Today in our intercessory prayer, we prayed in our worship service for those in mourning in Christchurch, New Zealand, and their relatives and friends around the world. Our heart goes out to them.
Such an atrocity raises BIG questions about God; where was He, why didn’t he stops this?
These are questions the Bible does not hide from as seen in the words of the prophet Habakkuk who himself, facing overwhelming trauma, asked the BIG questions:
“Habakkuk 1:13 (NIV84)
13Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” (Habakkuk 1:13)
In this sermon we too ask the BIG questions and seek answers from the Bible, God’s Word to us, and not just answers, but also COMFORT, ASSURANCE and HOPE. As the song about Christ’s bodily and victorious resurrection exhorts us we look forward in hope:
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives!”
As the hymn ‘This is my Father’s World, reminds us, the war is not yet over, but in Christ we already have the victory..
“This is my Father’s world, O let me never forget, that thought the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world, the battle is not done, Jesus who died, shall be satisfied, and earth and Heaven be one”.
Our apologies re the preacher’s voice.. a heavy dose of laryngitis was ignored so this sermon could be preached.. we pray what you hear will be of spiritual help when facing such circumstances as these.
- FACING ‘LEG WEAKENING’ DISTRESS
- QUESTIONING GOD’S JUSTICE
- REJOICING WITH CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Job 2:1–11 (NIV84)
1On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
2And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”
3Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
4“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.
5But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
7So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.
8Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
11When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
Habakkuk 3:1–19 (NIV84
1A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
2Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
3God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth.
4His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.
5Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps.
6He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal.
7I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish.
8Were you angry with the rivers, O Lord? Was your wrath against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode with your horses and your victorious chariots?
9You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers;
10the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high.
11Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear.
12In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations.
13You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. Selah
14With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding.
15You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.
16I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.
17Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.