Today you should read: Habakkuk 1
Habakkuk begins with a cynical cry to the Lord. He wants the Lord to punish the iniquity of Israel. They are sinning against the law of the Lord but it seems that there is no justice from the Lord. Habakkuk basically is saying, “Why even have the law? No one is paying any attention and there is no consequence for those sinning against you.” Habakkuk is crying out on behalf of the righteous that love the Lord and begging God to put a stop to the madness. Habakkuk, like many of us, speaks before he knows the whole story.
God answers Habakkuk’s lament by telling him of the coming judgment. God is going to use the pagan nation of the Chaldeans (another name for the Babylonians), to punish Israel. God is a patient and merciful God but he is also a just God. Habakkuk learns an important lesson in that when it comes to God, justice will always be served. God will use the Chaldeans as a judgment, but God will not create the evil. The Chaldeans as described in v. 5-11, are a bitter and hasty nation. The Chaldeans already had evil in their hearts. God is just allowing them to do what they already would like to do to Israel. In other words God is removing his protection from the nation of Israel.
Often I can feel the way Habakkuk feels about evil in our world today. It seems like those who serve themselves and seek to get ahead by any means necessary often succeed. Innocent people are abused and murdered. Nations are oppressed by corrupt governments. We live in a world where sex sells and violence is interesting. So where is justice? Where is God’s wrath? The answer is God’s wrath has been satisfied and poured out on his son Jesus Christ. If we are honest we deserve wrath and punishment for our sin as well. Fortunately for us God’s mercy and wrath were both satisfied perfectly on the cross.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
Is my righteousness based on my worthiness or Christ’s work? What do you believe practically?
Posted by: Chad Wiles
2 thoughts on “April 23, 2012”
Yesterday in worship I was reminded of the fact that despite my unworthiness I can start fresh thanks to Christ. It was a huge moment in my life, a real breakthrough for me from the past year that I’ve endured. I am “as unclean rags” before GOD without the covering of Christ. Thank you GOD for Christ!!!
Okay Chad, I was ready to answer your question until you added that word “practically” at the end. Practically, I am about doing the right thing most of the time though usually it’s in my own strength. Then there is that pride issue that pops up with the “holier than thou” attitude that is so not pretty. Oh that God in His mercy would knock me off my pedestal and show me that only He is worthy, that He is the only way to righteousness and that my righteousness is filth in His sight.