Quick Word from Pastor John
Look, I know. I’m flying off the reservation. We are supposed to be continuing our “Life’s Difficult Questions” series this week, but none of the remaining questions really warranted their own individual studies. Not that they weren’t good questions, which they are, but I can answer them pretty quickly. So, in a couple of weeks, I will be doing a live stream where I answer all of the remaining questions that were asked in one fell swoop. It will be like one of those Recharges where you all put me on the spot, ask me random questions, and get answers to those questions you’ve been struggling with lately. Sound good? Cool!
Now, on to the lesson for you all this week! If you remember, last week we talked about how important it is for us to be patient when it comes to the workings of the Lord in our lives. We love to push things and typically feel like God should work in our timing and not His and when His workings don’t align themselves with how we feel they should go, we question God. From the story of Habakkuk, we learned about a man who went through these same emotions. God was going to work amongst Israel in a specific way, using a certain group of people, and he didn’t understand why (if you don’t know what plan or group of people I’m talking about, read last week’s lesson). Yet, even with the questions he had, he showed patience and waited for God to respond.
That brings us to this week. In Habakkuk 2, God does respond to Habakkuk and even though He’s God and doesn’t need to explain Himself, He does just that to His prophet. After reading this, I want you to take the time and read through Habakkuk chapter 2, but before you do, let me point out an important verse for you. In Habakkuk 2:4, God says “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” In this case, the proud who God was referring to were the Babylonians, while the Just were those who still trusted in God. In His response that follows, God lays out all of the punishment that was going to be dealt out to Babylon (the proud) as a result of their sin. So, since Babylon had not lived by faith, and instead lived how they wanted to live, they were doomed from the start. On the flip side, those who are justified through faith shall live. So Habakkuk had no need to question God since God was already at work. Though he waited and showed a little bit of patience in waiting for a response from God, he could have shown even more patience and waited to see what God was going to do in the first place.
In the New Testament, we see this verse from Habakkuk expanded upon in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. From these verses, we see how Habakkuk 2:4 works in our lives today. First off, we see that we need to be found just (or right). As Romans shows, this is only made possible through the salvation that Jesus offers us. Second, we need to live. As Galatians shows, through salvation we are given life and the curse of death is removed in two ways. We are moved from spiritual death to spiritual life in the life that we live right now, but we are also given eternal life, moving from physical death to physical life. Third and finally, we need to live through faith. As Hebrews shows, this faith is not only the faith that believes that Jesus died for our sins in the past, but also is the faith that believes that He is coming back again to deliver on all His promises in the future.
So the point that we learn from Habakkuk 2, as well as from its New Testament counterparts is to have faith. If you are not a believer in Christ, you need to be. That’s step one in the faith. But, if you already are a believer in Christ, someone who has been justified through Christ’s death on the cross, and someone who has moved from death to life, then live by the faith you claim. Live by it even when you question His plan. Know that He is working all things, the good, the bad, and the ugly for His good! HAVE FAITH!