A Cluttered Closet - October 2021

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on October 08, 2021

This cluttered worship closet in our church basement reminds me of  Habakkuk (read Habakkuk 1-3 here) He allows us to see a part of his worship life that we usually hide from everyone else. 

Habakkuk admits the cluttered questions in his mind. "I call out to you, 'Violence!' but you do not save! Why do you cause me to see injustice?" Why is there so much violence and injustice?

The LORD's answer is not what he expected. God promises to send the even more violent Babylonians to punish the violent people of Judah. 

Habakkuk isn't satisfied. His mind is cluttered with more questions: "Why do you keep silent when the wicked swallow up those who are more righteous than they are?"

I call this prophet "my good friend Habakkuk" because he lets me see that I'm not the only one who says, "God, I don't understand what you are doing?" He invites us into his "worship closet" where you see doubts and questions, parts of worship that most of us hide behind a closed door. 

The LORD's answer? "The righteous one will live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4 EHV). The LORD doesn't expect us to understand. He simply invites us to trust him. 

That trust is illustrated by the psalm in Habakkuk 3. He remembers the amazing things the LORD has done in the past and he trusts the LORD will do them again. 

May Habakkuk's trust be ours: 
The fig tree may have no buds.
    The vines may have no grapes.
    The olive tree may fail to produce.
    The fields may yield no food.
    The sheep may be cut off from their flock,
    and there may be no cattle in the barns,
but I will delight in the LORD
    and rejoice in God who saves me (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

In the midst of the chaos of this life, I can trust in the Lord. 

In our New Testament lesson (2 Timothy 1) we also are allowed to look into the chaos of Paul’s last days. This is the last letter that he will write. He is in prison in Rome for the second time. This time it appears clear to Paul that his imprisonment will end in death. Even as he faces death, he sees beyond this present chaos to the life and immortality that Christ has won for him and for us. "The righteous one will live by his faith."
Glad you could join me in my cluttered worship closet this morning.


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