Monday, October 6, 2014

All God's Dependents to the Table

This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.   How long, O Lord, must I call for help?  But you do not listen!  “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save.  Must I forever see these evil deeds?  Why must I watch all this misery?  Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.  I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.  The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts.  The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted….         Habakkuk 1:1-4 (NLT)
I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost.  There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.  Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.  This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed.  “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.  But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.                                                   Habakkuk 2:1-4 (NLT)
Habakkuk’s 6th Century (BC) world was about to come crashing down around him.  It was a prosperous time, and yet disaster was brewing on the horizon. 
God was about to empower the people whose ancestors were Nimrod “God-haters” – Baal-worshiping pagans, idolaters.  These were the worst sinners on record, and God was going to give Jerusalem into their hands, lock, stock and barrel.  He would use the worst of humanity to punish his own beloved and peculiar nation, Israel, the descendants of Abraham. 

That’s a Strange Way to Treat People You Love

Our world is a lot like Habakkuk’s Israel.  There is violence, wrong-doing, strife and a sense that justice and judgment are perverted.  Places like Darfur, Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan conjure up immediate dark images of suffering against the backdrop of a world consuming itself in selfishness. 
Who wouldn’t want to question God about the fairness of conditions like these?
·        For one, people who are selfishly responsible for the conditions
·        For another, people who have given-up on trusting God
Habakkuk hadn’t given-up on God.  Like Job, Habakkuk was concerned and anxious that God would act to change things; not just for Habakkuk, personally, but for his nation, Israel.  Habakkuk also didn’t consider for one minute turning anywhere else but to God for his answers.  That’s the meaning of the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.  True faith in God understands we are totally dependent on him – and we put him first!
And what was God’s answer?  God said, you can write this down, Habakkuk; write it in big block letters so even a messenger on the fly passing by can pick it up clearly.  Set it in stone, Habakkuk; let everyone know these three things:
·        The Kingdom will come
·        The arrogant proud won’t be happy when it happens
·        Those who are on my side will live dependent on me; they won’t look for help in anything or anybody else.

A Stranger Way to Treat Our Own Future

America is on the same course if we continue to put aside our faith, our dependency on God.
What’s stranger about us today is that we don’t seem concerned enough about what’s coming to turn back to God. 

May He forgive us and help us!

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