A Solemn Assembly

Gird yourselves and lament, ye priests
Howl, ye ministers of the altar.
Come, lie all night in sackcloth.
Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord,
and cry unto the Lord.
Joel 1:13-14

Every year as November rolls around, we look forward to Youth Bible School. It is always a great spiritual blessing to all of the brothers and sisters here. Each Bible School has its own unique flavor because God works in so many different ways. This year was no exception. We noticed from the Sunday before the classes began that there was revival in the air. The students arriving early were full of expectations in the Lord. I remember hearing some of the ministers say, “If it starts on this high note, where will it end?”

It was a joy to see 540 youth sitting in their seats on Monday morning, looking up like little birds waiting to be fed. What a privilege to preach to such a hungry, responsive group of youth!

It seems the Lord ordered a well balanced diet of spiritual food, as well as spiritual exercises: lofty meditations from a book study of John’s Gospel, practical issues of courtship, authority, and moral purity, and sixteen points on true discipleship. The youth began responding on Monday night. The songs of salvation started to ring after the service.

As the week progressed we were sensing the need for a real breaking among us. There were some beautiful open confessions in the youth prayer groups, but we felt God needed to go deeper. Wednesday morning, Mose received a cancellation call from the speaker who was scheduled to preach on Thursday night. We now had no speaker. We began to wonder what the Lord was trying to do. I found out that Gerhard Du Toit had been preaching in the Philadelphia area and that he was free on Thursday evening. Praise the Lord! This was the answer.

Brother Gerhard preached on prayer and brokenness. As the message progressed, a spirit of mourning settled down over the assembly. Gentle weeping was heard at times during the sermon. An invitation was given to break our hearts over our lack of prayer and the lack of brokenness that leads to prayer. The Spirit of God settled upon us as people began to respond. Soon the altar, all the front portion of the building, and much of the aisle was filled with people seeking God. Over two hundred youth and many others were on their faces in brokenness. Weeping and wailing prevailed everywhere. We were in a solemn assembly.

No one moved for twenty minutes. The whole congregation was struck with grief. Mose dismissed the meeting for any who wanted to leave. Those who left slipped out in total silence.

The solemn assembly continued for hours. People were getting right with God. Souls who needed to be saved began to break under the convicting power of the assembly. I don’t know how many souls were saved that night, but I know there were quite a few. This brought the Bible School to a deeper level, and many more people came through as the days went by. Many will never be the same after that whole week of cleansing and repenting.

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