1. Today we are concentrating on several principles that relate to "revival." 2. Our lesson is primarily based on the question asked in Psalm 85:6. 3. Let us begin our study by considering . . .
I. THE SETTING FOR PSALM 85
A. Some important events had taken place in Jewish history. 1. The 12 tribes of Israel had become a united kingdom under King Saul. 2. Under the leadership of David, Israel rose to a higher level of power. 3. Israel reached its highest level of power under King Solomon. 4. Unfortunately, after Rehoboam became king, Israel split into 2 kingdoms. a. The 10 northern tribes were ruled by a series of bad kings. b. Judah and Benjamin were ruled by a succession of kings who descended from David (some were good, and some were bad). 5. The northern kingdom was taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 BC. 6. The southern kingdom was later taken into captivity by Babylon in 606 BC. 7. Jeremiah prophesied that Judah's captivity would last 70 years (29:10). 8. In 536 BC Cyrus conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews who so desired to return to Palestine so the temple could be rebuilt. B. This brings us to Psalm 85. 1. (vs.1) God had allowed His people to be released from captivity. 2. (vs.2-3) God had forgiven His people. 3. We learn from Psalm 126:1-3 how God's people felt. 4. Although God had blessed His people, they still needed something special. 5. (vs.6) They needed "revival."
II. WHAT IS "REVIVAL?"
A. Revive: "to return to life" [to be quickened, restored, renewed, or strengthened] B. Illustrations from the Bible help us understand what revival is. 1. (Genesis 45:25-28) Jacob's spirit revived when he learned Joseph was alive. 2. (Judges 15:15-19) Samson drank water that God provided, and he revived. 3. (1 Kings 17:21-22) Elijah prayed for a child who had died, and he revived. 4. (Romans 14:9) Following His death on the cross, Jesus rose and revived.
III. WHO IS THE SOURCE OF REVIVAL?
A. God is the source of revival -- (Psalm 85:6) "Wilt thou not revive us again?" B. God is also identified as the source of revival in Psalm 138:7 and Ezra 9:8-9.
IV. HOW DOES GOD BRING ABOUT REVIVAL?
A. (Psalm 85:8) "I will hear what God theLord will speak." B. The Lord's words bring life (John 6:63).
V. WHO NEEDS REVIVAL?
A. (Psalm 85:6) "Wilt thou not revive us [God's people] again?" B. To be more specific, God can revive those who possess the characteristics revealed in Isaiah 57:15 -- humble spirits and contrite hearts.
VI. HOW OFTEN DO WE NEED REVIVAL?
A. We need revival continually -- (Psalm 85:6) "Wilt thou not revive us again?" B. Daily renewal is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 4:16.
VII. WHAT DOES REVIVAL PRODUCE?
A. (Psalm 85:6b) "Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice inthee?" B. This point is further emphasized in Psalm 126:4-6.
1. These are some important principles that relate to "revival." 2. Let us remember and apply these principles as we look forward to 2015. 3. Let us conclude by illustrating the power of revival from Nehemiah. a. God's people were in need (1:1-4; 2:11-16). b. Nehemiah challenged his people, and they accepted it (2:17-18). c. In spite of opposition, soon the wall was half built (4:6). d. The entire wall was completed in 52 days (6:15-16).