Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Habakkuk 3:2

"O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy."
Habakkuk 3:2

I was reading this today and trying to understand what it was saying, so I looked at several different translations.  My favorite was from the Complete Jewish Bible:

Adonai, I have heard the report about you.
Adonai, I am awed by your deeds.
Bring your work to life in our own age,
make it known in our own time;
but in anger, remember compassion.

I think that this carries the meaning across well.  We hear of God's deeds, and his power... and it is huge, and there are two sides.  The side that seems miraculous if we are the ones that are crossing the red sea on dry ground and being saved.  And the side that seems angry and destructive if we are the ones being swallowed up by the same sea as we attempt to recapture our slaves.  It's overwhelming either way... whether we are grateful, or afraid, or both.  And often it is both, because the same God that is saving us is the one that we'll be on the wrong side of if we start being the aggressors.  And so we plead with the Lord to revive his works, to save us in our time as he has for believers in the past.  But we also ask him to please remember mercy and compassion in the midst of his anger... to not destroy us in the midst of our sins before we have a chance to repent and change.
I don't think it is about living in fear... I think God is like a parent defending his children, and if someone starts to bully them or treat them badly, they are in for a world of hurt.  But if we refrain from bullying and cruelty, then there is no danger.  But perhaps we should live in awe, realizing the truth of the breadth and depth of God's power, and be determined to stay on the right side of it. :)
Today, let's remember God's power to save, and his great mercy, and in our interactions with God and with others today let's apply that knowledge and use it to guide our actions.

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