The church today lacks a full commitment to God’s Word. While the church and her leaders (pastors in local churches) today often talk about marketing, programs, and other ideologies as opposed to the need for true revival. The clear commitment to God’s Word has been abandoned. The principle of sola Scriptura has been replaced with a commitment to the culture.
As I grew up in an evangelical setting, specifically in a Southern Baptist Church, I would hear the preaching of pastors and evangelists thundering the need for revival. I can remember when the liberals had overtaken the SBC and infiltrated many other evangelical denominations. I have also heard many patriotic messages centered on the need for a revival in America. While revival is certainly needed today, the main emphasis must be centered primarily upon God’s church. How must the church be revived?
The Message of Ezra
While the Old Testament book known as Ezra is fairly short (only 10 chapters), it was originally combined with Nehemiah and separated into two individual books based on the focal point of the main characters in those two sections.
The book of Ezra contains a focus of revival and renewal of God’s people. Following a horrible scene of destruction, captivity, exile, and ruin—the people return home and begin the process of rebuilding their lives, their temple, and eventually—their wall.
The entire process would necessitate the sovereign will of God to complete it. The focus of the miraculous is typically fixed on the wall’s rebuilding in Nehemiah, but we must not look past the building of the temple too quickly. With all of the opposition and hardship faced by the people—it was nothing short of God’s sovereign power that brought the project to completion.
However, the means by which all of this took place was clearly based on the preaching of Ezra and his commitment to the Word of God. Ezra was no slouch. He was a man who had given himself to the Law of the LORD and was determined to obey the Word, practice the Word, and teach the Word to God’s people. It was this catalyst that caused the blessings of God to shine upon God’s people.