Leadership succession during revival- Part 29
At times, the tempo of revival declines due to the actions of leaders, while at other times, revival fail due to the error of those who succeed revival leaders. This is very glaring when we study the activities of King Hezekiah and his successor. How important it is for leaders of revival to groom successors who would continue in the momentum they created.
King Hezekiah’s reign witnessed reforms and revival in Judah, but his successor, Manasseh was a revisionist who led Israel deeper into idolatry. Every revival of true faith has always involved a rediscovery of the teaching of the Word of God and the restoration of true worship of God.
King Hezekiah correctly diagnosed that Judah had abandoned the true worship of God, so the king did all he could to reverse the policy of his father (2 Chron. 28:22–25) and to repair the temple and return proper temple worship as God had prescribed in His Word (2Chron. 29: 3–7). He knew such a revival of devotion to God would turn God’s wrath away from Judah. Hezekiah restored true temple worship as practised in the time of David and Solomon, producing great joy (2 Chron.29: 36).
He restored the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover (Ex. 12:1–20; Lev. 23:1–8), which had not been properly and regularly observed for some time. The Passover would later be revived again under King Josiah (2 Chron. 35:1–9) and Zerubbabel (Ezra 6:19–22). He removed the altars that were in Jerusalem and cast them into the Brook Kidron (2 Chron. 30:14). He prayed for the shortcomings of people of Judah to be forgiven by God and He forgave them (2 Chron.30:18-20). His actions brought about great joy in Jerusalem and there was joy among the priests and Levite’s that their prayers had ascended up to the heavens (2 Chron. 30:26-27).
The government during the reign of the other kings had not provided support for the priest, so Hezekiah restored that support as God originally ordained it (2 Chr. 8:12–14; 31:2-19). King Hezekiah’s reign was glorious and had the marks of a reformer and revivalist. The end of his reign is aptly summarised this way: “Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So, he prospered,” (2 Chronicles 31:20-21 NKJV)
Unfortunately, after all these laudable reforms by King Hezekiah, his son Manasseh took over from him when he died and reversed all the reforms Hezekiah did. Manasseh is a good example of a leader who killed and truncated reform and revival. During his reign he took Judah back into idolatry to the extent that the Bible records that Manasseh did more wickedness than all the Amorites who were before him (2 Kings. 21:1-18).
The insensitivity of revival leaders to the Spirit also affects revival. A leader must have great discernment during revival and be sensitive as to how to address an issue and when to keep quiet and allow the Holy Spirit to point out the error; otherwise, the psyche and feelings of his followers could be affected. Christian leaders make mistakes and on occasion fall into sin – even during times of revival! During the Charismatic revival of the 1970s and 1980s in Nigeria, some of the leaders made doctrinal errors that affected the tempo of the revival, especially in our university campuses. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org