Friday, June 5, 2009

A God of wrath...

Ok, yeah.
I'm up at 1:30am writing this post.
When I climbed into the bed earlier, I actually
worried that I would fall asleep before I
finished my prayers.
God had different ideas.
I hadn't prayed very far when God revealed
this epiphany to me, and I couldn't fall asleep
no matter how long I laid there and assured
God that I would write the post tomorrow
Really, I will!!
He knows me too well.
By tomorrow I would have forgotten all the
really important connections I made tonight,
cause that's what I always do!
My brain seems to work best
(unfortunately for me!)
after I go to bed and if I wait
until the next day to try and write things out
they just don't usually come out the way
I wanted them to.
So here I am.
And I pray God continues to make the
synapses fire in my brain correctly so I
can say exactly what He wants me to say.
This past Sunday our pastor began a series of
sermons on the book of Habakkuk.
What book, you say?
Yeah, that tiny little 1 1/2 page book
stuck between the much more popular books
Nahum and Zephaniah.
Now, don't get me wrong.
I've heard of Habakkuk, and am certain
I have read it at some point before, but it
must not have made a huge impression.
Cause I certainly didn't get it.
In the book, Habakkuk is crying out to God
because the nation of Judah has become a nation
of crime, injustice, and ungodliness.
These were the people of God, and they
were turning their backs on God in blatantly sinful ways.
Sound familiar?
Know any other nations founded on
Godly principles who have turned away from God?
Uh-huh, I thought you might.
So Habakkuk, a prophet, was crying out to God.
He was basically crying out,
"Where are you, God?"
"Do you not see how bad it's gotten down here??"
"Aren't you going to do something about it???"
And God's answer is frightening.
He tells Habakkuk that His judgement is on it's way,
and the people of Judah are NOT going to like it.
It's going to come in the form of the Chaldeans-
better known as the Babylonian army.
They were well known for their horrific
practices against the people they were conquering.
God likens them to leopards for their speed,
wolves for their voracious appetite for killing,
and an eagle swooping down upon helpless prey
because most nations were defenseless against them.
Habakkuk goes back and cries out again
because he cannot believe that God would really
allow such atrocities to happen to His own people.
God's reply basically says that He would rather
bring this unbelievable punishment down upon His
people than have them continue to live the
way they are living.
Brother Rich said his Old Testament professor
in seminary explained that the message of the
book is basically God's way of saying that He
will punish sin, and that the people
of Judah would much rather the Babylonian
army do their worst than have God
come and turn His full wrath upon them!
It's a bit frightening.
Kind of like God is saying,
"Don't make ME come down there."
A God of wrath.
So often we hear about the God of love,
and He most certainly is!!
But we should never forget that God HATES sin.
There is always punishment to follow.
And in America today, I wonder if we haven't
become like Judah.
And if we aren't due for some punishment.
We are turning our backs on God more
and more on a daily basis.
One day, we will certainly face God's wrath.
But here's what my moment of enlightenment
tonight was about.
One verse that Bro. Rich talked about at some length
was verse 1:5
"Look among the nations and watch-
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you."
In the context it was written,
God was telling Habakkuk that
even though Habakkuk couldn't see God
at work, He already had a plan in motion.
And it was going to get so bad that Habakkuk
wouldn't believe it even if someone told him about it.
It is quite ominous in that context-and I believe
that is how God intended it to be.
But the other day, I was reading a post by
Christie Rose over at
(the June 9th post)
I was astounded to see this same verse
from this tiny, unassuming book
from the old testament!
I think not!
You see, Christie Rose uses this verse in a
beautiful post about God revealing Himself to
her in the most wonderful ways.
A God of humor, a God of happiness,
and what God showed me tonight,
a God of so much hope.
This verse was meant as a stern warning.
But it also gives us hope.
Because what it really says is that when
things are at their worst, God is still working.
When things are not going our way,
God is still moving.
And when things feel frightening and
overwhelming, God is still there.
If you read the whole of Habakkuk,
(all 1 1/2 pages :)
you will see this message over and over again.
God continually reassures Habakkuk that not
only is He there, and His plan is perfect,
(even when we cannot see it)
but after the worst is over, He will be there
to put the pieces back together.
Oh, thank you, God.
I so hope this was coherent.
And I pray it was the message that
God wanted me to put out there. I know it
was LONG, but it was so on my heart, and
I hope you were blessed by it.
P.S. If you haven't entered my Father's Day
giveaway, click here to enter!!


Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE this post!!! You explained it very well. Funny, I couldn't sleep and here I am at 4:06 in the morning reading this. Maybe I needed to read this...because I'm one to sometimes forget that even though things aren't quite "flowing" along, God is still there!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

Great post Jennifer!! God is funny sometimes....I can just see you at the computer typing at 1:30 in the morning knowing you have to get up and go to VBS in the morning! Good for you for doing what God was leading you to do...and thanks for the recap of the sermon! I missed it because I stayed and helped in the nursery last week! Now I will be caught up for this weeks sermon!

christy rose said...

I am completely blown away. This was beautiful! I love how you displayed in writing what God was showing you. Habakkuk is a book about God's anger on the sin of man, but just like every other purpose in the Word of God, it is ultimately about God providing restoration and redemption to His people. He hates the sin but He loves us so. God would never leave us tattered and torn. He gives us beauty for our ashes. He is such a good God!
I do not mind at all the link back to my post. I think it fits excellent with what you have written here. Thanks for getting up out of bed and listening to God and writing what He showed you. This was great!!!

He And Me + 3 said...

Thank you Jennifer for listening to God and for posting this. I have so much I want to say about it but keep clearing the comment. Just know that I agree & am thankful that He is Just & He keeps all of His promises.
I do fear for our country...because we have fallen so far from "one nation under God"

E @ Scottsville said...

Very coherent, nicely written and yes... it is scarey to think of God's wrath or God's judgement falling on America. We think it's so bad now, but how much worse might it get. *sigh*

Glad you got up in the wee hours of the morning to type it out! Great job.