The Weekly Epistle 6/24/20

How long before dinner?  How long before we can stop our long drive?  How long before life gets back to “normal”?  How long…how long?
Have you read through the book of Habakkuk lately?  It reads like today’s headlines.  Habakkuk was living during Judah’s final days and he sees society once again engaging in all sorts of social injustice, violence, and moral depravity.  It is a time when the world is a mess. Things appear to be hopelessly out of control.  And even more disturbing is that it doesn’t seem like God is doing anything about it. 
The prophet Habakkuk looks around at the situation and has something to say about the state of things. He feels free to share his complaints and his frustrations to God.  Habakkuk is considered one of the minor prophets.  Not minor in the sense of importance, but because of its brevity, for what this minor prophet had to say is of profound significance.  What is unique about Habakkuk’s prophecy is that rather than speaking for God to the people, Habakkuk is speaking to God about the people.  
Habakkuk has some complaints.  Habakkuk complains to God, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?  Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ But you do not save?  Why do you make me look at injustice?  Why do you tolerate wrong?  Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore, the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.  The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted” (1:2-3).
The language of “How long” and “call for help” is typical of a lament.  Habakkuk uses six different words to describe the condition of the crisis that is in need of help and deliverance.Violence, injustice, wrong (or trouble), destruction, strife, and conflict.   And no one was doing anything about it.  Not even God.  
So, Habakkuk cries out, “how long must I call for help?”  Know the feeling?  Is that the cry of your heart?   It is that reaction after seeing some violent story on the news.  You just want to scream.  When the fabric of society is coming apart, when you hear about the person waiting for an elevator around others who weren’t practicing social distancing…know what she did?  She sprayed them with mace.  I hear that and I just want to scream, “what’s wrong with you people?”  Habakkuk is watching all this excessive violence around him and he screams- “Violence!”  He cries out to God asking how long can this kind of violence go on without His intervention?
Habakkuk is so exasperated He accuses God of not listening.  The idea here is it is lacking response from God.  Listening is not just hearing it but doing something about it- some kind of active response.  Like when God heard Hannah’s prayer for a son, then it says, “she conceived.”  
Habakkuk is accusing God of not doing something about the situation.  This is an honest prayer.  We could summarize Habakkuk’s complaint as “God, do something!”  He waits for God’s intervention.  
Church, we need to take our complaints to the Lord.  This is a time that calls us to pray for the nation, the church, the people in authority, our church leaders, and for God to do something remarkable in His people and in the advancement of the gospel.
You will notice specific times of corporate prayer throughout the summer.  I urge you to make an effort to join with the EBC family for 30 minutes to pray as these dates become available.  We had a time of prayer last night and our next time will be on Tuesday night, July 7 from 7:00-7:30.
“May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon and be gracious to you.  May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”  
Pastor Brian

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As we return back to church and worship together and due to all the safety measures, we will need extra help on the Welcome Team through the end of the summer. 
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K-1st 9am-Noon $145 / 2nd-9th 9am-3pm $165
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