Saturday, February 11, 2012

Habakkuk 1:12-17

12 - Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, You have appointed them for judgement; O Rock, You have marked them for correction.

13 - You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?

14 - Why do You make men like fish of the sea, like creeping things that have no ruler over them?

15 - The take up all of them witha hook, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad.

16 - Therefore they sacrifice to their net, and burn incense to their dragnet; because by them their share is sumptuous and their food plentiful.

17 - Shall they therefore empty their net, and continue to slay nations without pity?

Habakkuk didn't understand God's answer. I don't blame him. He asks God why He doesn't do anything about the evil that Israel is doing in His name and He answers saying that He will bring a more wicked nation to take them captive. Habakkuk doesn't get it, and I wouldn't either if I didn't have the perspective of the cross. The answer to his question is that God wants to show people their sin so they can hate it and ask for forgiveness, but that's not the point I wish to bring out tonight.

We don't always know what God is doing and why He is doing it. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts."We need to trust that God is doing the right thing even if we don't understand. Habakkuk looked at the situation and nothing made sense. He couldn't understand how a God who hates sin would use a more sinful country to correct His children. I personally don't understand how God puts up with me and has patience enough to love on me when I tell Him that I won't sin anymore... and then I do. But just because I don't understand His patience with me doesn't mean I want Him to stop having it. I welcome this mystery in my life. I'm not sure if it is a good idea to question God in this way. I fear God so I have a hard time asking Him "why." But Habakkuk is a brave man and asks, and God answers gently. Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."Maybe that means I'm allowed to ask God "why."It doesn't mean I fear Him less, but I need to check my motive. I can ask "why" for two reasons. I can ask to understand and learn or I can ask to challenge and negotiate. The first option is good, but the second is bad. I don't want to challenge the authority of God. I don't want to try and negotiate His will. I know that His will is better for me than my own, even if I don't understand it. I know His decisions in my life are right, even if I think it's not the best idea. He has a better vantage point than I do. He can see everything. It's like me walking on a trail I've never been on, trying to choose my path. And God is there and He knows the area inside and out and He has a map. I would trust Him, no matter what the trailheads looked like, wouldn't I? Because He would know what's around every corner. But it's the same in life and I try to make my own way sometimes. I tell Him that this way looks good and go without asking what He thinks I should do. But I need to listen.

I'm still not sure when I can ask God "why" when something happens that I don't like. I'm not always too clear on my motives. I think if He told me why, I might foolishly try to argue. Instead, I just ask Him what lesson can I learn from this. It seems a safer question in my mind.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I can't wait to find out what happens in Habakuk 2:2! -A