Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday April 9 2013 - Sandy

Today's scripture focus: Habakkuk 1:5-11

Today's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Joshua 9-10, Psalm 71, John 3

The Lord's Answer

 “Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
 For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own.
 They are dreaded and fearsome;
their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than the evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
 They all come for violence,
all their faces forward.
They gather captives like sand.
 At kings they scoff,
and at rulers they laugh.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they pile up earth and take it.
 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
guilty men, whose own might is their god!”

 Here are we are seeing God's response to Habakkuk's complaint from yesterday.  Habakkuk complains that there is nothing but evil around him and yet he (and we) wait for God's justice.  A valid complaint no?  Looking at the state of affairs when this was written and today, evil seems rampant and in control.

But God's response is pretty interesting.  He has a plan.  A plan Habakkuk would not believe if told.  A plan to punish evil by using and evil people.  Seems odd?  It shows that God uses all for his purpose.  God here is telling Habakkuk about using and evil people to smite an evil people.

Can we accept that?  Can we accept that God's plan is many times, simply too much for us to grasp?  Can we accept God's purpose in evil?  That's a pretty heavy thing to consider.  A quote from a very wise man (mine): "If we assert that evil is not from God, then not only do we make God less-than, but we also make evil meaningless and so we are right to feel hopeless in our trials with said evil."

But where does that leave us in our complaints like Habakkuk?  Our valid lamenting against the evils of this world, and overwhelming sadness at seeing them committed?

We have faith in:  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The God whom has made numerous promises of our salvation and numerous promises to see justice done against those who are not for Him.    The same God who became flesh to die on the cross for our sins.  Our faith isn't blind, but is faith that is  grounded in the promises of the Word, and the works He's done for us and in us.

We certainly aren't to accept or ignore the evil around us.  We are to be salt and light, spreading the Gospel and sharing the hope within us to all those who are trapped in the dark of evil.  But we also have to accept, that in the end, God is God, and His will is His will.  We must do our best to be servants and ambassadors of that will, all while accepting that His plan may be something we don't expect.

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

Talk about getting an answer you don't want! Oh yes God's sees the evil abounding, and He's about to bring judgment down. I wonder if we're in for some of that same judgment sometime soon.

Thankfully, as David Legge pointed out in his sermon on this passage,
when you look at our nation, and we cry for an answer, we ask God to come, make Thine arm bare either in salvation or judgement, right the wrongs that are here, do something Lord, anything! Will it surprise us what He does? How can God's judgement be stemmed? You know, I believe that God's judgement is rife, and I believe that it's not very long [before] it'll pour like a hot cauldron right over this land. But there's an exception clause, and it's simply this as we close, 2 Chronicles 7 verse 14, 'If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land'.

I also quickly read Matt Chandler's sermon on this passage (he actually has 2 on this part I believe). Sometimes we think God is answering no to our prayers, but really He's answering yes more often than we think, because we're taking His yes'es for granted, or not even acknowledging that they were a yes in the first place. We're giving the tool the credit (the doctor, the science, etc) instead of the One who gave us the tool.

But sometimes God does say no, simply because we're walking in disobedience, in which case, He's not apt to say yes a lot. Loving parents do not reward rebellion. We cannot expect God to. We obviously do not need to be perfect, but we need to be pursuing. And also, just because we are obedient, God is not our genie. And He can simply see the bigger picture, and sometimes He knows that "No" is simply the right answer.

What Chandler points out in his second sermon on this passage, is that we need to look to God. No matter what is going wrong in our lives - we cannot fix it. We can't. Only God can. He alone knows what is going on, everywhere at all times. He alone knows the big picture. He alone know what we need. He alone is able to fulfill us. He transcends time, He transcends scope. He is God and we are not.

So much to learn from these passages!