22 October 2009

Sovereignty of God in Habakkuk's Life


The word sovereign means chief or highest; supreme in power; superior in position to all others. God is Spirit, self-existent, immutable, changeless, infinite, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and holy. When we become God’s children, we tend to play God and look at the sin and all the terrible things in everyone around us especially in our Christian brothers and sisters. We tend to always ask the question, ‘Why doesn’t the Lord do anything to His disobedient people?’ or, ‘Why doesn’t He see what his people are doing in the world that He created?’ The answer for that is not found in human wisdom for the heart is terribly wicked. (Jer 17:9) (Job 25:6) (Ps 118:8)
Charles H. Spurgeon says “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength”. That statement is so true; I myself have the tendency to do just that. I worry and judge the earth and say “God do you see what your people are doing? Hurry up and do something about it!” We can learn a great deal from the prophetic book of Habakkuk. We are given insight into what he was going through and how he dealt with his burden (Hab 1:1-4) when the people that God chose to receive the promised land (Gen 12:1-3) (Deut 7:6-7) (Ex 19:5) were living a wicked and disobedient life.
When Christians get to the point in their Christian walk of not understanding circumstances and wanting answers, there is only one Person to whom we can turn. He is the One who is capable of answering any question we might have: He is God the creator of the heavens and the earth, (Gen 1:1) (Ps 19:4) (Is 42:5) (Rev 4:11) the Holy and perfect deity of the triune God. He holds the foundations of the earth in his hand and is the ruler of all things. We as Christians tend to forget that we are here for His good pleasure not the other way around. Often, in difficult times or when we want something we have the tendency to want results NOW! We have the opinion that our ideas or plans are so much better than the sovereign Lord, because we don’t want to wait on God’s timing. When we fall this way, scripture instructs us to go to Him in prayer. (Is 55:6) (Phil 4:6) (Ps 5:2)
This is exactly what Habakkuk did. He took the burden he had for the people and his knowledge of the terrible events that were going to take place in Judah, to the Holy One (Hab 1:12). As Habakkuk waited in the watch tower (Hab 2:1) to see the results of God’s righteousness, he was reminded that sin in the eyes of the Lord will not go unpunished. The Lord sees all sin as an abomination and He will judge in His timing not ours. (Deut 9:7) (Job 37:13) (Eccl 3:17)
Even through all His divine righteous judgment of sin, we are still reminded of God’s mercy and the grace that He bestows upon all people who will call on the name of the Lord Jehovah. Habakkuk is reminded in chapter two in verse four that “...the just shall live by his faith”. It is a great comfort to me and for all other believers around the world to know that we have a God who will not only judge each person perfectly, but He will show unlimited grace to the children who look to Christ Crucified as Saviour.
Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I don’t think before I act or speak, and that usually gets me into a lot of trouble. When that happens, my beautiful wife will say to me “You put your foot in your mouth again, didn’t you, Peter?” Oh how that rings such truth! I’m always wanting to be that self-righteous, prideful Christian (Hab 2:5) (Prov 30:12) (Luke 11:39-44) (Is 64:6) (Rom 10:3) who wants to execute God’s wrath and condemnation on fellow believers. By doing this, I’m only being a disobedient servant (Titus 1:16) (Eph 2:2) and not being the servant who is supposed to show others grace, mercy and especially love. (Rom 15:2) (Col 3:16) (Pro 11:30) (Rom 14:1) In order to accomplish this, I need to understand my error and remind myself that through prayer (Matt 7:7) (Mark 11:25) and walking by faith, I will be led to knowledge. Habakkuk also had to learn to be patient, obedient and to faithfully wait on God to do His sovereign work. Which He had planned to happen, In His own time!
Jonathan Edwards said “A true love for God must begin with a delight in his holiness, and not with a delight in any attribute: for no other attribute is truly without this”. What an amazing God we serve! I am in awe every day that our God could forgive me of all my wicked sin. It is this sin that only brought pain to the One who would suffer the punishment for the whole world: Christ Jesus. He is the One who loved me first before I loved him. (1 Pet 2:25) (John 10:11-15) (Rom 3:25)
All things that God chooses to put in your path are there for you to learn something of His great will for you. Sometimes he will also use circumstances that are difficult when He wants to chasten you back to the place where you were found: broken and in need of His grace. (Ps 86:15) (Heb 12:6) (Is 26:16) (Job 5:17) The majesty of God is so perfect and He knows exactly what He is doing, (Deut 32:4) (Ps 29:3-5) (Job 26:14) which is why we need to walk by faith and trust that God’s plan is always perfect even when we don’t understand it. This is why I learned so much from the little book of Habakkuk; I was able to see a picture of his problem and how the Lord used that situation to show him what to do. Then I could see Habakkuk being transformed and praising God (Hab 3:3-6) for all His mercy and marvellous grace that he shows his chosen children of Israel. John Piper says “The climax of God’s happiness is the delight He takes in the echoes of His excellence in the praises of His people”. We need to look at the LORD Jehovah with reverence and praise (Prov 9:10) (Ps 96:6) (Jude 1:25) (Rev 5:12) for He is the Ruler of the universe and He honors a humble servant who lives with obedience and faithful praise to Him the “God of this World”. He had made a covenant promise with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3) and then God promised a Son who would come and bear the sins for all mankind (Isa 7:14; 53:1-12) (Zech 9:9). He is truthful (Rom 8:28-29) in everything He said He was going to do. The scripture assures us of this because the Bible is the inspired Word of God. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
Remember when you get to the point of exasperation and doubt that you will never fully understand what God is doing. Submit in obedience to Him and go to Him through prayer because He holds all the answers. That’s why I am the created and He is the Sovereign Creator of the universe.

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