The Virus and God 2

I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us. 17 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments (Habakkuk 3:16-19)

The LORD promised the prophet that He was going to destroy the nation. The prophet finally got the message and his response is listed above. But what we must note is that the nation thought they were the special people of God and they did not expect to be destroyed by a people more wicked than they were. This astonished Habakkuk in chapter 1 and he could not believe it. But the LORD told him differently. The things in the list that Habakkuk knew was going to happen are awful things alone, but much more so in combination. Their economy was going to be ruined. Their food supply was going to be ruined. They were going to be invaded by a cruel nation and taken off into captivity. This vision of Habakkuk told him what was going to happen in what is known as the Babylonian siege and capture of Jerusalem, or the Babylonian captivity of 586 BC.

Imagine what would happen to your heart if the LORD told you this was going to happen in the nation you lived in. Imagine what would happen to your mindset if this was going to be carried out by a wicked people and you were part of a nation you thought of as the people of God. How would we respond to that? Perhaps it is much like people responding to things that are going on now. They are hoarding things and acting quite selfishly. They are looking to the government and to men (self) for all of their help. Their real thought of religion is only what it can do for them. Their prayers are only to God for His help to deliver them from hard things or from what is uncomfortable in life now.

But how did the prophet respond? First of all, it was not pleasant news for him to hear and he trembled. However, he said that “I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” Even if all else failed, he was going to exult in God and rejoice in Him. He did not look to men for his strength, but to the LORD. Here is the heart of a regenerate soul that is set upon God and loves Him above selfish things and worldly things. Here is a soul that God had delivered from self so that the man was more concerned about God and His glory than all the things of the world. Here was a soul that grace had brought the man to a point where his personal concern and ease of life were not his primary concern. This is simply an incredible passage that shows a heart that the infinite God had worked in. Nothing can explain a heart like this but the work of God in the soul.

It appears that the LORD is wreaking havoc in virtually the entire world though this virus, but the United States may feel this quite heavily in many ways that correspond with what the LORD did with Israel. The economy will be shaken to its very roots. The food supply may not be as plentiful as usual. The laws may change to reflect a new reality. As people are without work and without apparent hope, true Christians must learn to point to the true Hope. But before they point, they must learn to rest and rely upon Christ from their own hearts. It is far easier to have a professed hope in Christ when things are going well and we have a lot of comfort, but when those things are removed our hearts will be stripped to their core beliefs.

Do we want Christ regardless of our outward circumstances? Do we want the glory of God to shine through us regardless of the level of our comforts? Do we pray for our physical comforts or for our hearts to be bowed to Him regardless of how He works? What is the chief love of our hearts? We are clearly told that we cannot love God and wealth since we can only have one lord (Matthew 6:24). Truly we can only be truly devoted to one or the other. One will always be subservient to the other in terms of our true treasure and our true love. Our hearts are very deceitful and our pride blinds us to the true nature of our hearts. During this time of great trial, it would be wise for us to try our own hearts and pray that God will show us our true lord.

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