Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday, April 11 ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 13-14; Psalm 73; John 5.
Today's scripture focus is Habakkuk 2:2-4

2 Then the Lord answered me and said,
“Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run.
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

4 “Behold, as for the proud one,
His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his faith.

So, the last couple of days' verses talked about how God sometimes uses means beyond our understanding to bring about His purposes.  In this case, that the Chaldeans are going to come, it's going to be a terrible thing, but rest assured it's going to happen.  Habakkuk doesn't understand.  He's confused and upset and he just can't believe that this is the method a just God would use to turn Judah away from idolatry and back to Himself.

We've talked before, often, about how we don't see the big picture but so often we feel we know better than God what the problem is and what the best solution to that problem might be.  The trouble with that is - #1 we see only a very limited perspective and can't possibly predict all the far-reaching ramifications of our solutions; and #2 it's pretty arrogant of us to think we know better than the God of the entire universe.  Can you imagine what would have happened if human beings had been in charge of creation?  I shudder to think.

From Matt Chandler's sermon, Discipline or Wrath?

If God is infinite, sovereign, all-powerful, all knowing and can do whatever He pleases, then what do we do with pain, suffering, loss and hurt? What do we do with those things since God is good and He is sovereign and those things exist? Well, the last time I was with you, we unpacked the first part of that, and that’s that the Bible says we’ll have one of two reactions to that kind of thing. The first way is we will be proud. We will believe if it was just done our way, if that just wouldn’t have happened, if we would have done this instead of this, then things would have worked out right. And the Bible says that’s a heart of pride that believes it knows better than God. The second way we respond according to Habakkuk 2 is that the righteous will live by faith. That means that we don’t always have an answer for the “why” but we trust that, even in the darkest of days, God is good, He is loving and He is at work to redeem and reconcile all things unto Himself. So the righteous live by faith in the face of tragedy. We live by faith in the face of loss. We live by faith in the face of devastation and disrepute. We live by faith.  (emphasis mine)
I know this seems like a pat answer.  When we are in the middle of tragedy, it can make us angry to hear those platitudes.  I really can't predict how I would handle some of the things that happen in the world that are terrible beyond imagining, were something like that to happen to me or my family.

I think, though, that if we live our lives having a relationship with God and striving to walk with Him, that if terrible tragedy does come we will be better able to experience the comfort that God is in control and does have a plan, even if we are incapable of understanding it.  Sometimes, perhaps, it is more difficult to have that faith if we only seek God in times of trouble and ignore Him when things seem to be going well.

Have a great Thursday!  Wishing you warm sun, melting snow (if applicable), and as Spring FINALLY begins to arrive, let us remember that just as Spring always follows Winter (slowly as may be), God always keeps His promises.

Tomorrow's scripture focus:  Habakkuk 2:5-20.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Joshua 15-16; Psalm 74; John 6.

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