Monday, September 23, 2013

"God, where are you?"- Habakkuk

Continuing reading through the Bible (trying to finally be able to say that I have read the whole thing), I have been mired in the minor prophets of the Old Testament. They are not the easiest read, and they are often difficult to discern anything relevant. Tonight though, I read through Habakkuk... and I could totally relate!

I have spent many, many times looking through headlines, news, Facebook, Twitter, and so on and just time again reaching a place where I just have to wonder... is God still there? Is He still in control?

"How long, o Lord, will I call for help and You will not hear? ... Why do You make me see iniquity, and cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises. Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice comes out perverted." Habakkuk 1:2-4

I was brought back to this place many times recently, as we see Christians being murdered in countries far away, churches bombed, members of our adoptive family who are slain in the name of perverted justice.

"Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do you look with favor on those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?" Habakkuk 1:13

I get to this place, and I just wonder how much longer this earth will endure... how much longer will God allow us to destroy ourselves, and His creation? How much longer will He allow the twisting of His word, and the perversion of His glory unfold? I find myself, often, much like this prophet, calling out to God... almost in an accusatory tone... asking, Why are You silent?

But, God being God, and ultimately sovereign and full of grace, mercy, and truth... He answers...

"Then the Lord answered me and said, 'Record this vision... 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. Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by faith. Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, so that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, and his is like death, never satisfied." Habakkuk 2:2-5

God is still there, and He is still in control... these things continue to happen because the time has not yet come for them to stop. But the promise is there that those who revel in their own truth and their perverted justice will meet their fate... their souls are not right, their appetite for their own righteousness grows like the fires of Hell, never to be satisfied. Take rest in the knowledge that the world is storing up its wrath for eternity, but the truly righteous, the beloved, we have the peace that the wrath due to us has been poured out already... The promise is given:

"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea... Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, who mix in your own venom even to make them drunk so as to look on their nakedness! You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The Cup in the Lord's right hand will come around to you, and utter disgrace will come upon your glory." Habakkuk 2:14-16

A promise to those who have twisted and perverted justice, who have filled this world with filth... who seek the destruction of others... you'll get yours. As well as a call to each of us to examine ourselves for this same debauchery ("for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23... sound familiar?) because the Cup in the Lord's right hand will come, and disgrace our glory. Sounds like a call to repent, a promise of the coming of Jesus. The light in the darkness that will reveal all we do as filthy rags... a reminder that God shares His glory with no one.

There is a lot going on in these verses... but if nothing else, they leave me with a few things:
1) God is in control, He is still God, He is not blind to what is happening
2) When the appointed time comes, His wrath will be poured out
3) We are all sinners, and must be careful to not only ever point out and call out the sins of others, but also to examine the sins of our own lives.
4) We must seek only the glory of God
5) Jesus has taken the wrath for all whom He has called to be His children
6) There is relevant, and good, news to be found everywhere in scripture... be diligent and persevere, keeping your mind open

I know this post was all over the place... but so is my mind lately.

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