Remember Mercy


Sometimes God needs to steer us back on track.  Our hope is that God will remember to be merciful to us and extend grace in these times.  That’s the prayer of Habakkuk today.  And when we are in uncertain times of God’s pruning, we should remember to lean into God…

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet.
2 Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

16 I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:1-2, 16-19

Habakkuk wrestled with the Lord over the sins of his people, Israel, and then over God’s answer, which was to discipline Israel using their enemy, Babylon.  Habakkuk could not understand how the justice of God could include using the instrument of those who oppose him.

We see in chapter 3 that Habakkuk comes around to acknowledge God’s renown and his deeds.  Still, he prays for God to, in wrath, remember mercy.  Isn’t that what we hope for ourselves also?  If God is to discipline us because we need it, we hope that God will also remember to be merciful to us and extend grace.

Some of us, whose hearts pound in anticipation of God’s wrath, will turn away and blame God when we encounter his discipline.  Habakkuk offers a better way.  Even though there is no fruit to harvest and no cattle in the stalls, Habakkuk has his sights set past his circumstance and on his hope in the Lord.

I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength.

Can you cling to these statements of promise? Will you focus on joy in God, his salvation, and his strength for you as you face whatever storms of life?  Sometimes we fail to understand our circumstance in light of God’s love for us.  In those times of uncertainty, don’t walk away.  Lean on and into God.

He will be your strength.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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