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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The LORD punishes evil.

We are at a point in the history of God’s chosen people where the northern tribes (Israel) have already rebelled against the LORD for so long that they have been beaten in battle and the remaining remnant has been taken into captivity.  God has preserved the south (Judah) because of their faithfulness to the LORD…until king Manasseh.  He led Judah to do evil in the eyes of the LORD and things got really bad really fast.

This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision. How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But You do not listen! "Violence is everywhere!" I cry, but You do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted. (Habakkuk 1:1-4 NLT)

We were stretched yesterday to see that the LORD will work in and through anyone who is willing to walk together with God.  When Nineveh was against God, Jonah was sent to warn them and they turned back to God in repentance.  Then God worked through Nineveh to build the Assyrian empire – taking the northern tribes of Israel into captivity.  When Nineveh rebelled against God again, the LORD defeated them as a punishment for their false-god worship.  Now, the southern tribes of Judah are rebelling against God.  What will the LORD do?

The LORD replied, "Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it. I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands. (Habakkuk 1:5-6 NLT)

The principle we see here is simple.  The LORD rewards good.  The LORD punishes evil.  God does not switch sides.  We do.  When we walk together with God, there are benefits and blessings that go along with that walk.  When we do not, it does not go well for us.

How about you?  Do you see this principle in action?  Do you see the LORD rewarding good?  Do you see the LORD punishing evil?  Do you switch sides? Or, do you walk together with God.