[Originally posted by episcopos1 on 9 December 2015]
“In Wrath Remember Mercy”
Habakkuk’s three chapter lament joins with the other prophetic activity around the period of the end of the 600s BC and the early part of the 500s BC: Zephaniah, Nahum, and Jeremiah. Babylon is appearing as God’s instrument of punishment.
This chapter is a remarkable psalm. Verses 1-2 are a prayer that God will renew his ancient work and show mercy to his faithless people. Verses 3-15 weave together elements from the history of God’s victories on behalf of his people and verses 16-19 record the prophet’s resolve to wait on God and trust him who his Saviour and the Saviour of his people.
This chapter has a lesson for us who await the day when God will remove all evil and gather his people to himself.
1 Corinthians 16
“Let All You Do Be Done In Love” – “Maranatha”
Here is an insight into the busy schedule of an enthusiastic servant of the Gospel. In the cause of unity and of the acceptance by the Jerusalem Church of the Gentile Churches of Asia Paul would collect and carry material help to the poor brethren in Jerusalem. Word and works went together. There is active ministry in Ephesus which he finds hard to leave. However, at the front of his mind is his relationship with the church in Corinth and he hasten to reply to the issues raised in a letter brought to him in Ephesus by Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achaicus. This was in response to a letter he had written to them (5:9) which we longer possess.
The life of the church in any place is rarely long without some sort of challenge. Loving concern for unity is a necessary ingredient.
We also get an insight into others workers like Timothy and Apollos as well the people who brought the Corinthian’s letter to Paul across the Aegean Sea. Here to, now in Ephesus, are Aquila and Prisca (Priscilla) in whose house there Christians were meeting. They will later be in Rome when Paul writes his letter to the church in that city from Corinth. All these in the own way served the cause of Christ.
God uses all sorts of people to serve his purposes both then and now. A grateful heart is the one needed requirement. The opportunities will soon present themselves.
Verse 13 is to be taken to heart: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
To features represent the life of the churches; the holy kiss – fellowship, and Maranatha (a phrase carried over from Aramaic) – “come Lord come” – the hope we await.