Remember the story surrounding the death and burial of Elisha, the great prophet of Israel? The one who possessed a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and who directly opposed the wickedness and false worship of his day, had recently died and been laid to rest. When some Israelites were in the process of burying another man, the funeral was interrupted by yet another attack, courtesy of their neighboring enemies the Moabites. In their haste to get away, the pall bearers quickly tossed the dead man into the still-opened tomb of Elisha. The Scriptures say that as soon as this dead man “touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet” (see II Kings 13:20-21).
I do not recall who first told me to think this way, but similarly we in the modern church need to “touch the bones” of godly ones in whom the Spirit of God clearly manifested himself. We should study their lives, read their works, and be led by them into the Scriptures. When this study leads us to come in contact with the same God they knew, we can be revived and stand on our feet ready to meet the issues that confront the church today. Perhaps more than ever the Protestant church needs this type of reviving and reformation.
With all the idolatry of the church within and the corruption of the society without, it would be easy to grow discouraged and disheartened. So with the above in mind, let me offer this simple, singular encouragement as summer approaches. Go to the biography section of a good publisher like Banner of Truth or Reformation Heritage Books, choose a biography or two of someone the Lord has used mightily, and order the books. Read them prayerfully, take some notes, “touch their bones” as it were, and see if the Lord does not revive you.
When the people of God are revived, then and only then might we see some societal awakening and reform.