For the last week of the Church Calendar, I thought we should take a journey with Habakkuk. I think he will help set us up for the Advent season and Isaiah's writings. Now, I do do a bit of injustice to Habakkuk, because I do not keep his writings in the poetic like form (for space reasons). Feel free to pick up a Bible and read the beauty that comes with the form. Now that we are out of the Corinthians, I am going back to the New Living Translation (NLT). Happy Thanksgiving in advance and be thankful for everything that grace has allowed you to be apart of and that you have.
Grace & Peace,
1 This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.
2 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. 3 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. 4 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.
5 The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands. 7 They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like.8 Their horses are swifter than cheetahs and fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey. 9 “On they come, all bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind, sweeping captives ahead of them like sand. 10 They scoff at kings and princes and scorn all their fortresses. They simply pile ramps of earth against their walls and capture them! 11 They sweep past like the wind and are gone. But they are deeply guilty, for their own strength is their god.”
Imagine being tired of all the things going on in the world and finally decide to pray to God about it. God, the one we go to with our prayers, responds, "Guess what? You think it is bad now, wait! It is going to get worse!" Not really comforting. Then again, we have a tendency to start a fire, throw gas on it and then ask for God to put it out once it comes close to the house. Israel is a nation of starting gas fires. We as individuals, and collectively as a group, start a lot of gas fires. Step number one: Take responsibility. Confess your part in the gas fire.
Why do we expect God to fix the problems that we cause?
Jesus, I seem to start a lot of gas fires and expect you to put them out. Give me the wisdom to avoid starting them in the first place and let me act on it. Also, can you teach me how to put out these fires? I trust that you are my answer... even when I am the problem. Amen.