Monday, November 28, 2011

In Search Of Truth, "Wait For It"

Guest Writer, Nathan J. Norman

You don’t have to look far to see instances where the evil people triumph, do you? Just turn on the news. Bank robbers are never caught. Politicians get away with things that you and I would go to prison for. Murders go unsolved every year. In your own life you know of gossips who ruin reputations and never pay for it, men who abuse women physically and psychologically and get away with it, and we could go on. The old adage “crime doesn’t pay” seems like a joke sometimes, because we look around right now, and it seems like it does. So then, How should believers respond to the victories of the wicked?

Believers should trust that God will bring about His plan. As we look at all the injustices we see, instead of becoming frustrated, we need to have faith that God is already working.
Habakkuk had this same problem in his day. God had already revealed that he was going to use wicked Babylon to judge the less wicked kingdom of Judah. And here’s how Habakkuk responds. Read Habakkuk 1:12-13, 2:1:

12 Are You not from eternity, Yahweh my God?
My Holy One, You will not die.
LORD, You appointed them
to execute judgment; my Rock, You destined them to punish us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil,
and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
So why do You tolerate those who are treacherous?
Why are You silent while one who is wicked
swallows up one who is more righteous than himself?

2:1 I will stand at my guard post
and station myself on the lookout tower.
I will watch to see what He will say to me
and what I should reply about my complaint.

Things don’t seem to be getting better, only worse. Evil is getting everything!
That’s probably how it seems like today sometimes . . . whether it’s your school, your politics, or your country or your own home.
Let’s see how God responds. Read Habakkuk 2:4, 12-13:

4 Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity.
But the righteous one will live by his faith.

12 Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with injustice!
13 Is it not from the LORD of Hosts that the peoples labor
only to fuel the fire and countries exhaust themselves for nothing?

God is going to also judge Babylon! In the meantime, he said that His righteous ones will have lives characterized by trust, or faith.
Do you think this is hard to do? Absolutely! We want to do something, but often find ourselves powerless. So then, we get angry at God, disappointed in life, and very, very cynical.

So what’s this like, trusting that God has a plan in progress in the middle of evil?
It’s like when my cat Duncan was a little kitten. He was sick when we adopted him. So we have him on this cherry flavored medicine that we have to give him twice a day. Do you think he liked it? No! And if you could ask him, he would say that what we’re doing is evil. But, even though, there’s no immediate effect, in the long run he’s getting better!
Even in the middle of all the evils of our world, we need to trust that God is actively working, and has a plan.

Now, imagine that you come home one day, and catch a sibling with a brand-new never been opened 1 terabyte iPod! (I don’t even know if they have those yet.) So you ask him/her “where’d that come from?” And he totally lies to you and says that he’s holding it for a frien.d
So you tell a parent, and your parent just acts like they don’t care! But they should care, your sibling is a liar and a thief! So what do you do, drop it and let your parents handle it, take matters into your own hands, or let it fester? Well, as it turns out, your parents were putting together a surprise party. It’s huge, awesome and almost perfect. Now was it wrong that your sibling lied – yes. But in the end, your parents used everything to work together for good! In the same way, you can go through life, angry at God for allowing injustice, or you can trust that He has an amazing plan that’s already going on!

You might be asking yourself, “Why doesn’t God act now?”
You might be tempted to think that he doesn’t do anything, like an idol. Let’s see how Habakkuk interacts with this. Read Habakkuk 2:18-20:

18 What use is a carved idol after its craftsman carves it?
It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies.
For the one who crafts its shape trusts in it and makes idols that cannot speak.
19 Woe to him who says to wood: Wake up! or to mute stone: Come alive! Can it teach? Look! It may be plated with gold and silver, yet there is no breath in it at all.
20 But the LORD is in His holy temple; let everyone on earth be silent in His presence.

Well, God is waiting so that as many people can come to salvation in Jesus as possible. But He is also super-patient, and will wait to bring judgment until a person or group reaches a sort of “complete evil” level. And you know what? God’s plan is a mystery right now, so we won’t always know this side of eternity.

Believers should respond to the victories of the wicked by trusting that God will bring about His plan. Sure it’s hard to do. We either want to fix the situation, or we want it to go away. But think about it like this . . . on this side of eternity, how can you please God? You can do good works, but that’s more about loving others. Can you hug God? Can you go to the movies with God? Fortunately God tells us right here in Habakkuk, “The righteous will live by faith.” You want to please God, trust Him! You pray, “God, I don’t know why my parents are arguing, I don’t understand why you’re letting horrible things happen, I don’t understand why my spouse or significant other is treating me like this but I trust you . . . I trust you have a plan in all of this!”
Wait for it . . . wait for it. God’s plan is coming!

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