Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Faith in His Sovereignty

The small book of Habakkuk is one that is often not preached or studied, but it has a powerful message. Habakkuk begins by doubting God's plan in how He chose to deal with the sinful nation of Judah before the Babylonian Captivity. He couldn't understand why God would allow them to continue to live in such evil, and even more he could understand why God would use a more sinful nation by which to judge Judah.

But the Lord told him what he would do, and said that the just shall live by faith. The wicked do not live this way, but the righteous do. This statement in Habakkuk is also quoted in Romans, and it is this phrase "the just shall live by faith" that rocked Martin Luther 500 years ago. We live how we live as a result of our faith. We don't do what we do in order to get faith. So, as believers we are to live our lives trusting God, having faith in His plan, and being faithful to what He has called us to do.

Maybe we don't know God's plan for our lives clearly, maybe we can understand what He is doing, maybe we can't imagine why God would allow certain things to happen in our lives or certain people to "prosper" and other to suffer. But we can take comfort from Habakkuk and know that the just live by faith.

May we not forget God's faithfulness, His love, His compassion, and His perfect plan. When Habakkuk came to understand all of this and to see what God was doing he broke forth in song in the last chapter (ch. 3). Look at how he closed the book:

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail, And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.

May we rest in His sovereignty and live by faith in the One who planned the end from the beginning.