Habakkuk’s Song, Pt. III

I stand in awe, O LORD, of Your deeds. Revive them in these years; make them known in these years….” Habakkuk 3:2

REMAIN

            Miracles work against the normal flow of nature.  God has indeed set the world on a patterned course, but at His design, he suspends this normal course and does something that goes against our understanding of who or what is in charge of this life.  

            God split the rock and rivers of life-giving water spewed forth into the dry desert. A multitude was refreshed, and they knew Who was God.  

            God raised the mighty waters up and the people of God went through on dry land, not just once (the Red Sea) but again (the Jordan River).  Enemies came up out of Egypt behind them and enemies lay ahead of them as they entered the Promised land.  Struggle was Jacob’s name, but for Israel, there was God’s holy deliverance.  

            As they went to war over the years in Canaan, God turned a river to appear as blood, made the earth stand still, and caused His wind to signal in the treetops that He had already gone before them and all they needed to do was tie up what God had already completed.  God defeated Sennacharib’s armies in a Holy Spirit encounter and that deliverance was so God-stamped that we still remember it in poetry today.  

            The Sovereignty of God calls us to obedience. God’s miracles lift our heads to see Him not only as just and merciful, but Sovereign.  God’s Sovereignty means something.  It means that the God we have seen is mighty. He is tender in His mercies for those who will repent. He is the same God today and tomorrow as He has been in our past.  He is Changeless in a sea of change about us. This draws from us yet another proper response:  our obedience, which is what it means to “remain” in Christ through faith (John 15:4).

            We are human and our cycles of falling to weakness and error are part of the reality of this life. And yet because of God’s Promise by faith, God’s people are called to HOPE.  

            Hope behaves in a way that enacts the Promise as if it were already fulfilled.  For the people of Judah, they would turn to God and begin to worship Him alone in faith that their full redemption was coming.  Obedience is the natural response of our faith, not its cause.

            This put the coming terrors in proper perspective.  They would not be destroyed, but would be the vessels for God’s Greater Plan–the Messiah of the world.  Their dimmed light would not be utterly snuffed out, but would shine ever brighter in the present world of sin and darkness.  God would fulfill all that He had promised: to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and Solomon and the prophets after them.  

            This meant that they would not just exist through the coming trials, they would live and thrive. Grieved and suffering though they would surely be, they would be flares of God’s Promises lighting up the darkness with the hope that is in them (1 Peter 3:15).  They would actually have joy (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

            How is my own life?  

  • Do I live as though God’s promises are true?  Or do I worry and hide?
  • Do I hedge back and think that my sin is too great, that my weakness is too repetitive for God to forgive and raise me to victory over it?  
  • Do I believe that He is coming again and that what I do after forgiveness matters very greatly to Him?  
  • Do I believe that I have a responsibility to others to share His message, as He has commanded us to do so that the WHOLE WORLD may be saved as well?  

            Habakkuk’s song is for me today.  There is a coming judgment of all sin, from which no man shall escape but through belief in the saving death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.  When I forget this, I live differently than when I remember it.

            In this life, until then, there is a principle that is rock-solid: “Behold your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).  There is no sin that will remain uncovered (Luke 8:17; Proverbs 10:9).  Sin begets consequences now in this life, and for eternity.  This is a serious matter and there is no escaping its reality. It is sobering for the believer in Christ as well as for the unbeliever, for though we escape the Great Judgment, our neighbors near and far stand in jeopardy of missing God’s mercy! It is sobering for me as I fail in this life, that if I covet my pride and fail to come to the Lord in confession and repentance, I will stumble another as well as myself. I accumulate and assimilate the ideologies of this world as easily as dust settles daily in my home. I need to remember.

            Yet there is hope! God has opened a Door to life [1], both in this earthly life and in the life to come after physical death.  

  • In Jesus, our Door [1], God gives joy for sadness, honor for shame, hope for despair. 
  • Because of Jesus, God creates beauty from the ashes of our failures.  
  • Even while I am in chastisement for my sin, whatever that sin and no matter how grievous that sin is to others or to God, I can know that my repentance will be accepted because of Christ.
  • I am loved and accepted and reshaped into a vessel for His glory.  
  • I can know that God can, does, and will continue to use me to do His good work.
  • In Jesus Christ, I am redeemed from the ash heap. 
  •  That is good news!  

Join me tomorrow as we celebrate our faith with Habakkuk.

© June 2019 by www.ReadPsalm119.com. 
This is part of a series of reflections on the book of Habakkuk.  See Habakkuk's Lament (Pt1).  "Habakkuk's Song" will continue with "Habakkuk's Song of Faith" as a pre-scheduled post this week.  This will end the formal series on the book of Habakkuk. 

FOOTNOTES

[1] See “The Door of the Sheep” by Ligonier Ministries. “[Jesus said] I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved …” (John 10:9a; article based on v.1-10).

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