Embraced By God
Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.
This Sunday the scripture readings center around the word “faith”.
The Gospel Reading from Luke begins with the cry of the disciples “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5).
In the second reading, Paul writes to Timothy commending Timothy for his faith.
The first reading from Habakkuk closes with the words “Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith”. (Habakkuk 2:4)
The passage from Habakkuk is quoted three times in the New Testament.
In Romans Paul quotes Habakkuk: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17)
In Galatians, Paul again quotes Habakkuk: “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’” (Galatians 3:10-11)
Finally, the author of Hebrews quotes Habakkuk: “For yet ‘in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay; but my righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.’ But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.” (Hebrews 10:37-39)
In the next chapter, Hebrews 11, the author list all those who live by faith.
Faith is often understood as trust in Jesus for our existence rather than trusting in our own accomplishments.
Fascinating about the reading from Habakkuk is the meaning of the name of Habakkuk. It is believed to come from the Hebrew word “khavak”. The word translates “embrace” in English.
My first inclination is to apply the word “embrace” as one who embraces God. That could be a good application of the word “faith”. Maybe the name Habakkuk means “one who Embraces God in faith”. Habakkuk is the active agent.
Perhaps my second inclination might be more accurate. Habakkuk is one who is embraced by God in faith. In this instance, God is the active agent.
My prayer for you is that you are Habakkuk. May you be one embraced by God.
Peace Lutheran Church