Revival: Words of Comfort

Table of Contents

Words of Comfort

Of course, the Israelites did not hear words of comfort, unless you count comfort as being allowed to obey God. They did not hear words of encouragement and peace, unless you count humility the best self-esteem in the world. Ezra was no false prophet preaching in the church who told them how God loved them so they were free to please themselves. This was an honest to goodness godly revival where the priest went straight for the sin. He demanded that they repent, make confession, do God’s will and obey the Scriptures. This is not the kind of preacher we want in our churches today. This is a godly preacher that demands obedience to the Lord in all things, not just a few select commands.

  • Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful and have married foreign wives adding to the guilt of Israel. Now, therefore, make confession to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His will; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” Then all the assembly answered and said with a loud voice, “That’s right! As you have said, so it is our duty to do.” (Ezra 10:10–12 NASB)

What unity among the people that they could all proclaim it was their “duty.” They all agreed what to repent of and how to repent. The daily foundation of sacrifice paid off. They had done their daily duty, and now they could do all that God ­required with a joyful heart. What denial of self we see, what grand righteousness. What overflowing holiness like a “never failing stream”2 belonged to them. Their acts of righteousness would not stop and start. In the past they might do some righteous acts one day, but the next day be full of self. Once their worship services had been sin, now they would be acts of holiness. At one time there might be a trickle of purity from them, now they had overflowing righteousness like a stream. In order to get this righteousness, God had to stop their assemblies and send them into captivity. Because they submitted to this discipline, mercy would be theirs in abundance.

  • I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship ­offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:21–24)

Now the Israelites would be fit to deal with the enemies around them. No longer would they wallow in self-absorption dealing with their petty personal problems and discomforts. No longer would their weekly Bible studies just be self-help groups that come together and chat about their personal problems—the kind of Bible studies that do just enough good deeds and say just enough righteous words to make one feel righteously comfortable in the Lord. Or a Sunday School class where everyone goes around and shares their stupid opinions about what they think God’s Word means.3 They had been willing to tremble with fear, so God allowed them to touch the hem of His garments. They were granted the mind of Christ.

The depth of unity concerning God’s Word displays the fruit of revival. God does not grant revival and then leave each man to interpret His Word as he sees fit. That kind of disagreement shows the need for revival, not the result of revival. See how united the Israelites were concerning God’s Word. Note how they listened and submitted to the leaders God had given them. In fact, in their zeal, they ask that the “leaders represent the whole assembly in this matter.” What a change; before captivity they despised and rejected the authority of God’s teachers. Now they embraced and loved teachers that dealt with sin. In the past, they were powerless to do that which was right, to understand the correct course; now they could run in the way of righteousness. No longer would their deeds not be complete.

  • But there are many people, it is the rainy season, and we are not able to stand in the open. Nor can the task be done in one or two days, for we have transgressed greatly in this matter. “Let our leaders represent the whole assembly and let all those in our cities who have married foreign wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each city, until the fierce anger of our God on account of this matter is turned away from us.” (Ezra 10:13–14 NASB)

How could they talk of God’s “fierce anger” and take several days to repent, when He had brought them so far in the rebuilding of the temple? The answer lies in the meaning of true revival. The closer we draw to God, the more we realize the shameful sins in our lives. Those far from God, in need of revival, have little sense of what they do wrong. Those whom God chooses to bring to Himself must come to see sin and self clearly. When the disciples first fell on their knees at the calling of Jesus, they no doubt thought they saw all their sins. Little did they know that Jesus would convince them of the futility of self and sin in ways they could not, nor wanted, to imagine.

Very often those who talk of God’s “fierce anger,” and see that anger clearly on His face, stand on the verge of forgiveness. Those who have backslidden and yet talk of taking days, or even years, to ­repent of a sin draw near to full reconciliation with God. Those who admit they don’t really understand one Scripture by the enlightened power of the Holy Spirit, will gain the mind of Christ. The person closest to the cross not only sees his sin and weakness of self clearly, but remains only days away from the resurrected life.


  1. Revival: The Whisper Revival
  2. Revival: The Cross
  3. Revival: Receiving a Revival
  4. Revival: A Shameful Thing
  5. Revival: Revival begins
  6. Revival: In the Midst of Revival
  7. Revival: The Revival Cry
  8. Revival: Wanting to Help: The Opposition
  9. Revival: Revival Resumed
  10. Revival: The Acid Test
  11. Revival: The Whole Camp
  12. Revival: Words of Comfort
  13. Revival: The One Thing
  14. Revival: Discipleship: To Begin

Revival: Everything Said

Revival: Endnotes

Disclaimer

The Consider Podcast attempts to express opinions through God’s holiness. Nothing concerning justice or injustice should be taken as legal advice or a call to action. There is no political agenda. There is no individual moral life advice. Indeed, each person is solely responsible before God and man for their actions or inactions. The Consider Podcast is narrowly focused on one thing, and only one thing – the need for all to surrender to a life of repentance according to the whole gospel.

The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness with the whole gospel.
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