Study from God’s Word… Habakkuk, Chapters 1 – 3 (the entire book) … Passage for Reflection: Habakkuk 2: 20 … NIV But the Lord is in His holy temple; let the earth be silent before Him.
My Journal for Today: In the days of the prophets, about whom I’ve been reading recently from The Daily Bible in Chronological Order and LaGard Smith’s The Daily Bible Devotional, men like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and in today’s passage, Habakkuk, all were perplexed by why God would use such an oppressive, evil people, as God was prophesying in the Babylonians, to bring God’s justice down on His own, chosen people in Israel and Judah. And Habakkuk joined in the clamoring by taking his loud complaints to God. And God, knowing Habakkuk’s prophetic heart, listened mercifully and patiently to the very personal concerns of this believer. And then – finally – Habakkuk, at the end of Chapter 1, and goes to a high place to listen to God.
And it’s in this attitude of being silent and seeking truth that we get our life lesson for today.
Haven’t we all been in the place of doubt or despair when all we are led to do in prayer or in consultation with other believers is to rail against the evil in our times or to clamor, in our hearts or in accord with others, going to God with our loud complaints. But when are we going to go to that high place and silently listen to the One Who is in total control of what is going on in our world.
It was in that posture of solitude, Habakkuk going to the high-ground of listening prayer, that God revealed to this prophet His truth. And we read about God’s response to Habakkuk in Chapter two of the book by Habakkuk’s name. And then … in Chapter three, we read how the light bulb of revelation shines in Habakkuk’s realization that God ALWAYS loves him and His children; and as Habakkuk learned we must choose to let God be God when we are not. [And it seems like I come back to that realization a lot myself by going deep into God’s word this year.]
But the lesson today is in the value of contemplative solitude, … going to some quiet place, especially in an attitude of prayer to be in a humble, submissive attitude, … doing all we can to listen for God’s truth.
For any who read my journal entries here daily, that is where I try to go EVERY MORNING; and conceptually I call it “the high ground of prayer.” And I learned a long time ago, that I can’t perceive (i.e., “hear”) God’s truth when I’m in a clamoring, self-determined attitude. It’s only when I’m willing to consciously go to a place (mentally and spiritually) where I can be on higher ground to be able to get God’s clearer perspective. And it’s only when I go silently to this place, intently seeking God’s perspective on the battle fields of life, I begin to see God’s battle plan for my life; and I quietly yield.
When we’re down in the trenches of everyday battle, especially when we’re listening to the opinions and loud expressions of other selfish sinners, our minds cannot get God’s perspective on life and living. It’s only when we’re able to choose submissive silence before our God that He’s able to penetrate our willfulness and prideful selfishness to give us His perspective on the battles of life.
Right now, today, I’ve come to God, much as did Habakkuk, asking God why He would allow an activist judge in California to rule against God’s concept of marriage [something that literally happened yesterday. However, by going, QUIETLY, to my high ground of listening solitude and prayer, God has assured me that He has all of this, not only under His view, but in HIS control. And like Habakkuk sing in his song of praise, in Hab. 3: 17 – 18 [linked], I’m not going to let some activist judge, who’s trying to unravel God’s institution of marriage, to steal my joy. No, … in solitude here at this high ground of devotion, I’m going to choose to turn these matters, which are out of my control, over to God, Who is in total control. And like Habakkuk in that latter passage, I will praise my God forever.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, You are the God of all justice; and Your will be done. Amen