Revive Me, O Lord

Terry G. Jones

Throughout the course of every person’s life there is a wide range of experiences. There are the good times and the bad. There are the mountaintop experiences, but there are also the deep, dark valleys of despair. Just as we enjoy the refreshing showers of April, we must also endure the drought of August. Job appears to have had a deep insight of this. When his foolish wife looked upon the severity of his suffering, she advised him just to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9)! Listen to his helpful response: “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10)

In every life there are roses to be enjoyed, but, also, thorns to be endured. There are times of depression, loneliness, and despair. When we are down, we need to look up. In the 119th Psalm, nine times we find the plea, “revive me.” When the Psalmist was troubled, tired, and feeling low, he looked to God for revival. Psalm 119 provides some helpful insight as to why he needed the Lord to revive him.

Sin. Though the Psalmist was a righteous man who sought the will of the Lord, he also was keenly aware that the temptation to sin was ever present. He said, “Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way” (vs. 36-37). He did not want to make the same mistake as Achan who stole the garments, silver, and gold from Ai. When questioned by Joshua, Achan confessed, “I saw … I coveted … I took” (Josh. 7:21). 

The Psalmist understood that looking at worthless things would lead to covetousness, and covetousness could lead to even worse sins. Some need to pray for God to turn their eyes from looking at a married co-worker, an immoral web-site, an ungodly movie, or a liquor bottle. The Psalmist prayed that God would turn his eyes from “worthless things” (v. 37) and “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (v. 18). In times of temptation to sin, he looked to God for revival through His Word.

Suffering. “I am afflicted very much; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word” (v. 107). Though he was a righteous man, he was still subject to suffering the afflictions of this world. Afflictions may be experienced in many ways, usually in the form of sickness, disease, and pain. The last hours of our Lord upon this earth were spent in deep suffering of affliction. Because of the Scripture that flowed from His lips, we know that His mind must have been focused upon Holy Writ. In like manner, the Psalmist, in time of suffering, prayed to God for revival, “according to Your word.”

Sorrow. “My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word” (v. 25). Long battles with sin and suffering can lead to deep sorrow. The Psalmist reveals that suffering and sorrow had led to devastation and depression. He was as low as he could go. He was prostrate on the ground, clinging to the dust and crying out to God to lift him up and revive his weary spirit.

Seeking. “Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness” (v. 40). The depths of despair experienced by the Psalmist from sin, suffering, and sorrow led him to seek the Lord through His Word. He did not allow affliction to cause him to give up or blame God. Rather, he sought revival through God’s righteous Word. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (Jms. 4:8).

While on the mountain tops we should praise the Lord with thanksgiving, and, when in the valley of despair, we should seek God for revival. 

“All glory and praise To the Lamb that was slain, Who has borne all our sins, and has cleansed ev’ry stain. Hallelujah! Thine the glory; Hallelujah! Amen! Hallelujah! Thine the glory; Revive us again.” (“Revive Us Again,” Wm. P. Mackay.) -206 E. Penn Ave., Pennsboro, WV 26415

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