Year 2 Day 142
Read — Habakkuk 2:2-5
Message Alan Burke
“First posted Year 1 Day 73 - 2 June 20”
You look around at the world, and you think to yourself what is going on, Covid-19 has left us reeling. Covid-19 though is only a symptom of a much greater problem and that is, that this world is a fallen world and there is not one part of it that is unaffected. Before there was Covid-19 the world was still fallen, we were still sinners and many a time we wondered what was going on, because of people who living as they saw fit without fear of the consequences, sin was and is celebrated and its consequences prevail throughout this land and this world. For those who believe we have been left wondering what is going on, how has a Holy God who hates sin seem to allow evil to continue unchecked.
Well today we look to the book of Habakkuk, as the prophet Habakkuk cried out to the Lord wanting to know what was going on, he was left wandering how a Holy God who hates sin seemed to allow evil to go unchecked. His exasperated cry of ‘O Lord, how long shall I call for help but you do not listen?’ (1:2) says it all. Habakkuk persisted in prayer because he believed in God and couldn’t understand why the Lord had remind silent to his cries. The crux of the problem was that God’s people were living as they saw fit, without fear of the consequences, sin was celebrated and the righteous believers suffered because of it, sin and its consequences prevailed throughout the country.
In the response of the Lord (1:5-11) what is striking is that in no way does the Lord dispute the analysis of Habakkuk, but the Lord’s prognosis is grave, for what they need is not the salvation that Habakkuk so longed for (1:2), rather it was His judgement for their sin (1:5-6). If God’s people would not fear him, then they would indeed fear the Babylonians (1:7-11). The verdict was in and as Habakkuk responds, it is clear that he had confident trust in the character of God (1:12-13), but he wants to know how could the Holy God use such a people as the Babylonians (1:14-17), yet he waits on the Lord (2:1). As the Lord responds once more, he wants his people to know that he is at work, so Habakkuk is write down the revelation, to make it clear so that it could not be forgotten or ignored (2:2). The judgment of God was coming, and his people needed to have confident trust in their Lord, for he was very much at work in the midst of it all (2:3), and for the righteous who were his in faith, they needed to look to God for ‘the righteous will live by his faith’. (2:4). The righteous will live by his faith and not loose trust in the LORD God.
The ‘righteous living by faith’ is a motif that is repeated throughout the scriptures, In the letter of Hebrews these words, that the righteous would live by faith are applied to all of those who steadfastly looked to the Lord. For God’s people throughout every age the righteous will live by his faith. The believing community in Habakkuk’s day as well as for us, it is is by grace we have been saved though faith… not by works so that no one can boast (Eph 2:8-9). There is nothing that we can do to earn it, there is nothing that we can do to deserve it but God in his grace freely gives it.
We may look around and wonder what is going on, wonder what God is doing in the midst of Covid-19 or how he seems to tolerate the sin of our society, but for the people of God we are to live by faith. We just like Habakkuk are living between times, waiting the Lord’s judgement to come because of sin and when Christ returns to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim 4:1), then we will either be judged righteous by faith or we will be judged with the wicked and face the wrath of God on the unrighteous (Rom 1:18). My hope and prayer is that if you don’t know the Saviour then today you would turn to him and flee the judgement that comes. And if you do, then take confidence that the Lord is at work in the midst of that we face, he is at work in us and through us and at work in Covid-19.
Q31 What is effectual calling?
Effectual calling is the work of God’ s Spirit, (2 Tim. 1:9, 2 Thess. 2:13–14) whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, (Acts 2:37) enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, (Acts 26:18) and renewing our wills, (Ezek. 36:26–27) he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel. (John 6:44–45, Phil. 2:13)