in science and technology and in health and medicine."
We should celebrate this 75-year anniversary with the people of Israel as this nation is God's demonstration of His faithfulness and love for a people He calls His own. God continues to gather His people back from the lands where they were scattered. The covenant He made with Abraham has been kept, and the land and people will continue to thrive beyond this Diamond Jubilee.
Waiting on the Lord
In his second book, Acts, Luke makes it clear that Jesus appeared to his disciples for 40 days after His resurrection from the dead. Jesus dedicated those 40 days to helping His disciples understand the Scriptures and to explaining the Kingdom of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to them. We are currently in the same 40-day time period between the resurrection of Jesus and His ascension.
The disciples were given a life calling which has been handed down to us. Jesus told them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
The gospel of Mark gives more detail about the power and authority for the disciples. "And these signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." (Mark 16:17-18)
In the gospel of Luke, we are told that Jesus "opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." He reminded them of this: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24:45-49)
John includes some stories of the disciples' encounters with Jesus that are not in the other three gospels. One story recounts the appearance of Jesus to Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, and John as they fished on Lake Galilee. He instructs them to fish on the starboard side of the boat after they caught nothing. Their catch was so large that it made pulling in their net almost impossible. Scripture tells us there were 153 fish in the net, a number that represents the harvest that was to come from the people groups of the world. (Footnote from The Passion Translation)
Before Jesus ascended, He advised His disciples to stay in Jerusalem until the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them. (Acts 1:4) Can you imagine the conversation that took place among the disciples as they waited for the infilling of the Holy Spirit? They probably spoke about the events of the last three years of their lives with Jesus and wondered what the next chapter would look like. The 50 days between the Resurrection and Pentecost should also be one of review and preparation for us. There is always more with Jesus! Perhaps we will have a new perspective on our lives as we wait upon the Holy Spirit to reinvigorate and renew us. The Bible tells us, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14)
The Radiance of God's Name
The one who created the heavens and the earth existed before there was creation. Genesis 1:1 used the Hebrew word Elohim which translates God, Mighty Creator, Omnipotent Power. With His breath He made everything from nothing, spoke order into chaos, and light into darkness. Elohim is the plural form of El that gives recognition to the truth that He is a Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On the sixth day "God created man in His own image..." (Genesis 1:27) His desire was and is to fill our lives with blessings. Psalm 102:27 tells us about the infinity of God. "But you remain the same, and your years will never end."
After destroying life on earth because of its wickedness, God started again with Noah and his family and demonstrated that He is the God who keeps covenant with His people. Nations were birthed from Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. From Shem's family came Abram and another covenant with God. God said, "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:2-3) Abram was blessed with abundant provision through God. To broaden Abram's understanding of Elohim, God said to him, "Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." (Genesis 15:1) The covenant God made with Abram (who He renamed Abraham, meaning "Father of a multitude") was sealed with a sign. Every male was to be a sign of the covenant through circumcision. In the generations to come, all male children would be circumcised on the eighth day. (Genesis 17:12) Eight is the number of new beginnings.
The story of Abraham and his relationship with God was verbally shared through the generations. However, when the children of Israel were detained as slaves in Egypt, much of what had been handed down from generation to generation was forgotten. After 430 years of oppression and slavery, God appointed Moses to lead them to the Promised Land and used the events of their journey as a way to reintroduce His character. This took place during the second month on the Hebrew calendar. This month has two names: Iyar and Ziv, which means radiance. We are in the first week of this month and can learn from the Israelite journey. Since this month is linked with light it is time for us to ask God for revelation and to radiate God's glory as we learn more about Him.
As we look back at the events of this month, we can see that God's desire is for greater intimacy with His children. One of ways that we can accomplish this is through getting to know His names. With multiple names, we have multiple ways to relate to Him. Worship leader Paul Wilbur wrote a song called "The Diamond Turns." He asks the question: "Who is like You Oh Lord among gods? Who can worship as You shine? Who could even know in just a single gaze all the glory of Your face?" God is like a diamond with multiple facets. He is radiant; His light is blinding! Every facet of the Lord is unique and meant to help us in our journey on earth.
Again, let's look back at the children of Israel and see how they were developing a new level of relationship with God as they traveled. They saw that God would fight for them as He opened the Red Sea. In the Song of Moses they sang, "The Lord is a warrior." (Exodus 15:3) Then they learned that God is Jehovah Rapha (The God who Heals) when he purified the bitter waters of Marah. God led them as a shepherd so that they became familiar with His name Yahweh Rohi. As they grumbled about the lack of food, God provided manna for sustenance and called Himself Jehovah Jaira (The Lord Will Provide). When they went to battle against the Amalekites, the Lord fought with Joshua and the troops and helped Moses hold up his hands in victory through the battle. Moses built an altar to His name, Jehovah Nissi. (The Lord is My Banner)
With God everything is personal. May I suggest that we investigate some of the names of God during this month of radiance. As we get to know Him more intimately, we will radiate HIs light and glory.
Bend Us - The Wales Revival
Why is it that some children seem to be born with a predisposition toward a specific focus in life? My only explanation for this is that God makes it part of their DNA. Such was the case for Evan Roberts, a young revivalist from Wales with an unquenchable passion for the presence of the Lord. Born on June 8, 1878, he was part of a family of Calvinist-Methodists. I surmise that God intended this to be, so that his hunger for revival would be encouraged. As was the case with most men who lived in Southern Wales, Evan's father worked in the coal mines. When he was in a mining accident, Evan was taken out of school to work in the mines. However, his love of the Lord and of God's Word was the foundation upon which he built his life. His Bible went to the mines with him daily. He even shared a Scripture with the workers as they went down into the mine and encouraged them to meditate on it during the workday.
It was at age 13 that Evan had an encounter with God at his church named Moriah Chapel. He became obsessed with living a life that pleased the Lord and regularly asked himself the question, "What would Jesus do?" Evan's life as a teenager was marked by fervent prayer. His dedication to God and desire for intimacy with Him brought him spiritual power. He felt called to enter full-time ministry and focused his long prayers on asking God to bring revival to his Welsh community. He told the congregation at Moriah Chapel, "I have reached out my hand and touched the flame. I am burning and waiting for a sign." (Page 82, God's Generals by Roberts Liardon)
On October 31, 1904, Evan's 13-year prayer burden was answered. He saw the fruit of his prayers through a revival that broke out among a group of young people who received Christ as their personal Savior. While the Holy Spirit was poured out in the southern part of Wales, God orchestrated revival in villages in north Wales. At Moriah, Evan shared his belief that God had promised to save 100,000 individuals. Revival meetings took place nightly. Those who attended the meetings were instructed by Evan to "Pray, believe, and wait." He also told them to pray a specific prayer: "Send the Holy Spirit now for Jesus Christ's sake."
Revival spilled out on to the streets and into homes, workplaces, and shops. Many traveled from England and Scotland to participate in the Wales revival. The bulk of their meeting time was filled with singing. But Evan was convinced of the priority of prayer. He said, "We may sing all night without saving. It is prayer that tells, that saves, and that brings heaven down among us. Pray, friends, pray!"
The consistent, fervent, unending prayers of a young man transformed the southern part of Wales and spread revival around the country and into others. Evan believed that the Holy Spirit of God would bring revival as the prayer bowls in heaven were filled. Oh, how I desire to see that conviction fall upon our nation! I believe that only the Lord can change the destructive path we are on and bring us back to the godly foundations from which we have fallen. Evan Robert would pray: "Bend the church and save the world. Bend me. Bend me." Let us join together in this prayer to fill the bowls in heaven so that they overflow and pour revival upon us.
Why the Cross?
Why would He do it? Why would King Jesus leave His throne in heaven to come to earth where He would be ridiculed, disrespected, and hunted down to be brutally murdered? Jesus knew exactly what would happen to Him. Psalm 22 author, King David, a member of the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:6-7), wrote a prophetic picture of the Cross of Christ. According to a footnote in The Passion Translation, thirty-three of the prophecies from this Psalm were fulfilled when Jesus was on the Cross. That would be one for each year of His life.
The first verse of Psalm 22 is a question that was asked by Jesus as He hung on the Cross. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Verse 6: "But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people." It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for worm is "tola," which is also the word for crimson. There was a worm in the Middle East that bled crimson when it was crushed. Jesus was comparing Himself to this worm.
Verse 12: "Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me," The root word for bull means "to break or destroy." The word Bashan is a place but is also a word for serpent. David is describing the demonic spirits that would come against Jesus.
Verses 16-18: "...They pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garments."
Verses 23-24: "You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! Revere Him, all you descendants of Israel! For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him but has listened to His cry for help." Jesus is the one who cried to Father God for help.
Verses 27-28: "All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him, for dominion belongs to the Lord, and He rules over the nations." Can Jesus find some comfort in knowing that His suffering will bring the people of the world into relationship with His Father?
Verses 30-31 (TPT): "His spiritual seed shall serve Him. Future generations will hear from us about the wonders of the Sovereign Lord. His generation yet to be born will glorify Him. And they will all declare, 'It is finished!'"
Notice the bookends for this Psalm. While Jesus was on the Cross, around 3:00 in the afternoon He cried, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) Having accomplished on the Cross all that Father God sent Him to do on the earth, Jesus declared, "It is finished!" (John 19:30) The death of Jesus completed the work of salvation for His Bride, The Church.
In His foreknowledge of what He would have to endure, Jesus asked His Father if He would take away His cup of suffering. (Matthew 26:59) But His priority was to complete His mission--to demonstrate the love of God. It was not the nails that held Jesus to the Cross; it was His love for us. We are the recipients of such love and can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus today. As the apostle Paul says, "Your hearts can soar with joyful gratitude when you think of how God made you worthy to receive the glorious inheritance freely given to us by living in the light. He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of His beloved Son. For in the Son all our sins are canceled, and we have the release of redemption through His very blood." (Colossians 1:12-14 - TPT) Hallelujah!!
Passover and Revival
Why should Passover be important for Christians? Robert Heidler, in his book The Messianic Church Arising, gives us several explanations:
(1) The root of our faith comes from the Jews, and we are spiritually united with Israel.
(2) Our Scriptures contain multiple references to the celebration of Passover and tell us to remember God's Word. "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord." (Exodus 12:14)
(3) Passover is included as part of God's plan of salvation. Without Passover the Jews would have died in Egypt and Jesus would not have been born. Without Jesus there is no salvation.
(4) Passover teaches us about Jesus—The Passover Lamb. (1 Corinthians 5:7) It was by His blood that we were redeemed and set free to walk in the promises of God.
Robert Heidler's book explains that "Every element (of Passover) points to Jesus." Jesus is the One who brings us deliverance, redemption, and freedom. He celebrated the Passover with His disciples: "Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, 'Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.'" (Luke 22:7)
Under two kings of Judah, the temple was cleansed, items of defilement were removed from the sanctuary, and the covenant with the Lord was renewed. Hezekiah had the Levites consecrate themselves so that they could make sacrifices to the Lord. He then reinstated the practice of celebrating Passover. Though it was done in the second month of the year instead of the first, God was pleased with their offerings and blessed the people. A spirit of generosity came upon them as they were revived. (2 Chronicles 30)
Josiah's acts of devotion to the Lord are recorded in 2 Chronicles 34 and 35. He destroyed idols, purified the land and the temple, and read the Book of the Covenant. He reinstituted the celebration of Passover in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 35:18 tells us, "...none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah..." A celebration like this brings unity to the community and revives it.
It appears that the celebration of Passover is directly linked with revival. My belief is that if the church began to acknowledge and honor Passover, She would be renewed and revived. Even the simple act of reading the Biblical accounts of Passover and acknowledging that Jesus is our Passover Lamb could begin a revival of our faith. Wednesday at sundown begins Passover. Are we ready to celebrate?
Joan E. Mathias