Let us linger a bit longer in the words of Habakkuk – words of gold for all times and ages. Habakkuk moves his thought-horizons from threatening political upheaval to a heavenly perspective with eternal applications. The effect of his “new” thinking is a joyful praise-song and an inspired spirit that stirs faith and builds trust in God for centuries to come.
In a few words, the whirlwind of fear-thinking becomes a song for all people and ages. In his conversation with God he progresses from complaining to trust, from doubt to faith, from earthly thinking to heaven’s perception and from the valley to the high places.
The heart of the Gospel is transformation – that deep change in spirit and thinking to rise up like an eagle and sit with Christ in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6)
That is exactly what Habakkuk illustrates – a transformation by the renewing of the mind. (Romans 12:2)
In the centre of his legacy is the cry of every believer: the righteous shall live by faith (2:4). For the prophet it was a promise of protection in times of political and social turmoil that endangered his very existence. His creed of faith means that every believer can fully rely on the protection of God when all the terror becomes reality. The remnant shall be in the Shadow of the Almighty himself.
This statement of Habakkuk becomes the axis of the Gospel of hope that is underlined by Paul and the author of Hebrews. It is the credo of the Reformation.
Habakkuk wants understanding of the chaos he sees around him. The world around him is shocking, unrighteous and oppressing. He does not see good anywhere. God is his refuge in confusion. Prayer is the logical step and our example for all times. God may also tell us things will be worse before he “judges the Chaldeans” so that we shall write the vision and find the revelation of heaven’s perspective on our world. Our vision of hope will save our people.
Faith is a submission of trust in God for the future. The future belongs to God. (Isaiah 45:11) The content of our future is the promises of God.
Please read with me the beautiful story of the healing of the women with an issue of blood. She was at her lowest point – suffering for twelve years and the failure of various treatments. (Luke 8, Mark 5 and Matthew 9)
The shame on the woman was that the law of Moses declared her unclean. Everyone around her was ceremonially unclean and had to wash and stay away from others. (Leviticus 15:19-33) She was cut off from everybody, also her parents.
She defied all regulations to press through the crowd and touch the garment of Jesus. She risked so much and acted against all convention.
All rabbi’s wore blue and white braided tussles to remind them that they are men who keep the Law of God. The women aimed to touch one of these on the garment of Jesus. The moment she touched him He felt the power of faith that drew healing from him. She literally took hold of her healing in faith without asking.
In the moment after she touched him, she became the “only” person in the world in front of the Messiah. In her space, with so many people around them, He stopped and spoke with her. She was an ordinary woman, a wounded outcast, with no claim to special treatment.
But – she was extraordinary in her quest of faith. She sought Jesus with singular purpose and focus. Her illness drove her to the feet of the Messiah, something that might never have happened, if it were not for her affliction. She pressed on in the face of great humiliation and condemnation from the crowd. I wonder if she realized that the ruler of the synagogue, Jairus, was right next to Jesus.
She acted upon the superstition of the time to touch the garment of a prominent rabbi for healing. Jesus recognized her distress and soul-cry. In a moment and a few words He restored her whole being. He called her daughter, knowing she has been cut off from family and feels deserted. Mark tells us that she shared her story with Jesus, her loneliness and fear.
And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)
Jesus restores her status as a daughter of the Most High God.
Just as this woman was saved and healed in her bold approach to the feet of Jesus, so our faith will save us from all that is going on around us. It is our choice whether we bring our questions and confusion to God in prayer and press into his Presence through the “crowds” of news, personal struggles and the attack of evil on all that is good.
In his Presence we shall find the words of Life, Light and Love that transform our whole being and heal us from fear on every level, also physical.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalms 34)