Devotional on Habakkuk

Silent God
Habakkuk 1: God, how long do I have to cry out for help?
Most of the Old Testament prophets have messages from God and usually those messages are calls to repentance with a heaping helping of “or else” on the side. Habakkuk, who lives 600 years before Jesus is born, brings a different perspective to the ministry of the prophets. His messages start, not with a word from the Lord, but with questions for the Lord. While Habakkuk isn’t the only one to follow this path (we see it a lot in the Psalms) it does set him apart from the average approach of his fellow minor prophets. There’s some complaining to God in his writings. Habakkuk speaks from his heart as he tries to understand how a righteous God could possibly use an unrighteousness people like the Babylonians to do his will in punishing Israel. This little book is a good one to read when it appears that bad people are getting away with their sin. It’s also a good one to help us work through the unwelcome “silent God” times of life.
Take Away: It’s okay to be absolutely honest with the Lord in expressing our disappointment or confusion to him.

Devotional on Amos

Car shopping
Amos 5: You talk about God…being your best friend.
I was talking to a car salesperson about a car. He was a friendly guy, a bit rough around the edges, using a few words I don’t have in my vocabulary. Then, he asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was the pastor of a church. Guess what happened? Suddenly, he was a very faithful Christian man. He told me about his church and his pastor and some words disappeared from the conversation. Amos complains about people who claim God as their best friend but live very different lives than what the Lord demands. The big issue to Amos is how the poor are treated. He says that in his society “justice is a lost cause” and people are “kicking the poor when they’re down.” God’s man says that won’t cut it. I can’t expect to get away with giving the Almighty lip service while ignoring his directions on how I’m to live. Amos says, “You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, being your best friend. Well, live like it, and maybe it will happen.” By, the way, I bought my car elsewhere.
Take Away: Live like it.