December 6

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 6:12-42
     I John 5
     Habakkuk 1
     Luke 20
“Look among the nations and watch – be utterly astounded!  For I will work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation…” (Habakkuk 1:5-6a)
A great tragedy took place in the United States on September 11, 2001. America was attacked by terrorists, and more than three thousand people lost their life. Many well-meaning people ask, “Why would God allow a great Christian nation like America to be attacked by pagans, people who did not believe in the God of Israel but was devoted to Mohammed and to Islam?” How could this be and why would God allow it?

There were many answers suggested. Someone suggested that God was disciplining America ofr our waywardness and our rebellion against Him.

Habakkuk did not understand the sovereignty of God. He was frustrated and baffled like so many of God’s children are today. He would ask the question. “Why has not Almighty God corrected the corruption in Judah?” He had prayed, “Oh Lord, how long shall I cry and You will not hear” (vs. 2). Then Habakkuk listed the evils of Judah – violence, iniquity, oppression, tyranny, strife, discord, lawlessness – and said, “The wicked surround the righteous; therefore, perverse judgment proceeds” (vs. 4). God answered Habakkuk. “I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you” (vs. 5). God is the sovereign I AM WHO I AM (Exodus 3:13-14).
 He is not obligated to reveal the what or why of His works. Even when we think God is not working and we cry, “Why, Oh Lord?” God did tell Habakkuk what He was doing (vs. 6-11), using an ungodly nation (the Chaldeans) to punish Judah, “The apple of His eye” (Zachariah 2:8). Judah was shocked and refused to believe what Habakkuk told them that God was doing. So Habakkuk prayed, “Oh Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years…in wrath, remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2). His prayer was highly emotional because he could not understand God’s unusual actions.

Who can fully understand the workings of our sovereign God? No one! If we could, we would have knowledge that spans all eternity. Only our sovereign God is omniscient and omnipotent.
When we cry “Why, Oh Lord”, the answer is “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth” (Psalm 135:6). God’s sovereignty is free from imperfection. It is absolute. You can trust Him that when what happens to our family, our church, even our nation, seems beyond comprehension and seems unlikely for God to do. He is at work as a sovereign God and He does all things well. Even the tragic events of 9/11 could be used of God to bring great revival to America. Tragedy was used by God to bring revival to Judah in Habakkuk’s day, but it took the repentance and renewal of God’s people for it to happen, and again, in the United States or any other nation, revival requires a righteous and holy response of God’s people to His sovereign activity. Revival must begin with one person, and that one could be you!
Japan is one of the most influential countries in the world. In the course of our journey, we have prayed for them before. This country is a mixture of openness and unresponsiveness. While many other Asian countries respond phenomenally to the Gospel, there is little response in Japan. There is, however, new openness that has not been known before. Pray for these specific weaknesses in the churches of Japan: Lack of Biblical teaching; A minority complex; Too few active congregations; Lack of understanding about evil spirits; A non-active membership and backsliding among the church families. Pray for these specific needs in Japan today. Remember, there are over 126 million people to be reached in Japan.