Thursday: Revival, Reformation and Tithing
The long reign of Hezekiah is considered the high point for the tribe of Judah. Not since the reign of David and Solomon had Israel enjoyed God’s blessing so greatly. In 2 Chron. 29-31 is Hezekiah’s record of revival and reformation: “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Chron. 29:2, NIV). “The house of the LORD was set in order” (2 Chron. 29:35, NKJV). The Passover was kept
(2 Chron. 30:5). “There was great joy in Jerusalem” (2 Chron. 30:26, NKJV). Pagan images, altars, and high places were destroyed (2 Chron. 31:1). There was a sudden revival of heart and reformation of practice, resulting in an abundance of tithe and offerings (2 Chron. 31:4-5, 2 Chron. 31:12).
Nehemiah gives another example of revival, reformation, and tithing. Read Nehemiah 9:2-3. What did the revival of the heart mean? Read Nehemiah 13. After Nehemiah reformed the “house of God”, (Neh. 13:4) what did the people of Judah bring there (Neh. 13:12)?
“Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.” – Ellen G. White, Christian Service, p. 42.
The relationship between revival, reformation, and tithing is automatic. Without a return of the tithe, revival and reformation are lukewarm, if it is a revival at all. Too often we as Christians stand idle on the sidelines when we ought to be actively involved on the Lord’s side. Revival and reformation demand a commitment, and tithing is part of that commitment. If we hold back from God what He asks of us, we cannot expect Him to respond to what we ask of Him.
Revival and reformation take place in the church, not outside of it (Ps. 85:6). We must seek God for revival (Ps. 80:19) and reformation of “the things you did at first” (Rev. 2:5, NIV). A reformation must take place regarding what we keep and what we return to God.
It is not the act that makes the difference, but the decision of the mind and emotions that reveal the motive and commitment. The results will be an increased faith, sharpened spiritual vision, and renewed honesty.