Habakkuk 3:21NIV New International Version Translations
2 Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk is clearly a prophecy to the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem for the sins of the people, and the consolation of the faithful under national calamities. The Habakkuk Commentary or Pesher Habakkuk, labeled 1QpHab (Cave 1, Qumran, pesher, Habakkuk) was among the original seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 and published in 1951. Due to its early discovery and rapid publication, as well as its relatively pristine preservation, This scroll is one of the most frequently researched and analyzed of the several hundred now known to exist.
The words used here are for an act of devotion. The Lord would revive his work among the people in the midst of the years of adversity. This may be applied to every season when the church, or believers, suffer under afflictions and trials. Mercy is what we must flee to for refuge, and rely upon as our only plea. We must not say, Remember our merit, but, Lord, remember Your own mercy.
Items for Discussion
- In what ways does this devotion from Habakkuk speak to today’s Christians?
- Why would someone know the deeds of the Lord?
- How would or should this knowledge help someone during tough times?
- When we consider God’s wrath, our visions are frightening – Where in Habakkuk’s words is their comfort?
2 Peter 3:8-10
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Peter (Simon) wrote this letter. Simon had his own business, fishing. But Jesus called Simon to be a disciple. Jesus gave him the name Peter, which means a ‘rock’. Peter was in Rome when he wrote this letter. He expected to die soon. Peter died on a cross about 35 years after Jesus’ ascension. During this time Nero ruled in Rome and was killing Christians.
Peter did not say where he was sending the letter. In 3:1, he referred to this letter as his ‘second letter’. We believe that 1 Peter was his first letter to these readers. So, the readers of both letters were probably the same people. They were Christians who lived in the country that we now call Turkey. Peter probably wrote this letter to both Jews and Gentiles who had become Christians.
Peter wrote this letter for three reasons:
- He wanted the people to be stronger Christians.
- He wanted to warn them about false teachers. He also wanted to remind them about the true Christian beliefs.
- He emphasised that Jesus Christ will return. Then God will judge wicked people. So, Christians must be ready for that day.
Verse 8: In verse 5, the false teachers did not remember what God had done in the past. But in verse 8, Peter did not want his ‘dear friends’ to forget what God had done. The Lord’s time is not the same as time in this world. To the Lord, 1000 years in this world may be like a day (Psalm 90:4). This is often hard for people to understand. But God is the ruler of time. A person may think that a period is a very long time. But it may be a very short time to God. People like things to happen quickly. But sometimes nothing seems to happen. This does not mean that God has forgotten.
Verse 9: God will always keep his promises. Many people thought that Jesus should have returned already. But Peter explained that God is willing to wait. He is not slow, as people may think. But he is patient. God loves everyone. He sent Jesus to free people from their sins (John 3:16). God is waiting because he does not want anyone to die. He ‘desires that all people… will come to know the truth about Jesus’ (1 Timothy 2:4). God wants all people to turn back from their wrong ways. He wants to give people more time to obey him.
Verse 10: Jesus will not continue to wait forever. Jesus said that people would not know when would return (Luke 12:39-40). People do not expect a thief to come suddenly to their house in the middle of the night. In a similar way, Jesus will suddenly return to this world. God will not give people any more time to obey him. Instead, Jesus will come to judge them.
Items for Discussion
- Why is the history of our God so important to learn?
- Where do we learn God’s history?
- If God’s horizon is long and wide and His patience near infinite, how should we interpret verse 10?
- Is the modern day church and the modern day Christian prepared for a sudden return of Christ?
- If so, what have they done to prepare?
- If not, what should they be doing to prepare?
- Verse 10, if interpreted literally, can be very frightening and establish a sense of urgency – How can the modern church of today help elevate the priority that Peter seems to be placing in these verses?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations