There is much wisdom that we can gain today from the Old Testament prophets. Today is October 2, 2017, so this devotional is more time specific than most of them. I look around today, woke up to the shooting in Las Vegas. Recovery efforts across many states and territories in America. Recovery in Mexico from earthquakes. Pain all around.
Pain in our own families and lives. Hurt everywhere. We feel as though our nation is fraying apart in our hands. We feel unsure and unable to understand what to do about it. We feel like Habakkuk at the beginning of chapter 2:
1 I will stand at my watchpost,
and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
and what he[a] will answer concerning my complaint.
Habakkuk stands waiting for God to answer him. Why is there such evil? Why is there such wrong? Why is there such pain? Pain. He stands and he waits. It seems almost like Job to me in the end of the book, as Job is waiting for an answer from God.
Then throughout the rest of chapter, the Lord responds. And Habakkuk is left with this response in the end:
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him!
I wish I knew the answer to the evil within this world. I wish I knew what was in someone’s heart to make him stand and shoot others. I wish I knew why pain happened so frequently. I wish I knew why there was such brokenness in the world. I know that there is the problem of sin in all our hearts. I know that when Adam and Eve fell they took all of creation with them. I know these things, but I don’t know what to do about them!
I think that’s the frustrating thing, even “knowing” the answers doesn’t help. What are we to do? We get frustrated and angry and we just don’t know what to do.
That’s why I love the end of the chapter. The Lord is in His holy Temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
Whatever my answer is today, it has to start with this. The awareness that God is God. Humble myself before Him. Seek His will, seek His grace. Seek His peace. Seek His plan. If I just lash out in anger or hurt or pain, I will not be helping anyone, myself included.
Do not start your reflection with the culture or the news or the world. Start it with God. He is still God. In times of great uncertainty, fix your eyes on what is certain and firm. God. He is in His holy temple.
Let our reflection start there. Let our plan start there. Let our peace start there.
I am not calling us to inaction or passivity this morning. But I am calling us to start our response and journey from the correct place.
The Lord is in Holy Temple. Let all the Earth keep silence before Him.