And Justice for All (Part 4)

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, March 5, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Have you ever had a serious fight with someone close to you?

As angry as you were with them, as furious as you were with their insensitivity or betrayal, as frustrated as you might have been with their mistake, your desire for relationship with them remained underneath all the rage. Oh sure, there are those times when we do make a clean break from a bad influence or deceptive friend, but that is rare. Normally, anger, rage, and our own wrath towards someone cannot overpower our desire to be with them and share in the good that brought us together.

Marriages and family are great examples of where we see this the strongest. No matter how much they may bug you or break your heart at times - your spouse, your kids, your in-laws, your parents - they are still family. And our desire for family can overcome any injustice or hurt. Why? Because that desire comes from love, and love is more powerful than any divisive thing.

Read Habakkuk 3:1-2. After the difficult conversation Habakkuk has had with God about injustice, and after all the warnings God has given (read parts 1, 2, and 3 of this blog post series), we experience something different from Habakkuk.

It's almost like that moment, after an argument, when you begin to consider what you really accomplished with the fight. That moment when you realize how your words were poorly chosen or your motives were purely selfish, and you begin to consider how this relationship can heal and move forward.

Habakkuk moves from lament and complaint to reflection. He seems to be recalling how God has handled injustice in the past. It appears Habakkuk is recalling God's rescue of Israel from Egypt and perhaps even the events in the Sinai desert, when He gave Israel the 10 commandments.

I recently heard from Bible scholar Ray Vanderlaan that the setting and events around the giving of the ten commandments may have been symbolic of a wedding between God and Israel. Based on the cultural elements of a Jewish wedding, I find a lot of support for this being true. So, let's assume for a second that God's rescue of Israel from Egypt is a classic example of redemption in Eastern culture. And let's assume that the events of Mt Sinai were meant to represent a wedding. Habakkuk would have known this, and his appeal to God in these first two verses would be even more powerful. Let me paraphrase them with this context included:

“Oh Lord, I have heard of your works [rescuing Israel], I stand amazed at how far you would go to do this. Do it again! Do it again God today! And in your anger [like you had with our rebellion before at Sinai], remember mercy [your love for your bride]”

I invite you to reflect on this, and think about it in your relationship with God - the amazing confidence that God will establish justice, and He will purify us and the nations of the world. And the humble trust that His love will always be the motive he operates with. No matter how hard the discipline or correction, God's love for His people and His desire for all people to know Him through Jesus Christ will always come through.

Habakkuk braces himself, remembering the character and nature of God's love. And as Habakkuk prepares to face whatever judgement comes, he also trusts that God will have the same integrity as He had before. God loves His people, and even His strongest discipline - even destruction of the wicked - is rooted in His love for people.

I don't know where your walk with God is right now, or whether you believe in God. I challenge you to take these verses from Habakkuk and adopt his attitude toward God: unwavering trust in God's love, even when justice brings consequences to you.

If you have something hidden, or your have anger toward God or anger toward someone else, give it to God. Tell Him about it and ask him to help you let go of it so that you can have His best outcome for the situation. Trust, that He loves you, and no matter how hard the consequence, the end result will be His overwhelming love and favor to build something beautiful in and through you.

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