God often sent His prophets to lead Israel into revival. Reformation regularly accompanied these times of revival.
It is important to notice that even when God’s people drifted away from Him, they were still His chosen people. Again and again, He sent His messengers to guide them back. The examples of revival and reformation recorded in the Old Testament often have similar characteristics.
Revival and reformation occurred in the Old Testament when there was a renewed heart commitment to obey God’s will. When Israel “turned to its own way” and “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25), God withdrew His blessing, and the nation faced disaster and defeat.
In one instance, when God’s people faced one of their greatest challenges-a battle with the Ammonites and Moabites-King Jehoshaphat showed remarkable spiritual leadership. Throughout the crisis, the king sought to keep the eyes of all Israel focused on the power of God (2 Chron. 20:12).
The king recognized a critical point in sustaining all revival and reformation. What earnest counsel did he give his people? What spiritual pattern do we discover here for revival and reformation?
Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-20 and summarize King Jehoshaphat’s instructions to Judah.
“God was the strength of Judah in this crisis, and He is the strength of His people today. We are not to trust in princes, or to set men in the place of God. We are to remember that human beings are fallible and erring, and that He who has all power is our strong tower of defense. In every emergency we are to feel that the battle is His. His resources are limitless, and apparent impossibilities will make the victory all the greater.”-Ellen G. White, Conflict and Courage, p. 217.
Jehoshaphat’s experience illustrates the essence of revival and reformation. He led Israel into a united time of fasting, praying, trusting, and obeying God.
How can you learn, in your own times of stress and challenges, to apply the spiritual principles revealed here? What is the only way to truly exercise faith?