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Category Archives: Habakkuk

Habakkuk 3:12

In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations.
Habakkuk 3:12

Dear God, this is an Old Testament passage. In light of the new covenant, what makes you angry now, and how do you handle that anger? I’ll start out by saying that I doubt I’ll be able to work through this deep theological issue this morning and in this format, but it’s an interesting question.

I guess I can try to think about what angered you and Jesus in the New Testament.

  • Hypocrisy among your believers — This is the first thing that came mind as I thought about Jesus. The hypocrisy of the Pharisees seemed to really anger him.
  • Disrespecting you for selfish gain — I’m thinking about Jesus clearing the Temple during Passover on this one. There were plenty of people who disrespected you, but to do it so brazenly for profit really angered him.
  • People who cause others to stumble (Luke 17:1-2).
  • Stubborn, unrepentant sinners who are confronted (Luke 17:3-4).
  • Christians who intentionally mislead people into thinking they are doing holier things than they really are (Acts 5:1-11).
  • Rejecting others who need our charity (Matthew 25:31-40).

Is there a theme in all of these things? If there is, it’s selfishness and deception among your believers.

So what is your response to these things now? Frankly, I don’t think I can be sure of the answer to that. Is it separation from you in eternity? I don’t know? Do you remove a certain level of protection from us to bring us to repentance? I don’t know. Do you actively punish us? I don’t know (although I tend to follow the school of thought that you might remove some protection before you actively punish). And, ultimately, I suppose my understanding of your response isn’t nearly as important as my understanding of what makes you angry in the first place. What grieves you.

Father, help me to not grieve you. Help me to not anger you. I’m sorry for my selfishness. I’m sorry that I still doubt you. I’m sorry that I still indulge my own vanity and actively cultivate a less than genuine image for others to see. I’m sorry I don’t pursue relationships with the poor and downtrodden. I hope, I hope, I hope that when you look at me you don’t see someone who is constantly grieving you because you don’t deserve that from me or any of us. You are a good and wonderful God and I am very grateful for your love.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2020 in Acts, Habakkuk, Luke, Matthew

 

Yet I Will Rejoice — Habakkuk 3:17-19

The above image is from Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups by Ned Bustard. The image was created by Ned Bustard and is called “Habakkuk 3:17-19.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.

Dear God, I was flipping through the Revealed book this morning and this image struck me. It was the broken piggy bank that got my attention. My first thought head, Oh, I’ll bet there’s a story in this.

Then I read the passage. Once again, this seems to go with the theme of my prayers to you lately about how we just don’t know what the future holds, and even though my circumstances might look bad to me my worship of you will remain.

In this case, Habakkuk is praying and he is worshipping. This whole chapter is actually a prayer to you. These last three verses bring it all together. Basically, even if everything around me is falling apart, I will rejoice in you. I will take joy in you because you are God and the God of my salvation. You are my strength and my security, even if my earthly security seems in doubt.

As for this image, here are a few things I notice. First, I doubt Habakkuk had a piggy bank, so this is given to me to make a point that I get as a 21st-century American. Habakkuk would have looked at this image and not understood the shattered pig, but I get what Bustard is communicating to me here. My money is gone. My earthly security is gone. The last of my back-up plan is gone. I didn’t just take money out of the bank. I irrevocably broke the piggy bank as a last resort. Now it’s all gone. And yet, Habakkuk is worshipping. His arms could be up in despair, but the key is in the expression on the face that Bustard gave Habakkuk here. He is smiling (I think) and his eyes are looking at heaven. He has the halo around his head to signify that he is a holy man/saint/prophet.

And then there are the words that Bustard chose to you: Righteous//Shall Live By//His Faith. This is a call back to Habakkuk 2:4 when he says, “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.” By including part of this passage in the image, I think Bustard is also contrasting this image with the actions of the proud. A proud person would be sitting in front of a broken piggy bank with their head down in despair, weeping. But Habakkuk is advocating that the righteous person will live by his/her faith. When the piggy bank is broken and all of the earthly resources are exhausted, the righteous person will be found worshipping you.

Father, there have been several times over the last year when I’ve turned to you in faith. There were some instances when I hand’t even gotten around to bringing the need to you yet, and you were providing anyway. But there have also been times when I was at the end of my resources and I was discouraged and depressed. There have been times when I didn’t live by my faith and worship you. Thank you for this image by Ned Bustard. Thank you for reminding me this morning that you are sovereign and my hope. Thank you for reminding me that there is more to my life than what I see with my eyes and can process with my brain. There is faith, and when I live by that then I don’t need to understand what is happening around me. I just need to worship you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 

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