Inspired by Habakkuk 3:2-13
“O LORD, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O LORD, of your work. In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2 (NRSV)
Things seem to have been so much simpler in biblical times. God spoke his will clearly through the prophets and backed up his promises with concrete displays of power. Miracles abounded, and it seems as though everyone knew who God was and believed in his existence. The only problem appeared to be disobedience to God’s clear will. We look at that and we think, if only God were that clear in our lives today, we’d be so much more obedient than the Israelites were!
But it’s said that hindsight is 20/20, and things seem so much clearer and more obvious when we can look back from a safe distance and remove ourselves from all culpability. About 2600 years ago, the prophet Habakkuk prayed a prayer that many of us might pray today: that God would act now as he had in times past, clearly and boldly.
Twenty-six hundred years from now, how might people look back at us and interpret how God is working in our own time? In what ways might they see God making his will known, and what signs of his favor or displeasure might they recognize but we ignore? We change, but God is unchanging. He has proclaimed his will consistently from the beginning of the ages; the details of how it applies to any given time or place may differ somewhat, and our own understanding grows and deepens as we continue to abide in him, changing our perspective or interpretations over time, but God himself is timeless and changeless. Do we really need armies of angels to tell us how God wants us to treat each other and all of his creation? Or do we already know, but find it easier and more convenient to pretend that we don’t?
Let us pray. Timeless God, you desire us to worship you and to treat all in creation as lovingly as you created it. Open our eyes to your signs and wonders, that we might recognize your works in our own time. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.