Tuesday, July 29, 2014

America Needs Theophany Not Theology

“Those who see no hope for America have not seen the Lord”—Kelley Varner

The book of Habakkuk is a special book to me for several reasons, one of which (and the most important reason) is that it speaks of our day, and it speaks to us in our day.  As the Chaldeans (Babylonians...those who confuse the way of getting right with God) was scheduled to decimate Habakkuk’s beloved land of Judah, Habakkuk sought God and learned to live by faith (not sight).  Likewise, decimation is heading our way, but a decimation context is not a decimation reality to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.  God is sovereign, and His control is not slack; He is not worried about what is fast approaching, nor should we!  A second temple America is materializing on the horizon; it is not as opulent as her former glory (as externally expressed to the natural eye), but the latter glory will exceed the former glory (as internally expressed to the spiritual eye). 

The rest of this writing is a direct quote from Kelley Varner’s book “Rest in the Day of Trouble: the Life and Times of Habakkuk the Prophet” (published in 1993):

Hab. 3:2, TLB:

          O Lord, now I have heard your report, and I worship you in awe for the fearful things you are going to do. In this time of our deep need, begin again to help us, as you did in years gone by. Show us your power to save us. In your wrath, remember mercy.

Habakkuk had heard the Lord’s report.  It was necessary for his beloved nation to be chastened, to go into captivity.  He could not pray for deliverance from these things, so he prayed that God would give them sufficient grace in these things.  If Jehovah would not withdraw His correction to Judah, then the prophet’s prayer was that the Lord would not withdraw Himself.  The only real hope for America or any nation is the manifest presence of God in the midst of her people.  Apart from this provision of divine life and glory, we are doomed.
The greatest blessing in your life is that you can still hear.  A man’s first priority is to learn how to recognize the voice of the Lord.  His second is to impart that grace to his seed, his natural and spiritual children. 

The word for “heard” in Habakkuk 3:2 means “to hear intelligently, often with the implication of attention and obedience.”  The prophet had learned to hear God’s “speech” with his heart, not just his head.  This word means “something heard; a sound or announcement; a report.”  God still speaks to men today.  This certain sound from the Most Holy Place is heard only by those whose heart is toward the One who is speaking.

The word for “afraid” here can mean “alarm.”  Habakkuk was over-awed to hear of the coming judgment upon Judah through the Chaldeans, and then upon the Chaldeans themselves.  The overthrow of the empire of the world filled him with alarm at the omnipotence of the earth’s Judge.  The fear of the Lord is returning to the Church, and eventually to our nation.  Once again men will reverence Him.

Prov. 1:7, KJV:

          The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prov. 9:10, KJV:

          The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. 

This word for “afraid” in Habakkuk 3:2 also means “to revere.”  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge and wisdom.  The Lord will not be reverenced in America until He is reverenced in the Church.  Habakkuk was anointed with the spirit of the fear of the Lord (Is. 11:2). 

Those who see no hope for America have not seen the Lord.  Such are content to “fly away” and leave this planet to the devil and his crowd.  Not Habakkuk!  The prophet cried for Jehovah to revive His work, literally His “acts.”  The great “work” of God on earth, which include all His works, is the salvation of man through Jesus Christ (Ps.44:1; 77:12).  The prophet sees the bigger picture, including the “work” of God to save America.