Saturday, July 27, 2013

TIME TO BE SILENT AND LISTEN TO GOD, Habakkuk 2:20

18"What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, [Or] an image, a teacher of falsehood? For [its] maker trusts in his [own] handiwork When he fashions speechless idols. 19"Woe to him who says to a [piece of] wood, Awake!' To a mute stone, 'Arise!' [And] that is [your] teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it. 20"But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him." - Hab 2:18-20
There is a contrast here between the frantic, foolish, and vulgar actions of idol worshipers and the way we approach our Holy God. People of faith should be silent before the Lord because He's in His holy temple. We should bow to God and show Him reverence. Most Christians would agree that's it's idiotic to worship a block of wood, an animal, or anything of the earth. But I don't think we always show the proper homage we should when treading on this earth. We see what the idol worshipers are doing and we think there's a large degree of insanity in it. While acknowledging this as Christians is there a degree of insanity that we practice by trusting in our works, in all of the pointless endeavors, and in allowing too much time to pass before we reverently meditate on His Word and pray before His throne of grace?

The people of Judah and the Babylonian were guilty of not being "silent before Him." The wickedness in Judah which the prophet saw was evidence of a people who gave little thought to God. Ignoring the law means ignoring God, Hab 1:4. The violence and wickedness could not be conscientiously done by those who practice being "silent before Him." And the Babylonians, God's instrument for justice, didn't seek the wise counsel of God. Their "justice and authority originate with themselves" and they worship their own strength, Hab 1:7,11. This is astonishing to a spiritual person like Habakkuk who has reverent fear for Almighty God. Yet this kind of faithless and arrogant approach to living is all too common in the world.

Habakkuk had eyes and spiritual insight to see what was happening around him by sinful people, but he also had the spiritual keenness to know when to shut his mouth and accept God's guidance. After asking God how He could use the wicked to punish "the more righteous" (see Hab 1:12,13), he followed with, "I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved", Hab 2:1. And after God explained His ways to Habakkuk, the prophet says,

"16 I heard and my inward parts trembled, at the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, and in my place I tremble.Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, for the people to arise who will invade us", and continuing he says, "17Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be not fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, Though the flocks should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places." Hab. 3:16-19
Habakkuk had faith to trust in the judgment of God. He sought God and listened to His instruction. He trusted that God was right. Our world today isn't any better than it was in when the prophet spoke. There is wickedness and arrogance. Men trust in their strength and they establish their own rules of morality. Is this not insane? Today, did you stop to pray to God and to seek His guidance? Today do you accept His Truth even at the expense of friends and family? Do we rest in the knowledge that God is right in all His ways? Let's be sure that we leave room in our day for holiness in the presence of God. ______________________ Are we listening to God when we approve of the redefinition of marriage? Are we listening to God when we approve of every marriage when clearly some marriages are unscriptural? Are we listening to God when we vote for the one that gives us free college when we know he also will grant us abortion on demand? Are we listening to God when we ignore the responsibility of bringing our children to Him? Are we listening to God when we turn worship into entertainment? Are we listening to God when we accept the godless premise that the world and universe is billions and billions of years old? Are we listening to God or are we listening to men?

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