Day 5 of Vacation Bible School (please be in prayer)
“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.
O Lord, I have heard the report of you,
and your work, O Lord, do I fear.
In the midst of the years revive it;
in the midst of the years make it known;
in wrath remember mercy.”
“I would rather walk in the dark with God, than walk alone in the light;
I would rather walk with Him by faith, than walk alone by sight.”
from poem, “He Knows”*
There’s a dangerous tendency among young believers today (not necessarily in age, but in maturity) to discount God’s goodness, faithfulness, or even existence when something arises that conflicts with their understanding of God. When a question or doubt arises many skip straight to an abandonment of their faith, they do not pass go, they do not collect $200.
One old fashion expression relaying this condition is “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Somehow we get the idea that God can’t handle our questions, let alone stand up to them. So, instead of knuckling down and wrestling with our questions, we take the lazy way out, throw up our hands, and walk away. The fact is, that the existence of both an infinite God, and an unrelenting spiritual enemy means that we are going to have some uncomfortable questions along the way – some from a God whose ways are bigger than ours, and some from the father of lies who wants to take us down like a lame gazelle. In either case, the pursuit of the truth is worth the struggle.
Habakkuk takes time to air out his questions and frustrations to God at the beginning of his book, and God takes time to answer Him. But the next step (chapter 3) is important as well as we figure out how to deal with our questions and frustrations. Habakkuk prays. He asks God to show both His might and His mercy. He’s heard the reports of how God had come through for His people in the past and he asked to see such a display in his own time. But he also acknowledges that his people were not free of blame. Much of what they’d suffered was brought on by their own poor decisions, so he made sure that His request included God’s mercy.
You may have some unanswered questions at times about God and His interaction with His creation, but don’t allow your questions or frustrations to sideline you. Express your questions to God, wrestle with them and keep the lines of communication open with Him, even when you don’t understand everything. The fact is, you may never find the answers to all of your questions, but your answers are an inadequate god compared to the One True God.
While using the HEAR method with today’s passage, also consider the following:
- Take some time today to focus on the following prayer – “Dear God, please show up in my life with your might and your mercy.”
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor
*1876, The Christian Pioneer; A Monthly Magazine, Volume 30, Section: Poetry, “He Knows”, Quote Page 30, Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., London.