Wednesday, August 02, 2006

MARK MY WORDS (Babylonians, Friends or Foes?)

In the Book of Daniel,
King Belshazzar of the Babylonians received a message concerning the abrupt end to his kingdom and reign because of his unrighteousness. The experience is permantly recorded in Daniel chapter 5.
Of course, you knew this was going to happen because you read the book of Habakkuk.
God saw the injustice of the Babylonians, and was not willing to tolerate it.
Let's review:
There were six things that Habakkuk saw that made him question God.
God answers by saying that he would send the cruel Babylonians to punish the Israelites. The fall of Jerusalem, and divine judgement against the nation can be read in the book of 2 Kings 25. This telling history speaks a little bit of the cruelty the nation of Judah experienced at the hands of the babylonians.
Habakkuk questions God again, asking :

Hab 1:12-13 Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. (13) You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and are silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
Now God actually told ole Hab that God was going to do something unbelievable! It seems strange sometimes that God uses the unjust to punish the unjust. In the end, I believe what we see is a working together for the good of the Called (Romans 8:28, 29). God does not just let the punisher escape either. He promises destruction comes to Babylon as well in Chapter 2.

Hab 2:8-12 Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them. (9) "Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm! (10) You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life. (11) For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond. (12) "Woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity!

That's a summary of the destruction God brings to Babylon. I want to back up a few verses though, because God has something to say specifically to those of us who question Him, His timing, and His tolerance of injustice (specifically seen most recently as the bans on the public feeding of homeless people in Las Vegas and Orlando)

(Hab 2:1) I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

Hab readies himself to hear what God has to say. He knows and expects God to answer. This is important, because while God knows we have questions, He expects us to also be ready to give an answer.

(Hab 2:2) And the LORD answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

God has an answer, and He does not want there to be any delay or mistake in getting that message out. The message still rings out today, because God wants people to know what He has to say.

(Hab 2:3) For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end--it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

"wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay" This is the crux of this message for us: We are commanded to wait, God will not delay in His justice. It will happen at just the right time. Be patient! God brings His justice, even if it seems slow.

(Hab 2:4) "Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.

At B.A.S.I.C. we live lives of faith. That's how God commands us to live. Paul quotes this at least twice: once in Romans 1:17, and also in Galatians 3:11. We must live by faith, because ultimately, trusting in one's own strength is the thing that God condemns the most.

We feed the hungry in faith, knowing that God will feed us spiritually through His word!

Take care!


Interesting things I read today on Blogs:
Two Views Reviewed: "Christian Activism" - Should Christians integrate their faith in every aspect of their life, or is there some seperation that must occur? A Reformed perspective, interesting to read what other people are thinking.

Christian Carnival: A great list of things going on in the "Holy Blogosphere"

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