Daily Update #305
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’ I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 16: 1-2, 8
“Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own.”
Habakkuk 1: 5-6
This book of the prophet Habakkuk begins, as we saw yesterday, with a cry for help to the Lord, perhaps a prayer that we ourselves might have cried out as we look at the wrong that seems to abound around us. “Help me, Lord, are you listening? Why does the evil in Judah go unpunished?” The answer Habakkuk receives is perhaps not what he would have preferred to hear, in fact the Lord tells him that the answer is almost unbelievable. He is told to look at the nations around them, and then to be amazed at what will happen next. The Lord is going to act by allowing the Babylonians, a ruthless and impetuous people, to descend upon Israel and bring about many years of captivity and hardship.
This was probably quite difficult for Habakkuk to take on board. Although we don’t know much about him, we know, from the rest of this book, that he was a man of great faith, that he had a great trust in the Lord Almighty, and that he knew how God had moved in the past to bring about the establishment of the nation in the Promised Land. These are God’s chosen people, yet sadly, they have apparently completely forgotten Him. Was this all now to be destroyed forever? Sorry, you will have to wait until next week for the further instalments of this gripping story!
So, what about us today? In some respects prayer is perhaps the most important part of our daily walk with the Lord. We don’t have to use special words or phrases; God knows all about us, after all, and what He really delights in is when we, His children spend time with Him. For us personally, through this past year and a bit, one thing that has lifted our spirits is the phone calls, or Skype, that we have enjoyed with our children. We don’t need important things to discuss, just getting together to chat has been lovely. The same is true of our relationship with our heavenly Father, he loves it when we chat with Him. But what about a situation similar to that which Habakkuk found himself in. Have you ever had an answer to prayer which at the time seemed to be very unwelcome or unhelpful? I have! When I left the Royal Navy I was certain that my future lay in one direction, only for the door to close firmly and my career take a completely different direction. It took quite a while before I realised that this was exactly what I should be doing; the Lord knows best! Habakkuk had learned that he could trust God, and we too can trust Him with both the important decisions we have to make in our lives but also with the trivia.
O Lord, strengthen the faith of us who believe, and sow the seed of faith in the hearts of those who lack it. Give us grace to show our faith by our works; teach us to walk by faith, in reliance on your promises; and enable us to fight the good fight of faith, that by faith we may overcome the world, through him who loved us, and whose love is without end, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
After Christina Rossetti
Monday’s passage: Habakkuk 1:7-11