Welcome to the first post of the series Theological Thursdays. You can find this post coming in on Thursday afternoons. This series is the fourth a group of 7 daily blog series posts, which will be in addition to the regular unscheduled posts. Check out the Series Schedule page for more info on the daily series posts. If you missed some of the other series posts, I’ll link them here for you.
Theological Thursdays are intended to be centered around religious aspects. These posts will primarily include musings about my own spiritual beliefs and happenings, though sometimes I may include posts about other beliefs and religions- you know because inclusion and stuff.
So, in this weeks Transparent Tuesday, I mentioned a book by a woman in my parent’s church- The Joy Journal- that my grandmother had given me for my birthday last week and that I had begun this week. I previously mentioned the books call to action, which encourages the readers to choose a static time and place to read your Bible and spend time with the Lord each and every day. (OH BY THE WAY I AM A PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN IN CASE THAT NEEDED TO BE SAID) So I pen-ed myself in for 6 am each day on my couch or at my desk. Yes, I said PEN-ED, because if I were to pencil it in, I know myself, I would erase and change it and procrastinate and it would never get done.
So when I got up the past few mornings, I had been focusing more on the journal and prayer aspect, as I had left my Bible at the office by accident. Last night, I made a point of bringing it home so when I got up this morning, I could actually dive into the Bible.
Lately, like the past few months, I have been really into Bible journaling. I first got into Bible journaling while I was on the Disney College Program in Spring of 2016, but over the past few months, I have REALLY been into it. I have journaled and doodled all of my favorite scriptures and then some. However, this morning, I FINALLY doodled a scripture that I have been intending to for MONTHS. This particular scripture has been on my mind for a looooonnnngggg time but for some reason, whenever I sat down with my Bible, I never got to it. It’s been on my mind to the degree of it pops into my head a few times a day, and at the most random times at that. It actually popped into my head when I was leaving work yesterday, which is why I remembered to grab my Bible to bring home.
So the scripture, I can keep talking about it or I could actually tell you it.
Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.
Habakkuk is an Old Testament book, so that in itself is out of character for me. The Old Testament is wonderful, but I have always been drawn to the easier read of the New Testament. Honestly, in the past I probably would have been one to neglect the Old Testament as a whole. I’m pretty good about not doing so these days, but it has still never been my preference.
Habakkuk in itself is a small little book- just 3 chapters- each chapter having no more than 20 verses. Honestly, until I really dug into the Old Testament for the first time, I wouldn’t have even known it was a book of the Christian Bible.
Habakkuk is a quick read. The entire first half of the book goes back and forth between Habakkuk complaining to God and God’s answers to Habakkuk. I found it easy to just breeze through it, but really felt the need to go back, slow down, and dig into it.
Part of my method of “digging” into the Bible is not just to pray, read, and interpret on my own, but also to make use of the internet and all of my resources. I want to know the history of the book, I want to know other peoples views, I want to know what others got out of the book.
In my search to find the History of Habakkuk, I began in my Bible. I have an ESV (English Standard Version) Journaling Bible. (It’s is a great bible, if you are in the market for a new bible, it is highly recommended.) This Bible includes a gallery in the back of introductions to each book of the bible. So naturally, I start off at the introduction to the book I want to dig into. This intro mentioned the history such as when it was probably written (circa. 640-615 B.C.) and what major events were happening in the world at the time. The introduction touches on Habakkuk’s prophecy that God will use Babylon to punish Assyria and Judah just as years prior God had used Assyria to punish Israel. The intro also mentions the major “theme question” asked of Habakkuk, which I feel is the gold nugget in this introduction, as it puts it into words far better than I could’ve.
“How can God use a wicked nation such as Babylon for his divine purpose?”
Following Habakkuk’s question in the introduction, we have a summary of God’s answers.
“Though God’s ways are sometimes mysterious, ‘The righteous shall live by his faith.’ while awaiting salvation.
Habakkuk 2:4 says:
Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
That segment of scripture, ‘the righteous shall live by his faith’ goes on to be quoted 3 more times in the New Testament:
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11
but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38
Repetition in the Bible is certainly not a new concept. The Bible has repetition all over the place, from repeating entire stories such as the Gospels in the New Testament. It is easy to understand the purpose behind repetition in the Bible, as it is a common theme to writing in general. Repetition has been used by authors across the board to emphasize a point. Repetition gives the opportunity to look at phrases, stories, and themes from different angles and perspectives. It also gives the opportunity to highlight importance of key themes in the Bible.
So obviously living by faith is important, but that seems to be common knowledge in the christian world.
Why is this book so awe-striking to me? Because it is so relevant.
Habakkuk seems to be relevant on a personal and worldly level.
Personally, I know I have some tough, sometimes evil, stuff going on in my life. I know that I often find myself in a dark place and feel as if I have fallen one too many times and this time I can’t get back up to try again. I know that I am in my own personal place of healing from various events in my life, and how I am affected by each event are each in their own stage of healing, but this book speaks. It is a reminder, that though I may feel these ways, that it is not too dark or too far that God will not work in ways I cannot even imagine.
Worldly. There is so much going on in the world right now- From mass shootings, bombings, to possibility of nuclear war- people are killing, people are dying. People seem to be reverting back to a chaotic rambunctious state. The world is evil. That was never in question- it is just visible now more than ever. The world is in a dark place, and I could not honestly tell you that I see healing, but Habakkuk has reminded me that God can use the most broken situations and turn everything a whole 180 with His grace. I am reminded to have faith that God is “doing work in my days that I would not believe if told.”
God has a pretty good history of using unlikely vessels to become the movers and shakers in his works- An adulterer, a murderer, a drunkard, and even a persecutor of Christians! David, Noah, and Saul are all major movers and shakers in the Bible and those are just a few out of many unlikely people God used. The Bible is not an outdated book. It is always relevant in one way or another. That being the case, why would God not use an unlikely source to cause great things in modern society? Habakkuk was perplexed of God’s choice to use a “wicked nation” to further His plan, and I can’t say I wouldn’t be perplexed all the same, but based on his history of always coming through, standing with Him in faith is a much better option than complaining and questioning. I get that complaining and questioning is a major part of human nature, but I also believe that those negatives of human nature are the ones we should strive to resist when it comes to putting our faith in the Lord. I am just so outrageously excited right now. I am outrageously excited because I see a world full of wicked nations and negativity and I cannot wait to see how God uses them for His divine purpose. I can tell you now, it’s gonna be big. Our God seems to pretty much be a go big or go home kind of guy when it comes to his plan and I know he has major plans for the world these days. If he didn’t the rapture would have happened long ago.
Okay. So that was a lot more than originally intended, that’s for sure! I am actually VERY excited about this post and this series as a whole.
Tune back in next week for more Theological Thursdays!
As always, don’t forget to subscribe to Basically, Britain updates by email at the bottom of the page.