As 2014 winds down, and the “Christmas” season is upon us, it is a challenge to balance priorities! Many of us are busy, too busy, but busy doing what? We were designed to work. Consider God’s CREATION plan as the first man was placed in a garden with responsibility. Being weary may actually mean we’ve worked, rather than frittering away our day in endless entertainment.
As part of the LORD’s response to Habakkuk’s expressed complaint, God Himself pronounces a “woe” on those who fill their community with violence.
“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
and establishes a town by crime!”
Consider the “gang” mentality, or that of the “Mob!” Isn’t violence their #1 priority? Though warning leaders in the 7th century B.C., the LORD’s concern rings out with fresh clarity in 2014. How many villages and towns are “cloaked in violence?” How many violent acts are committed each day in countries around the world even by those sworn to uphold the principles of law and justice? Our cries for God’s justice in dealing with observed violence do not go unnoticed. Praise God for ministries that tackle issues of “injustice” and force us to consider this in many sectors of our societies.
The LORD has a question and a promise to assure Habakkuk. First the question – “Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?”
Nations may well self-destruct as the LORD permits people to live purposeless lives. Countries, cities, towns and individuals make choices to live lives filled with selfish ambition and violence. Tons of energy is “wasted” as the nations exhaust themselves. They wear themselves out pursuing their own agenda and God permits it. That’s the question! Habakkuk, “Do you see the LORD’s plan being fulfilled?”
What about the promise? Instead of nations wearing themselves out “to gain wealth” or to accomplish “self-centred” goals, God assures Habakkuk that HIS (the LORD’s) kingdom will come, that HIS WILL will be done and that the entire earth “will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
Observed violence and turmoil should drive us to prayer. Perceived injustice in our lives or in the lives of others should motivate us to press into God as we see clearly how selfish ambition is not a goal worth pursuing. Every “news item” should help us build a prayer list that the LORD would fulfill this promise.
Didn’t Jesus teach His early followers to pray God’s priorities first.
“Hallowed be THY name.
THY kingdom come.
THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
May God help us to reprioritize prayer through the balance of 2014 and into the new year! We may well cry out collectively, “Lord, teach us to pray!”