Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 3:17-18

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

The news lately seems to be getting worse every day. I see the daily infection rates and the growing death count and my heart sinks just a bit each morning. It breaks for the tragedy these families are facing. It breaks for the hopelessness that has to be clawing at the hearts of the healthcare workers who are bearing the load of seeing patient after patient die in spite of their best efforts. It breaks for the children—including mine—who don’t understand social distancing and just long to play with and see their friends again. What do we do when chaos seems to reign just a little bit more each day? Here at the end of his collection of prophecy, Habakkuk offers us a way forward.

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Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:4

***Well, I said there weren’t going to be any posts this week, but after much thought and prayer, I decided to not go to the training course as planned. While it would have been a small gathering, the health of my family and my church family was more important. I’ll be able to take the course again in a few months when all of this nonsense has prayerfully passed. That being said, let’s dig back into Habakkuk this morning by taking a look at the verse for which it is most famous.

“Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This is easily the most well-known verse in the whole of Habakkuk’s collection of prophecy. It is quoted in three different times in the New Testament; twice by Paul and once by the author of Hebrews. But what does it mean? And, if you read this same verse in different translations, you’ll find several different versions of it. Is this even the right translation? Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:20

“But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What are you afraid of? That was actually a topic of conversation in my vehicle the other day. The list included a pretty standard set of things: spiders, snakes, mice, insects, and the like. Any of those on your list? Perhaps, but I’ll bet you have some other things on there as well; things that are bigger, harder for you to precisely define, and possess more control over your life than any of the cliched list. The good news is, you don’t have to live with this. Joseph didn’t either.

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Faith in the Hard

Last week we got to hear from the angel Gabriel as he reflected on his experience delivering the news of Jesus’ birth to Mary. With him we got to marvel at the wonderful truth that with a faithful servant, God can change the world. This week we got to hear from Joseph who gave an poignant reminder that faith in the hard really is worth it. Keep reading to see how this story unfolds.

Faith in the Hard

They’re finally asleep, thank the Lord! You would think that exhaustion from the journey alone would have made that particular task significantly easier than it has proved to be lately, but you would be wrong. These are the things no one bothers to tell you when the child arrives. All everyone does then is ooh and ahh over how cute he is. “He’s such a precious little baby,” they said. “He’s just perfect,” they crooned. “He’ll be the Savior of the world,” they proclaimed. But after a long day on the road and with the stress of recent days weighing heavily on our minds, I’m not so much worried about the whole world being saved as I am getting a few hours of sleep so we can keep going tomorrow.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 15:1

“Lord, who can dwell in your tent? Who can live on your holy mountain?”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

What matters more in the end: What we believe or what we do? What is it that ultimately determines who gets to be with God and who doesn’t? The content of our thinking, or the outflow of our behaving? That’s a little like the chicken or egg question. How do you decide one from the other? You can’t really. But can I go out on a limb a bit and suggest that the Scriptures seem to give maybe a fraction more weight to one over the other? 

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