Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17 - Why Are You Silent?

Today's Reading: 
Habakkuk 1:1-3:19 
Mark 9:1-29 
Proverbs 27:5-14
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Focus Verses:

Habakkuk 1:12b-13 
12b O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. 13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

Like Jeremiah, Habakkuk prophesied during the final years of Judah, before the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 597 B.C. While Habakkuk recognized Israel's unfaithfulness to God, he complained and questioned why God would use the Babylonians to deliver judgment when they were more wicked than Israel.

God revealed to Habakkuk that though he was using the Babylonians as an instrument of judgment, their bloodshed and pride would come crashing back upon them. They too would experience judgment.

Habakkuk ended his prophecy with an expression of his faith in God's justice and promise of restoration. He said, "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior" (3:17-18).

Response and Action:
Being used by God and being caused by God are two different things. Though God may be using something to accomplish his purpose, I should not assume that God loves or approves of that something. God's power to accomplish his purposes is so great, he can use things people have intended for evil and turn them to accomplish good. I will put my trust in God. I will trust him to be working for good, even when my circumstances are painful and hard to understand.

O God, you are the God of my salvation. Give me a heart that trusts in your unfailing love and rejoices in the hope of your deliverance. Strengthen my heart with the confidence that you will eventually put all things to right. Remind me that righteousness will ultimately win the day, though present trials and circumstances make this hard to believe. I pray in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Romans 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Evil And the Justice of God
by N.T. Wright

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