[Originally posted by Karen Dixon on 8 December 2015]
Today’s Readings: Habakkuk 2:2-20 & 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Ever overheard a conversion of significant proportion; a conversation that has such major ramifications it will impact a nation? Can’t say that I have …. and not sure I ever want to either!!!
Reading Habakkuk is like listening in on a very significant private one-on-one conversation but interestingly, what we read in Habakkuk is not so much about a revelation of prophesy to be shared with God’s people as in other prophetic books, but rather, it’s more about eves dropping in on a very frank and honest conversation between a prophet who because of his security in relationship, is prepared to ask BOLD questions of his God.
And Habakkuk for us, highlights that we are no different today than those who have gone before us; an honest reflection of a mirror to the soul of the struggle that is a cry from the heart; yes, a deep and authentic questioning of God of what we see continuing to happen around us today …
God, how can such evil happen in our world?
God, why do you allow such godless people to rule nations, when you God, are the ruler of ALL nations?
And the lesson for us … if we are honest and candid in out questions, God will answer our genuine plea.
It’s easy to skim across the passages of the Lord’s answer, but there is significance in his opening comment.
“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” Hab 2:2
For Habakkuk, the medium (tablets) were the norm for the day, but what it meant was that God’s response would be LASTING. In our disposable world; in a world where technology allows things to be so easily replaced, for Habakkuk, this was about recording something that would firstly take time to record (just imagine what it took to carve out the tablet of stone) and secondly, it would be a lasting reminder that others would ‘run with’.
As God goes on to remind Habakkuk of all the ‘woes’ that will unfold; the knowledge of the coming judgement of the wicked … suddenly there is an oasis in the midst of the gloom …
‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’ Vs14
And then in verse 20 …. ‘But the Lord IS in his holy temple; let ALL the earth be silent before him’.
If we fast forward to Corinthians, how profound the words of Paul. Paul’s words that would have spoken volumes if they could have been spoken to Habakkuk at his time in history; words that at a time when he dialogued with God, would have encouraged him to remain faithful to the call on his life. In the same way Paul encouraged the Christians in Corinth; in the same way we can be encouraged; in the same way Habakkuk would have been encouraged …
‘Therefore my dear brother(s) – and sisters – stand firm. (Habakkuk, stay true to the call God has on your life)
Let NOTHING (and I mean nothing) move you. ALWAYS give yourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord, BECAUSE you KNOW that your labour in the Lord is NOT in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Habukkuk, dear brother in Christ, thank you for your honesty and faithfulness. Thank you for the legacy you have left us. Thank you that we know of life we hold to because of Jesus …
‘But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57
On the almost eve of Christmas … on the eve as we celebrate the birth of God’s incredible plan of salvation of mankind, how good to be reminded of this victory!
May you, like me, take time to stop … enjoy … rejoice … and remember that moment when you discovered this truth and promise.
May we never stop being amazed at God’s response to Habakkuk …
‘ … I am about to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.’ Hab 1:5