We are in the midst of a health crises, race crises, financial instability, and more. Of course, we don't expect a complete melt down, but what would our response be if that were the case? Habakkuk knew that destruction was coming. As a prophet he was sure of it; he'd 'seen' it. His response was two fold.
Response One: Cry for Mercy
In Hab. 3:2 the prophet cries out for mercy. He now knows the end result of sin: destruction. As we taste just a bit of chaos and destruction, it is right to cry out for mercy. As we recognize our sin and the result of that sin, it is good to cry out for mercy.
Response Two: A Resolve to Rejoice
Responding to promised destruction with rejoicing is not natural. But, destruction is not all Habakkuk foresaw. He also saw the ultimate end, which was salvation. I think his response of rejoicing was both a resolve to give God praise in the face of chaos and an ultimate sense of hope. Perhaps part of the key to the call to rejoice in severe mercies is to find hope in ultimate promises. We are not left with just "bad" providences. Instead we know they lead somewhere. Therefore, rejoicing is a choice now as well as the end game.
This week in worship I'm using passages from Habakkuk for the call to worship and confession. Plus, the Numbers passage mirrors Hab. 2:14. And, we will sing from Hab. 3:17-19 again (listen here). From beginning to end, this book leads us on a gospel path. In chapter three we will see the cry for mercy and the resolve to rejoice. May the Lord build both responses in us as we grow in our sense of eternal hope.
Worship Notes For Sunday, June 28, 2020 at Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, NC