The Glory of the Lord; April 15, 2018

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

This is a very famous verse, but what is shocking is the context. I had no memory that it was is the middle of a passage judging an unjust ruler! The imagery couldn’t be more clear. Since the ocean is water, then by definition it is “covered with water.” That means that the earth will be the glory of the Lord. However, when that is revealed, those who have been in rebellion against the Lord, such as the unjust ruler, won’t be happy about it at all! Actually, that point is made in just about every prophecy of the End Times in the whole Bible. The 2nd Coming of Christ will be terror itself for those who have denied Him. We encounter this verse, in songs and otherwise, mostly as a word of comfort, but complacency is very dangerous. Much of organized Christianity today would have a very hard time of it if Christ were to show up today! Human organizations devolve into political structures and power trips, and those are the antithesis of the Church of Jesus Christ. “The glory of the Lord” means His holiness and power, and nothing man-made can stand in the face of that. We need to so live that His return will indeed be joy for us, but that means repenting now, while there is opportunity for forgiveness.

This of course applies to me as much as it does to anyone. I cannot presume, or even “rest on my laurels,” but must rather keep pressing in for more of Christ. Like Paul, I need to be “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I [need to] press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) I have never wanted to be a “hellfire and brimstone” preacher, but failing to warn people is certainly not loving. I need God’s wisdom and the Holy Spirit’s anointing to present the message in ways it will be received, but I must never give up trying. The vast majority of the people around me are not in the position of rejoicing at Christ’s appearing at all. I must not be satisfied with my own salvation, but rather seek constantly to draw others into the Kingdom. Ministering in Japan can produce resignation and fatalism, and I am not immune. I need to let the Lord give me a fresh infusion of His Spirit, His presence, so that I may be active as His agent to draw people to repentance and faith, for their salvation and His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder as we’ll be having a business meeting today that will essentially be starting over as a church. We are back to the numbers we had 34 years ago, and humanly that is very disheartening. Help me fix my eyes on You and encourage the others to do likewise, just as Jehoshaphat did (2 Chronicles 20) so that Your plans, and Yours alone, may be fulfilled in and through us, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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