ONE WHO EMBRACES
Today’s Reading: Habakkuk 1-2
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.
Key Verse: Habakkuk 2:4, 14
Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.
…For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.
“Habakkuk” means “One who embraces.” This prophet, motivated by love, embraced his people by warnings of imminent attack by the Chaldeans (Babylonians/modern Iraq) and by God’s mercy and restoration at a later time. He reminds Jerusalem that God is “from everlasting,” and that He is “The Holy One,” Who is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.” When Jesus bore the sins of the world in His embrace He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Could Habakkuk 1:13a be the reason that Jesus was forsaken? Think about it!
The Lord gives His answer in chapter 2. We are thrust forward to future times when God’s message will be common knowledge, written on “billboards,” as one translation of Habakkuk 2:2 puts it, or would you believe television or even a blog? The 16th century priest, monk, teacher, and pastor, Martin Luther, staked his life on the words of Habakkuk 2:4b, words which are quoted in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38, “The just shall live by his faith.” For more of Luther’s story click here. A special person in my life, George Upton, said to me, “Jesus reached out His arms to embrace the whole world, and we nailed His hands to the cross.” Indeed that embrace does encompass the whole world today because of His cross.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Your disciples, Lord Jesus, were puzzled and no doubt filled with fear as they tried to piece together what they knew about the Messiah from their Hebrew Bibles (read Isaiah 53). I pray for the discipline to spend time today thinking about these things. I’m filled with wonder, love and worship for Your amazing grace revealed in the Gospels, which the Apostles were yet to write. Amen! Amen! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
My son, David Reynold, our photographer, and his wife, Kathy, call their ministry, “World Embrace” (WE). Please pray for them as they embrace the people of Uganda (click here for a prayer focus).
I’m overcome with emotion just now, and I must pull myself back to loving God with my mind, and not just my heart, in order to complete the blog. It occurs to me that discoveries of natural laws, which God built into the cosmos, would revolutionize our ability to communicate God’s truth (all truth is God’s truth). Here I am typing on a laptop computer and posting what is written at the speed of light around the world. In 1517, Martin Luther, a 33-year-old theology professor at Wittenberg University, walked over to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and nailed a paper of 95 theses to the door, hoping to spark an academic discussion about their contents. I’m nailing this blog to a satellite 22,500 miles above earth, and “the earth” is “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Of course, just as Luther’s words were not read by all, so not all will read my words here. Nevertheless, the potential is there for wide, in-depth coverage (like the sea). During the Second World War years, 1939-1945, I travelled to church each Sunday in the same way that Habakkuk might have travelled, by horse and carriage (buggy). No, we were not Amish. Millions of country people did this.
Yours for putting God’s message to humanity on billboards, on television, on the internet, and also communicating one-to-one God’s love and salvation,
P.S. Behind the Crossroads Centre in Burlington are the satellite dishes which, like billboards, make the message plain so that “He may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Also, Crossroads has used billboards such as the one below on Bloor Street, Toronto.