Hello and welcome back to the blog my friend!
Today I wanted to just pop on here to share some Scripture that has truly been a comfort to me, my entire life.
Now, I don't believe in plucking out individual Bible verses, rather, I believe we must ALWAYS read Scripture in longer-form sections, seeking out context, and looking for the connections. So today, instead of just offering up a verse about not being anxious for anything, I wanted to share an entire chapter from Scripture.
This chapter from Habakkuk has been a comfort to me throughout my life as I've gone through dark times, grief, or just general Wintery seasons. I hope this might be comforting to you as well.
Habakkuk 3 New International Version (NIV)
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.[a]
2 Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
3 God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran.[b] His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. 4 His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. 5 Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps. 6 He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed— but he marches on forever. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish.
8 Were you angry with the rivers, Lord? Was your wrath against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode your horses and your chariots to victory? 9 You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. You split the earth with rivers; 10 the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high.
11 Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear. 12 In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations. 13 You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. 14 With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding. 15 You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.
16 I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
Habakkuk 3:1 Probably a literary or musical term
Habakkuk 3:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the middle of verse 9 and at the end of verse 13.
I find these verses comforting because they reflect the glory and the might of God; He is truly the ruler over all the earth, and we are but a small piece of His creation. I love that Habakkuk says that even though everything in his life is failing, he has no food, no money, no future, yet he will rejoice in the Lord: what an inspiration and guidance for our own behavior in this strange time.
Too often, especially in Christian women's ministry, I see people speaking on behalf of God.
I see flippant tweets, Instagram posts, and even slogans on women's apparel making God sound incredibly lighthearted--like a best friend or a buddy. But what we see in Habakkuk, is that the author does NOT make light of the character of God. Instead, he outlines a deep reverence and respect for God. God is not our "buddy," though He loves us; He is our master and the ruler over ALL of creation.
So many people think that the commandment to "not take the Lord's name in vain" means simply to not swear or say "oh my God." And yes, I do believe that is partly true, but taking the Lord's name in vain ALSO includes the action of declaring to know the intentions or plans of God. It includes speaking on God's behalf, misinterpreting the Bible, or misinterpreting His character. It includes disrespecting His name, treating Him like a silly side-kick, or worse, treating Him like a "Sky Santa."
Habakkuk clearly shows that not only are we to praise God regardless of our earthly circumstances, but that because God is perfectly Holy, He has righteous anger against sin, AND a deep love and tenderness towards His creation.
May we never take the Lord's name in vain. May we use this time, as we are reminded of our true fragility, to reflect upon the full glory of God, and His absolute superiority to us, while also remaining eternally grateful for His grace and forgiveness.
God have mercy on us.