Nathan Brown begins “Engage”–a new articles series for Adventist World–by considering the theme of revival (The Missing Chapter on Revival).
Brown writes, “Earlier this year I grabbed a copy of the current Sabbath school quarterly from the end of our production line and flicked through it with some anticipation. I was looking for a Bible passage that I had felt missing from earlier publications, and it seemed a more comprehensive Bible study of the topic might lead us there. As I have been in reviewing much of the revival-focused material, I was disappointed. I have been back to check more thoroughly.”
What was missing? What was Brown looking for? “I was looking for Isaiah 58. It seems a chapter ripe for consideration on this topic.” In Isaiah 58, God reveals that the people’s religiosity is hollow; God is looking for justice and compassion.
To support this passage as important for Adventists, Brown draws our attention to the witness of Ellen White.
Ellen White urged that the principles and action described in Isaiah 58 were important for the church she cared about, and for revival: “Read this chapter carefully and understand the kind of ministry that will bring life into the churches. The work of the gospel is to be carried by our liberality as well as by our labours. When you meet suffering souls who need help, give it to them. When you find those who are hungry, feed them. In doing this you will be working in lines of Christ’s ministry. The Master’s holy work was a benevolent work. Let our people everywhere be encouraged to have a part in it” (Welfare Ministry, p. 29).
That quote has also been meaningful to me (used here), and I deeply value how Brown has put it to work in his article. One other quote also stood out to me.
“The true purpose of religion is to release men from their burdens of sin, to eliminate intolerance and oppression, and to promote justice, liberty and peace” (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 306).
Read Brown’s complete article at Adventist World.