Look and Consider
“Look at the proud one,” God says. In the second chapter of Habakkuk’s record, God calls Habakkuk to see the situation through His own lenses. God describes the pride of man in his rebellion against God. In this deeper sense, “the Chaldean” is a corporate manifestation of the evil one at root of all sin.
What does God say about pride? How does God describe the prideful so that we can know his end in truth, and of effect of pride in our own lives when we succumb to its lure?
- His soul is not upright; He is rotten to the core (v4).
- He revels in his immediate blessings of wealth and wine now, but it will turn on him (v5a)
- His arrogance is never at rest, nor is his soul (v5b); just as the post-Flood people tried to build a fortress for themselves against the future, they futilely attempt to provide rest for themselves out of their own unrest!
- His greed is never satisfied (like Death itself!) (v5c)
- He craves to own that which is not his; He craves the worship of all men (v5d). He seeks to rob God and own man in slavery to himself.
But before we separate ourselves from this picture, can we not divine some truths here for ourselves?
I daily harbor pride in my heart. If I don’t halt its progress through confession and repentence and acceptance of forgiveness, I begin steadily to rot at the core.
- My soul is not upright, it is scattered here and there with confusion.
- I become satisfied with my blessings instead of using my blessings as a conduit of God’s blessings to others.
- I get selfish and restrictive in heart.
- And in so being, I become restless and begin to build defenses about myself to protect myself from chastisement or censure.
- I become greedy for that which makes me feel better.
- I become addicted to comfort in whatever way I can find it, because I am so uncomfortable otherwise.
- I begin to crave what is not mine to possess.
- I am not satisfied with my own blessings, I long for others’.
- I claim the honor of my life for myself.
- I become individualistic, saying, “I can do it myself. I don’t need anyone else’s help.” And that includes God.
- Worse yet, I begin to say, “Who is God that He should rule over me? There is no God, but me.”
Habakkuk’s vision is God’s stringent call to each of us to turn from evil and pursue God with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and body. We are called to give God the holiness due His Name.
What if we replace all the “I’s” in that previous list by setting God on His throne in life today?
- My soul finds its rest in You, O God. I confess that often the reason I can’t hear from you is because I’m not listening only to you.
- Thank you for your blessings, Heavenly Father. Show me how I can bless someone today with the gifts You have given me of skill and resources. They are Yours, not mine, to give.
- Lord, widen my tent that I can draw others in and welcome them in Your Name.
- I make myself vulnerable to You, my Father who love me so. Have Your way in my heart. Open me to the love You have for others around me, so that I can love them and be loved by them.
- Great Physician, in my pain and suffering, heal me. There is no healing without Your touch of love, even though the cure may hurt temporarily more. Thank you that you use others to work your will in my life and I accept these in Your Name, yet I give myself to You alone as my sole healer.
- Thank you for your boundaries of love that give in due season and restrict in compassionate wisdom. I accept your boundaries, Lord, and do not strive or strain for what others have or are able to do that I can not. Bless them, Lord, and let us rejoice together in Your provision for all of us.
- I need Your help, Lord, for I am weak, sinful, and unskilled. I can not do life on my own. Help me, Lord!
- I need others, Lord. Bring to me emissaries of Your grace and counsel so that I can, in turn, give the same wisdom and grace to others in need. Give me a humble and grateful heart to accept Your counsel through them. Keep me soft and pliable like fine clay for the Potter’s use.
- I give you all the honor and glory of all life, Sovereign Creator and Lord. I will honor you with all that I am and all that I have. You alone deserve all praise!
© May 2019 by www.ReadPsalm119.com. This is part of a series of reflections on the book of Habakkuk. See Habakkuk's Lament (Pt1).
One thought on “Habakkuk’s Lens”
I revised the previous post (Habakkuk’s Tower), temporarily removing some parts and abbreviating a bit of its cumbersome length. I apologize for the change, but more so for the cumbersome length! Those bits will be replaced in upcoming posts in this series on Habakkuk. I had hoped to have it in three parts, but upon further study, I find more to reflect upon one “frame” at a time and I want them to go in order as much as possible. The good news is still coming!
I write these posts for my own purposes. I want to remember. But I also hope as I write to you, the prospective reader, that we can join together in thinking through God’s Word. By His Word we see ourselves and we see our world in all truth and reality. In a world of “fake news”, God’s Word is the real stuff. It cuts through divisive opinions and passionate diatribes we hear today to reveal, not just “the other guy,” but ourselves primarily. And that’s really encouraging. God is hope.
Please do comment and let me know your thoughts as you consider Habakkuk with me.