Morning Musing: Zephaniah 1:2

“I will completely sweep away everything from the face of the earth — this is the Lord’s declaration.”
— ‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭1:2‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

So often, when people think about the prophets, they imagine a bunch of bearded, angry men who sit around condemning everyone and warning all who will listen that God is going to destroy everything in judgment. And as we have been on this journey through the prophets over the last few months, we have mostly discovered this image isn’t at all true. There has certainly been the promise of judgment, but there has been a whole lot more than that. As we come to Zephaniah, though, all that seems to fly out the window. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Habakkuk 2:18-19

“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 worthless idols that cannot speak. 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.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever tried to get more out of something than it was designed to do? Sometimes we hear about a driver pushing a car, or a pilot a plane to its limits and beyond, but while those occasions can make for impressive stories, a car was designed to drive and a plane to fly. If that’s what they are doing, then they’re right in their zone. I’m talking about trying to get something to do what it was never designed to do. Those stories usually leave us shaking our heads at the foolishness of the person making the effort. In this last woe, Habakkuk cautions those who would do something similar.

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Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:15-17

“Woe to him who gives his neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath and even making them drunk, in order to look at their nakedness! You will be filled with disgrace instead of glory. You also–drink, and expose your uncircumcision! The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, and utter disgrace will cover your glory. For your violence against Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of animals will terrify you because of your human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you value life? I’m fairly certain that you value your own life. I hope you do. You should. You likely value the lives of your kids if you have them. You probably value the life of your more extended family…with perhaps some occasional exceptions for the nuts. But do you value life generally? Perhaps better yet, what does it look like to value life generally? And why does that really matter anyway? Well, as we look at this fourth woe from Habakkuk, we’re going to see just why it matters.

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Morning Musing: Habakkuk 2:12-14

“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with injustice! Is it not from the Lord of Armies that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire and countries exhaust themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the water covers the sea.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What kinds of accomplishments really matter? What is it that makes a certain accomplishment significant anyway? Is it the way we go about it? Is it the intent with which we pursue it? Whatever it is, we want to know that what we do matters. If we’re going to achieve this aim, though, we’ve got to figure out what it is that makes anything matter. Not hitting that mark in anything we do would be awful…a bit like judgment…just like Habakkuk describes here.

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Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:9-11

“Woe to him who dishonestly makes wealth for his house to place his nest on high, to escape the grasp of disaster! You have planned shame for your house by wiping out many peoples and sinning against your own self. For the stones will cry out from the wall, and the rafters will answer them from the woodwork.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

How have you come by what you have? Hard work? Probably. Inheritance? Perhaps. Gift from others? Certainly some of it. Did you come by any of it by…less savory…means? Let me change lines of questioning on you. How do you think about money? What does it mean to you? What kind of a role does it serve in your life? These two themes may not seem to have anything to do with one another, but they have a great deal more in common than you might think.

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