Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday, April 16th - Sandy

Today's scripture focus is: Habakkuk 3:3-19
Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Joshua 23,24; Psalm 76; John 8

David Legge's sermon

God came from Teman,
    and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His splendor covered the heavens,
    and the earth was full of his praise.
His brightness was like the light;
    rays flashed from his hand;
    and there he veiled his power.
Before him went pestilence,
    and plague followed at his heels.
He stood and measured the earth;
    he looked and shook the nations;
then the eternal mountains were scattered;
    the everlasting hills sank low.
    His were the everlasting ways.
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction;
    the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord?
    Was your anger against the rivers,
    or your indignation against the sea,
when you rode on your horses,
    on your chariot of salvation?
You stripped the sheath from your bow,
    calling for many arrows. Selah
    You split the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw you and writhed;
    the raging waters swept on;
the deep gave forth its voice;
    it lifted its hands on high.
11 The sun and moon stood still in their place
    at the light of your arrows as they sped,
    at the flash of your glittering spear.
12 You marched through the earth in fury;
    you threshed the nations in anger.
13 You went out for the salvation of your people,
    for the salvation of your anointed.
You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,
    laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah
14 You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors,
    who came like a whirlwind to scatter me,
    rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
    the surging of mighty waters.
16 I hear, and my body trembles;
    my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
    my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
    to come upon people who invade us.

Habakkuk Rejoices in the Lord

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer's;
    he makes me tread on my high places.

Ah!  What a change from the beginning of the book, no?  We've gone from complaints of, "What's going on?  Where are you?  Why aren't you...?" to songs of praise and delight in the works of God.  

I was looking at Matthew Henry's commentary on this and the bit under "chapter contents" amused me greatly:

The prophet beseeches God for his people. (1,2) He calls to mind former deliverances. (3-15) His firm trust in the Divine mercy. (16-19)

Obviously, that's not the complete commentary :D...but the succinct summary of what the chapter contains speaks volumes even on it's own.  
It's really the same summary for most of the books, isn't it? We ask God for mercy, we remind him of his promises, we stand firm in the faith.  At least, that's how it should be.  It's doesn't always work that way.  

For example: 
There is a wife who is bitter.  She is struggling in her faith, and unsure of who she is in Christ. She battles anger, bitterness, and confusion about who God is daily.  There are a lot of complaints.  It's easy to forget his past deliverance when one is so entrenched in the bitterness. 
The tides have been turning for awhile, and it seems that the darkest of times is past.  The future is brighter.  But a hiccup trips the husband and wife in a common way, money.  A whole week to payday and no money in sight.  The husband stands fast and reminds the wife of God's past provision, but she really doesn't care to see it.  She sees only the same thing in front of them.  "When will God deliver us?", she thinks.  
Naturally, he already has.  Before the bitter words escape her lips completely, his provision arrives in the form of two small, yet wholly unexpected forms.  

The point is: Complaint.  Beseeching.  Reminders.  Steadfast faith.  We can complain as much as we choose really.  We can harrumph and be sorry about our poor state of affairs, of which some seem so trivial in the light of the endless suffering of this world.  But, don't forget the faith.  DO NOT FORGET.  Steadfast faith.  Remind God of his promises if you wish, it for ourselves that we do it.  He has not, nor will he ever, forget.  


Roxie said...

I definitely needed that reminder, Sandy. Thank you. Truth beautifully written.

LaughingLady said...

I like those last 3 verses of the book. I memorized them a while back because they are such a good reminder that my circumstances don't matter ~ a relationship with God is the only real security I should desire.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Thank you Sandy,

Love the last 3 verses too. One thing that one of the sermons (can't remember which one now!) pointed out was that these verses are saying that not only do things look bad right now, but there's currently no hope that things will improve anytime soon. If there's no harvest this year that means there's no seeds to plant next year either. EVEN then, He is our portion. Truly He is enough. That doesn't make any sense from a human perspective, but from a spiritual perspective it is truth.