Skip to main content

Clinging to God

As I write this article, my wife and I are getting ready to take our seven-month old daughter Abigail down to Loma Linda for surgery on her right kidney. We’re thankful that little Abby will get excellent care and has a high probability of success. But even more importantly, we’re thankful she is in God’s loving hands.

Life is not easy. We often have to live by faith, and not by sight. One of the ancient prophets who learned this was Habakkuk. His name in Hebrew means “the clinger,” and that is precisely what God taught Him -- to cling to the Lord every day.

Habakkuk lived in turbulent times. There was famine in Israel, and the army of Babylon was approaching. Hungry and outnumbered, the Israelites trembled. After all, Babylon did not have a reputation for showing mercy to their prisoners of war.

But as the chariots thundered closer and the infantry kicked dust high into the air, Habakkuk gathered his composure and wrote a beautiful poem of trust in God:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food; the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

The prophet’s forecast looked bleak. Tasty treats like figs and grapes would soon dry up. Then staple crops like olives and wheat would fail. Finally, all the animals would die from starvation or enemy slaughter. But in spite of this, Habakkuk put his joy in the Lord and kept clinging to him.

Can the same be said of us? Thankfully, we aren’t defending against an enemy attack or in a life-threatening drought. But many of us are in an uphill battle every day. Financial trouble. Sickness. Loneliness. Addiction.

Don’t despair! God is still our strength. He will care for us, if we will turn to him. He already proved his love by giving his son to die for our sins. And in the end, he will make all things new for those who trust in Jesus (Revelation 21:5).

By the time you read this, Abigail’s surgery should be over. Hopefully, she will already be on the road to recovery. But no matter what, we know we can cling to God and rejoice in Him, for He is our strength.

This article was written last week for publication in today's edition of our local newspaper, the Hi Desert Star.


Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).

Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…