From Dying Embers Into Flames
By Lois J. Stucky
Even if the writings of the so-called "minor prophets" are not a favorite portion of the Bible with you, please do not neglect them. They present a picture which uncomfortably resembles today’s society and they contain that which could be applied to a lukewarm church, of which Mark Bubeck writes in his article printed in this issue. They also present a blessed picture of our God who is the hope for turning lukewarmness into fervent love and service affecting our personal lives and homelands as well as the whole world.
These messages, of course, were first of all addressed to the nation which God had chosen and through whom He would make Himself, His will and His ways known to the ends of the earth. After God graciously and miraculously led His chosen people out of captivity in Egypt, and into the promised land that flowed with "milk and honey," they prospered and increased. But succeeding generations forgot the law of their God. In Hosea 4:1 we read the accusation that "…there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land." Rather there was "…swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery" (v. 2), in absolute disregard of the "Ten Commandments" which God had given for the well-being of His people. Some of His people became "joined to idols" and worshiped the gods of the people who had previously inhabited the land or neighboring lands (4:17).
With great passion God pled with His erring people, His "beloved." Mourning over their waywardness, He yearned for them to return to Him. "How shall I give thee up?" His merciful heart lamented (Hos. 11:8). But being rejected, a holy God must punish sin. There would be drought, pestilences, multiplied losses of home, friends and family, and many carried off into captivity. Such judgments as these would cause them to cry out for His help and repent.
A repentant people would be met with His gracious words, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for Mine anger is turned away from [them]" (Hos. 14:4). Joel 2:13 gives us this picture of the Lord: "He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil."
This is the God we are seeking for revival. He is our hope, our only hope. It is God’s will to send revival. But there must be those who will humbly confess, "Woe is me!" and thoroughly repent of sin, and then through prayer and ministry of the Word, get God’s intervention to stir into flame the embers of the fire that is burning low, replacing lukewarmness with fervent love. I think of Brother and Sister Moore, founders under God of Herald of His Coming, and how they devoted years and years to intensely seeking God for revival, sacrificing much to do so. Through the pages of the Herald paper they strove to stir others to do likewise. Both of them when called above were holding in faith that revival would surely come. Often Brother Moore reminded the staff of Luke 18:7-8: "Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily...."
It is helpful to continue praying in faith for revival in an hour like the one in which we live to unite with others of like heart, holding on to God’s Word that it shall come. Ask God to give you a revival prayer partner, or gather a few friends and start a prayer gathering for revival in your home.
And please pray with us that Herald of His Coming will be of immense help to praying saints. "…In due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9). God help us each one to do his or her part to get revival fires blazing!