You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes
Christian Bible Study Pages
Travel PagesSalisbury Plain
Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.
The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.
(Click for enlarged)
“The revelation which Habakkuk the prophet saw. Yahweh, how long will I cry, and you will not hear? I cry out to you ‘Violence!’ and will you not save? Why do you show me iniquity, and look at perversity? For destruction and violence are before me. There is strife, and contention rises up. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails; for the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice comes out perverted.” Habakkuk 1:1-4, WEB
Habakkuk the prophet struggled with the world that seemed so unfair to him. He was consumed by the burden the moral dilemma of a holy God who allowed bad things to happen to good people. He asked our question for the day, “How long will I cry and you will not hear?” Haven’t we all felt that way sometime? Haven’t we all wondered why it seems God is deaf to our pleas for His grace?
The book of Habakkuk is a conversation between God and the prophet which serves as an oracle for the people of Israel. This oracle was a burden for the prophet. Habakkuk appeared to be a whiner, crying out to God about His slow response to the injustice in Israel. “How long?” he asked. Habakkuk was speaking for all the righteous in Israel who had waited so long to hear God’s answer to the wickedness in His people. Habakkuk simply could not understand why God was allowing evil to rule in the world. He did not understand why God was not disciplining His people so that they would turn back to Him.
Sound familiar? How many of us have cried out with the same sense of wonder at the delay of God’s justice? We are frustrated by the suffering we see in the world, uncertain how God could have no concern for His people. Habakkuk knew that the people had sinned against God, but he also knew that God could make them turn back. He asked, “How long?” He wanted to know how long it would be until God brought His people to repentance.
The answer that he received was even more shocking. God answered that the Babylonians would discipline the people of Israel. Habakkuk was upset by this answer because he could not understand how God could use an even more ungodly nation to do such an important work. He suffered the burden of seeing the future of God’s people that would include pain, exile and more injustice. This is not pleasant for anyone to hear, but prophets were often burdened with visions of things they would rather not see. God’s answer was not what Habakkuk wanted to hear. It was shocking and disturbing to think that God would use wickedness against His own people. But God assured Habakkuk that this was just the beginning of the story.
God works in His own time. We look around us and see a world that is full of injustice and suffering and we wonder when God will bring change to the world. God answers our cry with a promise, “Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come.” (2:3b) Babylon would bring Israel to her knees, but God had not forgotten His people. Babylon would also see God’s justice and Israel would be restored. God knows what He is doing and He knows the time. We only know a see a small part of God’s plan and we are called to trust that God does know what He is doing. We do not want to wait, but that is why we live by faith. Our faithful and faith filled response to God’s grace is trusting that He will do what is right when it is right.
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“You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me. Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life. I don’t receive glory from men. But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves. I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God?” John 5:39-44, WEB
Dr. Alvin Granowsky is a children's writer who has taken old stories and given them a new twist. The books are called “Another Point of View” stories. He gives his own rendition of stories such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and “Jack in the Beanstalk.” The original versions of these stories are seen from the point of view of the Bears and Jack. They make Goldilocks and the Giant out to be nasty and bad.
But every story has two sides. Dr. Granowsky has rewritten the stories from Goldilocks’ and the Giant’s points of view. We have heard the stories one way for so long that it is somewhat disturbing to hear the other perspective. When I used these books for a story time, one little girl commented, “I wonder which one is true?” Since these stories are just stories, not historical reporting of a real time event, it really does not matter. Yet, there are often times when the truth gets lost in the opinions and points of view of individuals. This is perhaps more true today than ever with mass and social media. The amount of misinformation is overwhelming. The hard part is knowing which reports are really true or false.
This is nothing new. By the time of Jesus, a proper understanding of God’s Word was lost in the confusion of human interpretation. It was hard to know what was true. God gave His people promises and laws to live by, but over the years they put their own point of view to the story. They interpreted the promises and laws to fit their own expectations. They guessed at what God meant when He spoke through the prophets. By the time Jesus appeared, they were so messed up with their understanding of God that they needed to see another point of view. Jesus turned their world upside down.
The children did not expect a book that told the story from another point of view. Goldilocks and the Giant have always been the bad guys in the stories. To hear that Little Bear and Jack were liars and thieves was shocking, because it goes against every understanding of the story. When the story is just a story, it really doesn’t matter, but when it comes to faith the truth is vital.
Unfortunately, the Jews were relying on their own interpretation of God’s Word and they were looking for the wrong sort of Messiah. They wanted a King, one who would defeat their enemy and rule them by the Law as they had come to know it. When Jesus came preaching the Gospel, the good news of the Kingdom of God, they were shocked and offended. Jesus didn’t even follow the Law according to their interpretation! Jesus came to turn their world upside down, to bring them to repentance and back into a proper relationship with God the Father. Everything the Jews believed pointed to Jesus Christ as Savior, Redeemer, and Messiah. Yet they did not believe. They knew God’s Word, every word of it as written in the scriptures. They knew it in their head, but they did not know it in their heart. When Jesus came, they did not recognize Him, because He did not fit their expectation.
Has Jesus turned your life upside down? Do you see another point of view when we hear the stories in the scriptures; do you hear the Good News of Jesus? Or do you still try to make God’s Laws fit your own expectations, just like the Jews? Do you believe Jesus?
Dr. Alvin Granowsky held a radical view of the events in those stories, and so did Jesus. Our Savior came in flesh so that we could see what God is really like, and then He died so that we could live with Him for eternity. The Jews wanted was a king, but when the King showed up on their doorstep, they did not recognize Him. But thanks to God and His wonderful grace, we do recognize our Lord because the Holy Spirit helps to turn us right-side up to see the truth. Jesus Christ shines the glory of God; He has revealed the truth to us, and through Him we will know God as He is, not as we want Him to be.
The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.
When researching, I use several versions of the bible, including the New International Version and English Standard Version. Due to copyright restrictions, I have not included quotes for the scriptures on some of the archives, but highly encourage you to open your own bibles to read the scripture passages for yourselves. Where scripture is quoted, it is usually the American Standard Version or World English Bible which belong to the public domain. Any other versions used in quotes are identified.
The devotion posted on Wednesday is based on the Lectionary texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The Lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text and follows the church calendar. Archives for these writings are found at Midweek Oasis.
You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes