It's April 11; Good Morning Union

“The righteous will live by HIS faith.”       Habakkuk 2:4

First a necessary correction from an astute reader of yesterday’s GMU- all I did was leave one word out! “But, true to the God I continue to learn to know and love, He was NOT done with His people…”

Sorry for any theological confusion! Now I’ll try again today:

I really enjoy trying to put the Bible story into its historical/chronological “order.” It helps me see the whole story and make sense of parts of the story that, standing alone, don’t seem to make a lot of sense. The prophets are part of that “standing alone don’t make a lot of sense” sometimes. Yesterday Judah was going to be freed from the Assyrians (Nahum) which is dated about 640bc. Today’s book is a warning that, because of their apostasy, probably under the not-so-good king Manasseh, God’s people were about to go back into bondage, this time at the hands of the Chaldeans (Babylonians). The year is about 630bc. 10 years later!!! Either their lesson is a hard one to grasp, they have a very short memory, they’re not very bright people--- or the grip of the devil can be very powerful once I’ve let it get a hold of me.

But just like yesterday, Nahum, while telling the Assyrians “the party’s over,” reminded God’s people that their return to faithfulness would result in God reconnecting with them, so today Habakkuk, while telling Judah that their apostasy was going to AGAIN cost them their freedom, reminded them that their response to God could still provide for their future freedom. (go ahead Bill Fitts, diagram THAT sentence!)

Mr. Habakkuk had a little discussion with God about why evil seems to prosper and God sort of said, “It won’t always prosper but the picture gets cloudy when you compare yourselves to others, especially those who don’t claim to be following me. Though evil appears to prosper sometimes, antidotally, in the long run it will lose. And when you who claim to follow me appear to not prosper sometimes, antidotally, look carefully at your ‘not prospering’ and you’ll probably be able to identify some ‘not following’ of Me. Sometimes I will bless those who you call evil because I still love them and ‘My goodness leads to repentance.’ And sometimes I will not bless you who claim to be following me because there are still lessons you need to learn about what it means to really follow Me. Please be patient, I’m not finished with ANY of you yet!”

I learned another lesson this morning; it’s about plagiarism; a modern legal term to protect the literary property of someone else. It’s a good law (especially for college students to know and practice so we can be sure your written work is really YOUR written work!) but the law has not always existed. Paul (Romans 1:17) quoted Habakkuk (2:4) and gave him no credit. He also didn’t even quote him correctly! Paul said, “The just shall live by faith.” Habakkuk said, “The just shall live by HIS faith.” Big difference in my theology of grace and faith. It’s not MY faith by which I live, it’s HIS faith! It was a good try Paul but I like the original source better! I also am reminded that the law of plagiarism was not a law in the 1800s when a little lady in our Church was trying so desperately to find the best words possible to describe the life of Jesus, and I’m a lot kinder and more appreciative of the intent than the critical application of a law that did not exist. Just something to think about!

Sorry, I guess I got carried away. So much to say for such a short little book! One more verse from Mr. H as I close. “The Lord IS in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” He IS still ruling; maybe I should just be quiet, and let Him do His job.

Have a great day living by HIS faithfulness,

Pastor Rich

PS Tonight for Family Worship join us at 8pm as we wrap up an AMAZING Week of Prayer with Jonathan Burnett. See you in the church.

PPS And bring an offering as Mary Yonazi shares her dream of helping an African orphanage full of little munchkins. See the attached flier above.

PPPS Afterglo- “Open Mike-less” will be hosted by  Humanities and meet in the Atrium right after Family Worship.