Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Living in Babylon

Obama makes the case for his new war.
Sometimes it is overwhelming to me to think of the rampant injustice in our nation, both at home and abroad.

We fund terrorism and slaughter thousands  in unjust wars of aggression around the world. At home, we butcher unborn children by the millions. Immorality and ignorance are practically virtues in our land. And our leaders openly trample on the laws of our nation and mock justice.

All of this prompted me to turn to the book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament. At first I thought that I would relate to Habakkuk's feelings about his own people, the nation of Israel. But I quickly realized that America has much more in common with ancient Babylon.

In the first part of the book, Habakkuk complains to God about the injustice in his homeland:
How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
But God is listening! And He answers Habakkuk in a surprising way; the LORD was planning to use the wicked nation of Babylon to punish Israel:
I am raising up the Babylonians,
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
    to seize dwellings not their own...
They are a feared and dreaded people;
    they are a law to themselves
    and promote their own honor...
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
    they all come intent on violence...
    guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
Sound like a modern day nation we know? But God promised that Babylon would be judged in its own time:
“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
    and makes himself wealthy by extortion!
    How long must this go on?’
Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
    Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
    Then you will become their prey.
Because you have plundered many nations,
    the peoples who are left will plunder you...
For you have shed human blood;
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,
    shaming your own house and forfeiting your life...
  “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
    and establishes a town by injustice!
The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you,
    and disgrace will cover your glory.
The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you...
For you have shed human blood;
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
The Lord is in his holy temple;
    let all the earth be silent before him.
Thank God that no injustice goes unnoticed! And God has not changed. The same God who has a plan and a purpose for every nation is still on His throne. And undoubtedly America will be judged in due time. But then I wonder: will I be found complicit in my nation's sins, foreign and domestic? Will I be called to account for my nation's atrocities? I can only pray for mercy, as did Habakkuk:
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.
And at the end of it all, I place my faith in the God Who is, knowing that I will rejoice in Him regardless of what happens:
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength

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