ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL…(The Bible’s Impact on the Academy – Education) [Sept 17]

Consider what it is you are wanting to communicate. Consider the purpose and the intent. Consider the audience that is to receive it. Consider the best medium to be able to get the message across. It has to be understandable! It has to be simple! So will you share the message in a way that is simple and understandable so that your audience can receive it and respond to it? Today’s reading comes to us with a similar tone to these questions from Habakkuk 2…
1 I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

2And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.
5 “Moreover, wine is a traitor,
an arrogant man who is never at rest.
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
like death he has never enough.
He gathers for himself all nations
and collects as his own all peoples.”

Woe to the Chaldeans

6Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,
“Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—
for how long?—
and loads himself with pledges!”
7 Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
9 “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
to set his nest on high,
to be safe from the reach of harm!
10 You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
11 For the stone will cry out from the wall,
and the beam from the woodwork respond.
12 “Woe to him who builds a town with blood
and founds a city on iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts
that peoples labor merely for fire,
and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14 For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
15 “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—
you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
in order to gaze at their nakedness!
16 You will have your fill of shame instead of glory.
Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
The cup in the Lord‘s right hand
will come around to you,
and utter shame will come upon your glory!
17 The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
18 “What profit is an idol
when its maker has shaped it,
a metal image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
when he makes speechless idols!
19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
and there is no breath at all in it.
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him.”
Ever noticed that everyone worships something? Ever noticed that their means of worship may differ but they each have something they worship? What is it that has your attention? What is it that has your focus? What is your heart focused on? We know from God’s Word that where our treasure is so our heart will be. What have you chosen to put in the center of your life? Will you put Jesus in the center so that no matter what comes your way, you can stand firm on the fact that a cord of three strands is not easily broken? Will you stand for justice? Will you stand for redemption? Will you be active and alive in justice and point people to the redemptive power of Jesus? Let’s turn to our devotional for today. Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on Education or Academy on the subject of Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish Rabbi who wrote about the Bible’s prophets. We learn in today’s devotional how in his book The Prophets how he reflects on the different visions of justice and redemption. We learn about his journey through Europe and eventually to the US after starting living in Germany, being arrested by the Gestapo – Nazi police – and being sent to Poland and eventually making it to the US before the beginning of the Holocaust. He became an active member of the US civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr, frequently writing on the theme of justice. We see how he even wrote about our reading from today from Habakkuk 2:4
‘ “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.’ — Habakkuk 2:4
when Habakkuk questions God over the issue of injustice in the world where Heschel wrote these observations:
True, the interim is hard to bear; the righteous one is horrified by what he sees. To this the greater answer is giving: “The righteous shall live by faith.” It is an answer, again not in terms of thought, but in terms of existence. Prophetic faith is trust in Him, in Whose presence stillness is a form of understanding. … What the prophet faces is not his own faith. He faces God. To sense the living God is to sense infinite goodness, infinite wisdom, infinite beauty. Such a sensation is a sensation of joy. The world may be dismal; the wrath may turn the gardens into a desert; yet the prophet “will rejoice in the Lord.” –from The Prophets (p. 143)
So no matter if it is the best of time or the worst of times. No matter what happens today. Let’s take hold of the truth of God’s Word and wait upon the Lord so that we can renew our strength. Let’s take hold of the truth of God’s Word and allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength. We don’t know what today will bring, and yesterday is behind us, so let’s make the most out of our today! Let’s pray… Be it a prayer of relationship with God…

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.

Be it your daily prayer with God…
Be it a specific prayer from God’s Word like…
image from https://b2bconcertofprayer.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/b2b-concert-of-prayer-jabez-prayer-863/
Whatever or however you pray, it is all about having and building and living out your relationship with Jesus. So how will you start your today?
Heavenly Father, I wait upon You today as I prepare for what today will bring. I ask Lord for Your wisdom and discernment for each situation and conversation that I will have. I ask Lord that You will help me to be prepared when asked for the reason for the hope that is within me. I thank You Lord for Jesus who give His all that I can have life and a relationship with You. I thank You for the Holy Spirit that prompts and guides and comforts me pointing me back to Jesus for Your glory. Lord, I give this day up into Your hands and choose to live it out as a living sacrifice unto You so that in and through it all, in the name of Jesus, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.