Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday, April 12 ~ tammi

Today's Bible In a Year reading: Joshua 15-16; Psalm 74; John 6
Today's scripture focus passage: Habakkuk 2:5-20
Accompanying Legge sermonThe Welcome Woes

So now we come to the part of God's response to Habakkuk that COULD just be seen as judgment on Babylon.  And truthfully, that's how I generally read it.  I mean, that's who He's specifically talking about here, right?

But then I listened to David Legge and his WONDERFUL Irish brogue present a very different perspective and an eye-opening message.  These five woes aren't just promises of judgment for Babylon after God uses them to punish Israel.  They aren't just warnings for the Israelites either.

They're for us.  Reminding us how seriously God views sin.  Legge points out that every single prophetic book in the Old Testament opens with the promise of judgment for sin.  Every. single. one.  And he shifts our attention from gleefully thinking Babylon has it coming to asking ourselves a pointed question: where is MY anger towards sin?

"If there's anything wrong with Gospel preaching today - and there's plenty wrong with it, but if there's one thing wrong with it, it's this: that the anger of God is no longer preached. The anger of God, the wrath of God, and that is depicted in the law of God. Whenever the law is not preached - and let me say: when the Gospel is preached, we are not saved through the law, but the law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. If we do not preach the law, death will not be realized by the person we are preaching to. If they don't hear that they have broken every law of God, that they have fallen short of God, that they have angered God, that the condemnation and the wrath of God is upon them, they have no hope of being saved!"  (emphasis added)

He goes into detail in describing the heart of the matter with each of the five woes and describes how each represents an idol in our lives, something just a little more important than God and His will is to us.  And before we're too quick to say, "'Of course I don't have idols in my life, David, what do you think I am? A pagan?' - let me ask you this question: has Christ got all of you? For that's the same question.

Do you have [idols]? Do you know what the word of God says, and I want us to think about this for one minute. It says this - you've been listening to five woes - do you know what the word of God says? Judgment begins in the house of God, with you. Do you want a revival? Do you? I would love a revival, but it will never happen if we don't deal with our sin - won't happen! ... Charles Finney said: 'Take a pen and a paper, and write on one side of a page sins of omission - the things that you don't do - and sins of commission - the sins that you do do. Write them down before your eyes, think about them, try to recollect them, and look on them, and weep upon them, and confess them before God' - that's breaking up the fallow ground, mourn and confess your sin!"   (emphasis added)

I used to feel a twinge of smugness, some superiority, at the judgment God promises in this passage to Babylon, the representative of all who turn their backs on God.

But not so much now.

Now I find myself simply marveling once again at the amazing grace of God, knowing that the ONLY reason He sees me as holy and perfect is because my life has been bought and paid for, redeemed by His Son's ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

And asking Him to make me more angry at the things that anger Him, to be more grieved by the things that grieve Him:

The sin in the world around us...

The sins tolerated within the Church...

MY sin.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: Joshua 17-18
Monday's scripture focus passage: Habakkuk 3:1-2

1 comment:

Miriam said...

Excellent, very thought-provoking post. I've said this before, but one of the biggest things I started to realize upon reading through the entire Bible was the holiness of God, and his righteous anger and justice. Things I knew, but had kind of forgotten in the whole "He loves and forgives" message that we hear all the time. That is true, He does love and forgive, but he is also holy and just and we can't forget that.