Filled with God's Glory
Cleansing and Renewing God, I thank You for Your forgiveness and the opportunity of a new beginning each day.
Read Habakkuk 2:2-20
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is … patience …” (Gal. 5:22). In our age of instant everything, waiting is hard to do!
“How long?” Habakkuk asked (1:2). Our questions may be similar to his: How long must we see immorality thrive in our land? How long will Israel and the Palestinians be caught up in bloodshed and warfare? How long will the killing and violence in Afghanistan continue? There is so much violence and injustice in the world. We can all extend the list, perhaps, almost forever.
That is where God’s answer (verified partially by our human experience) challenges us. God’s revelation is that this imperfect state will not continue indefinitely. There are two kinds of evidence suggested: first, within human society there is some kind of built-in, self-correcting mechanism. Those who have been oppressed will eventually rise up and turn against the oppressors (3,4). The echo of the story of Cain and Abel here suggests that this is built into the way the world is, because God has made this a moral universe where everyone is accountable to him. Second, God himself is involved in righting the wrongs of oppression. As vs. 13 and 14 make clear, God has–negatively speaking–determined this corrective process but–positively speaking–God is going to act to restore the knowledge of his glory over the entire world, “as the waters cover the sea.”
While in places like South Africa, Ireland and elsewhere, we may see partial but significant answers, the lingering is longer than Habakkuk imagined and longer than the first Christian community probably imagined. Yet God’s words remain true, “Though it linger, wait for it” (3; c.f. Matt. 24:36-44).
Consider issues that you have prayed for over the years. Give thanks for those that are resolved; pray again for those that still await God’s answer.
Patient Father, I pray that the fruit of Your Spirit will continue to develop in me. Particularly, I pray for that elusive quality of patience.
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