“On that day the LORD God of Armies called for weeping …But look: joy and gladness, butchering of cattle, slaughtering of sheep and goats, eating of meat, and drinking of wine – ‘Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’ The LORD of Armies has directly revealed to me: ‘This iniquity will not be wiped out for you people as long as you live.’ The LORD God of Armies has spoken” (Isaiah 22.12-14).
Even though Israel faced imminent exile and humiliation at the hands of the Assyrians, they lived in a dream world. They would not cry out to God for help but lived as if no danger existed. The hour called for weeping and wailing. Instead, they were rejoicing and glad. “Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
Any true call for revival begins with a call to weep and wail over one’s sin. Revival begins with the repentance of an individual, a community, and a nation. But look at the true state of our nation. We boast in our accomplishments and power but fail to see the rot settling into the foundations. We have left God.
We are responding to God in an inappropriate manner. God rebukes us and calls us to come close to Him through chastening and correction because of our sins. We should be weeping and wailing. Since we will not repent, our iniquity will not and cannot be wiped out.
James wrote, “Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4.9-10). As sobering and wonderful as the suffering of Christ for our sins is, those sins remain unforgiven if we will not repent. True revival begins with the right response. May God bring genuine sorrow for sin so that we can truly rejoice and be glad.