Tuesday, 24 November 2020
“O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years!…In wrath remember mercy.”– Habakkuk 3:2
The Book of Habakkuk is just as relevant today as it was, when written. The nation of Judah was in a state of corruption having lost the awareness of God’s norms and at the brink of being invaded by the Babylonians. Habakkuk the prophet was distressed at the state of affairs of his nation and was looking up to the Just GOD who would set things right. He is like any godly man living in our times looking around him seeing the distress/corruption in the world around him and waiting for GOD to put things right!
Our reading is a prayer of faith by Habakkuk who looks to the ALMIGHTY God in whose power he exults knowing that He can deliver the nation of Judah and bring justice to their invaders! Judah was suffering at the hands of their enemies, having walked away from God. Yet Habakkuk prayed for his people: “O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years!... In wrath remember mercy.” (Vs.2) He knew that the God of mercy though punished His people for their waywardness would remember His covenant and would restore them. Hence his plea for God’s mercy in the midst of His judgment!
The key message in Habakkuk familiar to many is “the just shall live by faith!” (Habk. 2:4) which is quoted by Paul in Romans 1:17 relating it to salvation! Those who receive the gospel of Christ through faith in Him is made right with God and lives a life of faith until he meets Him face to face! “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 5:1).
The very next verses in Romans 1 talk about the wrath of God: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.” (Rom1:18&19). What is the wrath talked about here? God has clearly revealed Himself to all mankind who He is and how to get connected to Him. Yet many turn from Him in ungodly and unrighteous ways spurning the way God has given to be made right with Him— that is, accepting Christ and His work on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin! Hence the wrath of God is on all who reject His way!
It is foolish to think that God will let the ungodly get by unchecked! There is a DAY God will call into account each person: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…” (Heb.9:27). If a person in his/her lifetime does not get right with God, he/she has to face the wrath of God at the end! The Bible warns us: “Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. …Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” (Heb. 3:12, 13&15)
While the great mercy of GOD is open to all in the world before the Day of Judgment, would you respond to His kindness in offering you the free gift of salvation through His Son so that you can escape His wrath when He will judge the world with righteousness? Today you have one more opportunity because “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3: 22). Receive His Mercy not His wrath!
A WORD TO HEED: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
*references: The Just Shall Live by Faith- John Piper; An Introduction to the Book of Habakkuk- David Malick ~Bible.org