I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jack Bass for sharing and keeping us going through the Book of Jeremiah! Jack and I come from two perspectives, I tend to come from more life application orientation. In other words how do we apply what we are reading to today. Jack tends to come from a more observational/interpretative side. In other words what is this passage about historically.
As a result of this Jack and I make a great team! Jacks great posts have afforded me the freedom to take a little time to regroup and study Jeremiah a bit more in-depth. I am along ways from being totally done, however, I am quickly coming to love this Prophet. In Jeremiah we have a great example of one working for the Lord, doing all that God asks and from an earthly perspective having all of it not turn out so good. Jeremiah wasn’t receiving too many of the comforts or accolades that one might expect as they follow the Lord so closely and for all intents and purposes, successfully.
I am finding renewed energy in my time spent with Jeremiah! So, again, thank you Jack for being a part of the team! Great job!!!!
Now, on to Habakkuk!
“How long oh Lord,” These words were written by the prophet Habakkuk many, many years ago. As I am reading these words, they seem to have a resounding familiarity to them, “How long oh Lord, how long”. I have heard many say that what is happening in our world today are signs of the end, and that God will be returning in our life time. I can’t help but read the words in Habakkuk 1-4 and see huge similarities to our world then and now – yet it was not God’s time. If God would have decided enough, Christ would never have come, the plan of salvation would have been foiled and you and I, today, would not exist and have the opportunity to spend eternity with Christ. My heart at times aches for God to intervene in our world and to take hold of the reigns and let this all be done; but, then I remember, if God came today, many I know and love would not be a part of the throng celebrating God’s return. Many I have yet to meet would not be either. God’s desire is that none should perish and that desire should be mine as well.
Where is this leading you may ask, to be honest I am not sure. However, I think there is some warnings and words of wisdom for us. One – God’s timing is God’s timing and no matter how bad the world, He will not return until it is time. Does that mean we lay around and wait, unhappy and bemoaning our situation. NO! But, that is what we often do, isn’t it? We talk with others about how bad the world is getting; we even talk to God about how bad the world is and call it prayer. But is our whining about the worlds situation really prayer, or is it more a complaint at God. Aren’t we guilty sometimes of telling God He has messed up? “I mean come on Lord, this is your world.” “Can’t you see how bad it is?” “Why, don’t you do something about it?” We see in Habakkuk that God did do something and I am willing to bet it was most definitely not what anyone expected or was hoping. God let them be taken captive in Babylon.
Perhaps God is waiting on us, His Children, to do something. Perhaps God is waiting on us to take the “Good News” of his love to a hurting world – let’s make it more personal – take is love to our neighbors, our co-workers, our circle of influence (the grocery store where we shop, the restaurant where we eat often, the library where we check out books, the movie theater where we watch movies). The list could go on and on – for in many ways the people we come in contact with day-to-day is endless when you really stop to think about; unless you are a hermit and never leave your home. But even then you have a circle of influence – what about all those telemarketers – ever tried talking to them as friends and then sharing Christ with them. Now there is a picture isn’t it? But this would be for another time 🙂
Perhaps God is waiting on us to be His hands to a hurting world. Helping those who can’t help themselves; seeing others with the eyes of God. A lady in a senior community who lived in a modular home in Arizona died this past week; died of exposure to the elements, in this case heat, inside her home. Her air conditioner broke, the repairman could not get it fixed for a couple of days and as a result she died due to outside temperatures well beyond the 100 mark. This story simply breaks my heart. Where were the people who could have helped her? Where were we, as Christians, who could have done something about it? I can hear you say, I didn’t know about it, or she wasn’t in my neighborhood and you would be right; she wasn’t in mine either. But, there are people who are in my neighborhood. There are people who like this lady need what I can give. There are people who have needs that God can meet through me. However, I first must be willing to be God’s hands and feet, and secondly I need to ask God every day and every moment to give me eyes that see the world, that see my circle of influence, my family and all with whom I come in contact, known and yet to meet, through His eyes. If I can begin to see others through the eyes of God then I can begin to make a difference for God in my world. Then God can work through me to accomplish His desires. What are His desires? God desires that no one would go to hell! That while on earth we would reflect Christ to others. That we would surrender our will to His so that we could be His hands and feet to a hurting world; that we would be God with skin on!
The question should not be “How long oh Lord, how long before you put an end to this”, but “How long oh Lord, how much longer to I have to make a difference for You?” Our thoughts should be “Not yet Lord, there is still so much more to be done, so many more yet to reach”.
Until next time – Be encouraged there is still time!