I said a LOT about what sparks a true revival last week. I mentioned that revival starts on a micro-level; it takes a recognition of our own need to repent from our sins and ask God to renew us as individuals. From there we can collectively atone as a church community and nation so that revival can spread. Revival needs to spread like wildfire amongst those who truly want to change and to seek God's forgiveness if we expect God to heal our land.
This means that, as a nation, we will have to, first and foremost, humble ourselves and acknowledge our wrongs- current and past. If we truly want to "sit tight and get right" with God, it means we are going to have to boldly examine ourselves especially as it pertains to our history.
We are going to have to understand and then atone for what our founding fathers' did when they actively took part in controlling the reproduction of men and women in this country.
That statement may sound shocking to many of you reading this. For some, this will be truly new knowledge. For others it may have been long hidden or simply suppressed. For a delicate few, it may be history that has actively been avoided because, 'that was then and this is now.' Whatever your current understanding, I would highly encourage you to do some research on your own. I would also strongly encourage you to resist the understandable urge to look away from our complicated history. Forgetting the past is exactly what landed the Israelites in deep trouble just a few years after God's covenant with them was solidified in Jerusalem. Be ready to recognize that what may not be a part of your personal history certainly is a traumatic chapter of American history that we ignore at our own peril.
A people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6 NKJV)
When Africans were sold and purchased and then brought to America, there were ungodly decisions forced upon them about how and when reproduction would occur. Those decisions set us up for where we are now as far as normalizing coercive reproductive rights. When humans, image bearers of God, were made, upon threat of death, to breed like livestock, then the control of life and death was wrested from God. The command to be fruitful and multiply was taken away from individuals and wielded as a weapon. Children were no longer blessings; they were a commodity to be created, snatched away and traded and sold like any other possession. Not only that, but those who held control, many of whom were deacons, elders, board members etc. now felt they had a god-given "right" to do whatever suited their interests, economic and otherwise.
Overcoming slavery with all of the costs we paid as a nation to end that wrong brought us closer to a right relationship with God. To our nations credit, our change in direction ushered in a new paradigm that shifted us more toward the "all are equal" doctrine of the constitution and to God's view. But then, we fell into the foolishness again attempting to override God's mandate to be fruitful and multiply. The Eugenics movement sprang up, championed by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, as yet another way to control reproduction; this time it was to reduce the number of 'undesirables' flooding into northern cities from the oppressive South. God's desires for His people was set aside again with flagrant hubris. And, of course we know what grew out of the acceptance of the Planned Parenthood message: the wholesale destruction of tens of millions of children of whom a disproportionate number were African American.
Yes, there is quite a bit of repenting to do not only for our own actions but for those of our forefathers. And yes, there is precedent for ancestral repentance all throughout the bible in case you were wondering. Righteous Kings like Josiah, Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat all took on the mantle of their corrupt forefathers when petitioning God for restoration of the people. King Josiah said these words after the book of the law was found in the Jerusalem temple ruins:
"Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us." 2 Kings 22:13 NKJV.
King Hezekiah also called for a removal of rubble from the temple and said,
"For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him."
I asked this question last week: How can a nation move forward in righteousness if it constantly forgets the wrongs of its past? It cannot. Germany understood the Post World War II assignment: for them to more closely resemble the God of Martin Luther they had to walk forward in full knowledge of and recognition of their past treatment of the Jews. Not only should the Jews remember the holocaust but, it is imperative that the Germans do as well. Ignoring history does not change it. And the Jews cannot afford to forget the follies of their forefathers lest they end up under God's wrath yet again. This means that the Jewish nation will have to confront it's current acceptance of abortion as a state sponsored act of child sacrifice just as we have to.
That is how deep repentance leads to lasting revival which leads to true reconciliation to God and a renewed fervor to serve Him.
What we experienced as a nation in terms of taking on the false right of who should live and who should die should not be repeated. It will take a collective courage to make sure the sins of our forefathers are rejected and not accepted as our national "new normal."
What must we do to be restored to God and experience revival? We must come to Him with a tender heart (not proud or arrogant or dismissive of our wrongdoings or those of our fathers), humble ourselves (truly repent for ourselves and our fathers), seek His Word that was hidden (read and meditate on it daily), hear what God has spoken (listen to Holy Spirit consistently), accept Jesus as our Lord (follow His commands and teachings) and show remorse for our sins and those of our fathers (change our heart and remember our history), then, God can begin the heart work of true restoration within us, our homes, the church, our communities, and the nation.
Until then, be courageous, study our true history and teach it to your children. And feel free to comment on what you find.
Much love and many blessings! Sylvia