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Gracious heavenly Father, we ask now that You would speak clearly to us, for we are so often hard of hearing. You would open our minds and our hearts because we are prone to wander. Lord, we feel it. Convict of us sin, lead us to Christ, encourage us, rebuke us, strengthen us by Your Word, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Our text this morning comes from the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk, chapter 2, week three of this four-part series. Two complaints back and forth, Habakkuk and the Lord, and now we come to a passage of five woes. Habakkuk chapter 2, beginning at verse 6 through the end of the chapter.
“Shall 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!’
Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
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.
Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
to set his nest on high,
to be safe from the reach of harm!
You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
For the stone will cry out from the wall,
and the beam from the woodwork respond.
Woe to him who builds a town with blood
and founds a city on iniquity!
Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts
that peoples labor merely for fire,
and nations weary themselves for nothing?
For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—
you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
in order to gaze at their nakedness!
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!
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.
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!
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.
But the Lord is in His holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before Him.”
If you’ve ever been to a major league baseball game, you know that the game is filled with songs. The game begins by singing the national anthem and everyone stands and puts their hand over their hearts and sings with whomever is leading. And you know that before the bottom half of the seventh inning, the seventh inning stretch, they sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” And since 9/11 sometimes they will also sing “God Bless America.” And in Boston they take the opportunity to sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” Bump-bump-bum…
You may recall that there’s another song that the fans sometimes sing, and they sing it when the starting pitcher gets pulled from the game, especially if he has had a bad outing and he’s pulled early. And they’ll sing that classic song, was it from the 70s or 80s? I don’t remember. “Naa naa naa naa, naa naa naa naa, hey, hey, goodbye.” Just as the pitcher has to walk off the mound, that long, slow walk to the dugout. Perhaps he’s leaving with the bases loaded or just gave up multiple runs in the inning, and he hangs his head in shame and he walks as the crowd chants “naa naa naa naa, hey, hey, kiss him goodbye.” It’s a taunt song. It’s a song of scoffing. Victory, ridicule.
Now it may seem jarring at first, but that’s what we have here in Habakkuk chapter 2. Look at verse 5: “Wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he never has enough. He gathers for himself all nations, collects as his own all peoples.” That’s what Babylon is going to do. As the Chaldeans are raised up and they march across the world of the ancient near east and they conquer nation after nation and might Assyrian empire will fall, and eventually they will come to tiny Judah and they will fall, nation upon nation, gathering for himself these conquered peoples, that’s what’s predicted in verse 5.
And in verse 6 the tables have turned. And now the Lord is prophesying not the great conquering force of Babylon, but what will happen to Babylon in judgment for their sins, “shall not all these.” Who are all the “these?” Well, the nations, the peoples, whom he has gathered, collected for himself, “Shall not these conquered peoples take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and ridicule.” The Lord is prophesying through Habakkuk a day when those nations, whether great or small, who have been conquered by the mighty arm of Babylon, they will come and they will look upon the destruction of Babylon the great, and they will join together in their scoffing, in their ridicule, in their song of taunting.
Judah was not, by the end of the 7th century into the 6 century, was not an impressive empire. Israel had reached the height of its power under David and then under Solomon and was something of a significant player in the region, but never a world power, never dominating as Assyria would, as Egypt did, as Babylon would, and particularly now they have been through a series of mostly bad kings, except for Josiah, Israel was the northern kingdom wiped away in 722 by Assyria and just a few short years Judah will be overrun. Their kings after Josiah are but weak puppet kings. There is nothing impressive about them.
And yet the promise is even little Judah, together with the conquered nations of the world, will rise up one day and sing this song of woe… “naa naa naa naa, naa naa naa naa, hey, hey, Babylon, goodbye.”
Remember two complaints that Habakkuk has made. “Why do you make me see iniquity?” You see that in chapter 1, verse 3. And then in verse 13, “Why do you idly look at traitors, remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” The first complaint was, “God, why are you turning a blind eye to all the sin in our midst?” and God’s answer, verse 5, “Look among the nations, see; wonder, be astounded. I am doing something amazing in your midst, you can hardly believe it. I have not turned a blind eye to sin. In fact, I am going to punish it by raising up an army from the Chaldeans to conquer my own covenant people.”
And that prompts the second complaint: “Well, but, Lord, surely the Babylonians are more wicked than us? For all of our faults, how can You turn a blind eye if you’re punishing us for our sin, how can You turn a blind eye to their greater sin?”
Well, now we see the Lord’s answer. He makes clear that even though Babylon in the near term will be the instrument of God’s judgment, before long they will be the object of His wrath. And so they sing a song of woe, a taunt.
Sort of hard for us to grapple with on one level. Really? This is really in the Bible? That the people come up together and taunt? Is it really like the “naa naa naa naa” song? Well, part of what’s difficult is even with my opening illustration there, that’s an insignificant thing. This is the worst sort of injustice, though from God’s cosmic view it is complete justice for the people. Yet in the midst of that cosmic chastisement, it was the case that Babylon was a wicked people and had come to wreak such havoc upon the world, and people would suffer and lives would be lost and cities destroyed and crops burned and little ones dashed.
And so with such exquisite pain and sense of oppression to see then your oppressors cast down, to see justice finally meted out, is bound to elicit from these nations a great cry of rejoicing.
There is something right in the conquered nations of the world rejoicing over Babylon’s downfall. It’s the feeling that good stories and good movies know that they can always tap into.
“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Now, what is it about the scene where he finally kills the six-fingered man? Now, Inigo Montoya is not a figure worthy of great emulation. His whole life has been bent on revenge. He’s not really working through the proper channels of the law. As I recall, I think he even says a swear word as he kills the six-fingered man. So, it’s not that you’re meant to say “that’s how I ought to live my life,” but when you see him… Sorry, if you haven’t seen the movie by now, then I don’t apologize for any spoilers… When he finally avenges his father’s death, this man who is so pompous and remorseless for killing Inigo Montoya’s father, and he finally says, you know, “Ask from me,” you know, “lands,” and then he says “I want my father back” and he [sound effect] rams him through with the sword. What is that you feel, yes, that’s right.
Well, you relate to perhaps things you shouldn’t, but there is something in us that says that that’s justice. Isn’t that right?
Think of the Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers, when Isengard, Saruman, is destroying the trees and sending out the Orcs and Merry and Pippin are trying to get the Ents, these ancient trees, to wake up and to march on Isengard and they take a long time and finally they do. And when you have the March of the Ents, Isengard is overthrown. And then you have Merry and Pippin, who have gone into the store of all the food and the smoke and everything else and they sing their songs of jubilation and look upon the desolation that the Ents have wrought upon the wicked White Wizard, and you’re meant to say, “Yes! Rejoice!”
I have not seen really any of the Marvel movies. Okay? So I don’t know if that’s what’s wrong with me, but I just, they just haven’t, but my kids tell me, and they show me this scene which I’ve seen before online where in Endgame where the bad guy, right, Thanos, big, huge bad guy, is about to kill Thor and then Thor’s hammer suddenly [sound effect] whips across the screen and Captain America picks it up. And you can watch this on YouTube clips of people around the world, in multiple countries seeing this for the first time, and a cry, a shout of rejoicing goes up in the movie theater, as if this were happening live somewhere in the galaxy. Captain America grabbing Thor’s… Yes, he’s worthy to hold Thor’s hammer, and he starts smashing around. I don’t even know how it all ends, but hopefully some good guys win.
Why is that? Why is it that a movie theater, they know they’re watching something completely made up, some humans, you know, in front of a green screen with lots of CGI, and yet there’s a palpable sense of the bad guys are going to get what they deserve and there is some justice here.
And so we ought not to be hard on these nations rising up with their song of taunting upon wicked Babylon. The thing for us to consider is whether we on the day of God’s judgment will be singing the song of justice.
Think of Exodus 15, horse and rider. He is thrown into the sea.
Or will we be facing the music of God’s judgment. See, a song like this is hope for the downtrodden, and it is a warning for the wicked.
We see in these five woes, five reasons that God judges the nations. Five reasons He would judge us. Five reasons He could judge this country, or any country.
We’ll move through them quickly.
Look at the first “woe.” We might say this first sin is the sin of greed. The word in verse 6 translated “woe” is a Hebrew word “how.” Sometimes it’s used as a funeral lament. It can be translated as “alas.” Other times it’s a basic cry of attention and can be translated as “ho” or “ah” or “aha.” Here it’s an announcement of doom, “how,” “woe to him.”
And in each of these five woes you’ll see this same pattern. There’s a description of the sin and then there is a revelation of the recompense, that is, what they are going to receive for their sin.
So here we see the sin is taking what does not belong to him. “He heaps up,” verse 6, “what is not his own. He loads himself with pledges.”
You know, this is not a fundraiser for American Heritage girls or something, or those sort of pledges “I’m going to run a relay.” I mean, these are pledges they have come in and they have oppressed the people and they are now making these conquered people their debtors. They owe them some tribute. They owe them taxes. They owe them their very livelihood. “They have plundered many nations,” verse 8. Their sin is a greedy people.
But you see the recompense. In each of these sections the punishment fits the crime. It is an in-kind punishment. That the sin they have meted out will now be the judgment that they receive. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
And we know that that sort of standard of justice requires mercy. But before we’re too critical and say “well, that’s just an Old Testament, that’s sort of a barbaric eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth,” you have to realize that part of the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth was so that you did not exact more vengeance than was necessary. You knock out a tooth, you only get a tooth. It’s an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, not “you knocked out my tooth, I burn down your whole village and kill your whole family.”
So we hear it as a barbaric code, it was actually to somewhat limit the retribution.
And at its very heart, it’s a reflection of the way that justice works. Should there not be a payment? A sin has been committed, should not that sin, an infraction, be paid for in kind?
And so we see the recompense, that the debtors become then the creditors.
Verse 7: “Will not your debtors suddenly arise?” These people that you have stolen from, that you have forced to pay tribute, will on this day of your downfall rise up and you will have to pay them.
The plundered become the plunderers. Verse 8: “The remnant of the peoples shall plunder you.”
You see, it’s a warning to the powerful. What would happen when and if the tables are turned? That’s the basic theme of so many of these judgments, or Mary’s Magnificat in the New Testament, that there will be a great reversal, and those who have proven to be wicked and have lined themselves and their wealth on the basis of oppression, will one day be the ones facing their oppressors.
We have here a picture of public vindication for the righteous and a public shaming of the wicked. Greed.
Look at the second woe. We might label this “injustice.” The sin: He, that is the Babylonian and the nation as a whole, Babylon is feathering his nest with straw from other men’s homes. You see that verse 9. He gets evil gain for his house to set his net on high, to be safe from the reach of harm.
Babylon thinks of himself as a mighty eagle, far out of the reach of harm or violence. He has built a magnificent nest for himself, but he has built this nest by robbing and stealing and committing injustice and taking from the homes of others and the livelihood of others that he might build up his own fortress, and now he thinks himself invincible, untouchable, not subject to ruin or judgment or the normal disasters of life.
Might we ever fall into that temptation? Perhaps not now in a season of so much uncertainty and strife and disease, but we can be tempted to think that we have our portion of land and we have our home and we have things the way we like and we have our savings and we have our retirement, and we are untouched, unable to be truly harmed from the things that affect other people in the world. Nonsense.
Here in particular the Lord’s warning is not simply because they have a nest, or they’ve built for themselves a secure fortress, we see that cities and fortresses were also often the blessing of God’s people. But here in particular because they have built their livelihood upon the backs of their conquered enemies.
“You have devised shame for your house,” verse 10, by cutting off many peoples, you have forfeited your life. He’s saying “what goes around, comes around.” And all the people that you have defrauded, that you have stolen from, that you have oppressed, will come back and pile on you in your day of woe.
Verse 11: “The stone will cry out from the wall, the beam from the woodwork.” See, these are stones that they have stolen from their conquered people. They have razed cities to the ground, and they have brought back to Babylon their gold, their silver, their precious jewels or stones. They have robbed these people.
And then when they build for themselves their impressive homes or palaces, with all the materials of a plundered nation, and they say “look upon this great edifice that I have built,” the Lord says, “No, that home that you think is your glory, it is your shame. The stones cry out, the beams cry out, the bricks, the mortar, the jewels, the gold, the silver… They were not your own. They cry out against you, as you feathered your nest.”
We have birds constantly building nests. They build it in the little newspaper slot that has never been filled with a newspaper, underneath our mailbox there’s a nest, and then our front porch has an overhang and there’s sort of some square beams and they all have a little flat spot and there’s at any given time one or two or three nests there and the birds are flying all over and bringing things and the kids like to go up and see the eggs there, and sometimes they make it, sometimes they don’t.
But we also have a cat. And the cat does cat-like things. Seeing him the other night as there was a bird going back and forth and the cat was just slinking along the ground, just look, just staring up, just waiting, “you’re going to make a mistake, something is going to fall, you will leave… ” Now, we’re not heartless people, we try to keep the cat away from the baby birds, but cat’s doing what cats do. Waiting, this nest will not last forever and there will be a feline to pounce.
And so it is with the glory of Babylon, lining their nests with all of the straw from other peoples, crying out against them.
God cannot be mocked. What you reap you will also sow.
I said throughout this series that I do not know the mind of the Lord and His judgments. Certainly He has good cause to judge all of the nations of the world. He has reasons to judge this one as well. Isn’t to say that God hasn’t blessed America, or that there aren’t many reasons to sing “I’m proud to be an American” or that we shouldn’t celebrate Independence Day.
We’ve just gone past Juneteenth, which is the remembrance of the end of slavery in 1865. Might it be that 600,000 dead in the Civil War was some kind of judgment from the Lord upon our land?
Stones crying out from the wall, beams from the woodwork, responding, “Woe to the nation that commits greed, woe to the nation that commits injustice.”
Third, “Woe to the nation that commits violence.” You see, the sin is building a town on blood, verse 12, founding a city on iniquity, Babylon rushing in, killing people, enslaving them, or more likely shipping them off or murdering them in the streets. The foundation of their city was greed, injustice, and violence.
You won’t find a country or civilization on the earth that at some point did not build their cities and some of their great accomplishments at the expense of other human beings. Pyramids in Egypt, the Roman Empire with a vast system of slavery. If you know world history, you see how the Japanese at times treated the Chinese or the Koreans. How the Han Chinese may look down upon those who are non-Han Chinese, or Arabs to the Jews, or the English over the Irish, or Australians over aboriginal people, or white Americans over black Americans, or black Africans killing in genocide other black African tribes. It is a universal sin. Building our human accomplishments upon the injustice done to others.
And you see the recompense from the Lord. Verse 13: Is it not from the Lord that you’ll labor for merely fire? That is, it will burn up. Nations will weary themselves for nothing. All of your great accomplishments, will they last?
People often struggle to see where does verse 14 fit? I mean, it just seems to be out of the blue, this, this great declaration of the cosmic victory of the Lord and the glory filling the earth as the waters covers the sea. Three times we have this declaration in the Old Testament, and some people even say this was obviously added later, it doesn’t really fit here. If you think about it, it fits perfectly here.
What has the Lord said in verse 13? You nations of the world, Babylon, have wearied yourself for nothing. You have built monuments upon blood and injustice and violence and you have feathered your nest and you have built great civilizations. And then He says, “You want to know what will last? You want to know at the end of the age what will cover the entire planet?”
It will not be the British Empire. At one point the sun never sits on the British Empire, they said. Or American might? Even though we may be the world’s leading superpower. No, it will be the glory of the Lord which will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Whatever exalts man apart from God will not last. It will pass away.
So God is saying to Babylon, and to each of us and the nations of the world, “You think you can make an everlasting name for yourself? A flood will come over you, just like in the days of Noah. A flood of judgment.”
But here in verse 14, it is a flood of glory. You know what will be left on the earth? Not the great cities of man, not our great human accomplishments, certainly not those accomplishments built upon violence. What will be left is the powerful manifestation of the presence and the might of the living God. That will cover the earth.
So there is certainly reason, earthly reasons, to be patriotic. I think patriotism is a virtue. There are reasons to care about our own country. And yet all of that must be relativized in this sense: We labor even more so for the glory of the Lord. The only glory that will last. The only glory that will spread from sea to shining sea.
The fourth woe is debauchery. It’s hard to tell if this is personal behavior or a metaphorical description of the Babylonians brutal conquest; probably both. But what we see here is a depiction of brutal, drunken revelry and sexual perversion.
Verse 15: “You pour out wrath, you make them drink, gaze at their nakedness.” It’s a scene of orgy, perhaps even homosexual perversion. “You will have their fill of shame.”
So the recompense is to trade shame for shame. Instead of drinking the cup of alcohol leading you to a stupor, and an orgy of revelry, God says “You like to drink? You like to drink yourself drunk? I will give you a cup,” verse 16, “in the Lord’s right hand it will come around to you, utter shame will come upon your glory.” What you think is the pinnacle, is the height of human achievement in pleasure will be your shame. Your drunken revelry, you will lie there in your own vomit.
Do you see the end of verse 16? This is an almost offensive recompense – “Drink yourselves, show your uncircumcision.” You understand what the Lord is saying? You who have spread yourself, who have committed great sexual sin and immorality, you will be drunk on the Lord’s wrath and you will be exposed to show you were so eager to show your sexual member, I will expose you, your uncircumcision, your, your separation from the Lord, apart from His covenant people and covenant promises, will be exposed for all the world to see. You who had no shame will be utterly shamed. Your glory will be swept away. In a drunken stupor you will expose your uncircumcised flesh. You who exposed others will be exposed before the world. You who drank until you were drunk will drink from the cup of God’s wrath.
It’s no wonder that in Revelation this image of fallen is Babylon the Great becomes the image par excellence of the destruction of the worldly systems of the world.
Revelation 14:8: Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great. She who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.
And so Babylon becomes that name for all worldly systems and empires that pursue their great plans apart from God and in opposition to His Word.
Their sin was also the wanton destruction of the earth.
Look at verse 17: “The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you.”
Lebanon was the place of the great forests, the forests, the trees of Lebanon. Elsewhere we see David and Solomon using the cedars of Lebanon for their building projects, and there was no shame in that, so this isn’t a denunciation that you cut down a tree and therefore you’re being punished. But there is something for us to hear about respect for God’s creation. Violence done to Lebanon. It wasn’t the act of cutting down a tree in and of itself, it was that they took what did not belong to them, this was not sold to them, this was not given to them by some king as it was to David or Solomon, and it was also a picture of the senseless destruction.
Listen, you don’t have to be a hard-core environmentalist to mourn the destruction of old trees. When the tornado came through here and a big, huge tree that was by the middle school and by that little cinder track, it fell over and had to be uprooted, my kids said “that was our shade tree when we would do track practice, when we would have, you know, recess, that was our shade tree. It’s gone. We can’t bring it back.”
We have some magnificent trees in our yard, certainly over a hundred years old. If someone were to come in and for no good purpose level those, it would be an act of wanton destruction.
The Lord notices, the Lord cares. He cares even about the beasts, verse 17: “The beasts that terrified them.” They, they, they killed the animals. They slaughtered them. Again, I’m not saying you don’t have a place to eat animals, to hunt, to fish, but this is the senseless slaughter, cruelty to God’s creatures.
Proverbs 12:10: “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beasts, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.”
Think about the end of Jonah, where the very last word is “and of much cattle.” God had mercy upon that great city Nineveh with over 100,000 persons and much cattle. God even cared about the animals in that city. The Babylonians didn’t.
And the final “woe” is upon idolatry. This is the zenith of their rebellion. Building from greed to injustice to violence to debauchery, and now the very pinnacle of their rejection of God is that they make gods for themselves. They trust in their own creation. They make a wooden thing or a silent stone and say, “Awake, arise.”
You may have seen that with summer solstice upon us there’s always an increase in paganism, occultism, satanic marches happening in different parts of the country. It’s idolatry. It’s idolatry in our own day. Worshiping created things rather than the Creator who is blessed forever.
God says your creation is silent before you. “Can this teach?” verse 19, “it’s overlaid with gold and silver, there’s no breath in it.”
You see the contrast that He’s making between their false gods and the true God? God’s words are more to be desired than gold, the law of the Lord more precious than thousands of pieces of silver. You ever realize why the psalmist puts it that way? Because they had statues overlaid with gold, they had no words. The God of Israel was invisible; you couldn’t see Him. There was no statue for Him, but His Word from heaven is more precious than gold or silver.
There’s a Hebrew word here that’s a kind of onomatopoeia. Remember what that is? Words that are what they sound like. So when it says “let all the earth keep silence,” the Hebrew word is “has” and almost sounds like our English word “hush.” It’s a perfect end to this cycle of complaints.
Habakkuk has dared to speak to the Lord. The people of the world have dared to make speechless idols before the Lord. And now we read in verse 20 “the Lord sits enthroned in His temple.” He has spoken, He has denounced them with five woes, and now He says, “Hush. You’ve spoken, Habakkuk. Now is the time to be silent. I’ve answered you.”
Much like Job who puts a hand over his mouth.
“You’ve made for yourself Babylon, created gods that cannot speak. Well, I have spoken and now you will be silent.”
Sometimes waiting in hushed expectation is the truest form of worship we can offer. “Silence,” the Lord says, “I’m God, you’re not. My glory will last, your glory will not.”
This is a hard passage for us. It’s hard on the very inner workings of it. This sense of reciprocal justice does not appeal to us today. Really? A taunt song? But is essential if we are to understand the plan of salvation, the character of God, and the moral world that God has made. Sin will be punished.
It’s also essential if we are to understand the Gospel. Now you might say, as we close, I didn’t see a lot of gospel in this passage. I see five woes.
But do you see how a passage like this is preparing us to understand what the Gospel is all about? What does Habakkuk 2 teach to us? Sin deserves to be mocked. Sin deserves to be ridiculed. Sin deserves shame.
Now it’s not in our hands to execute this, but I’m talking about cosmically, in the way in which our world works. That’s what sin deserves. Sin deserve ridicule, mockery, punishment. Sin deserves death.
And if you don’t agree with that, then you don’t really understand what happened to Jesus. When they sang a taunting song, twisted a crown of thorns upon His head, struck Him on the cheek, said “prophesy to us.” They mocked Him, they spat upon Him. Facing in His body and His soul what we deserved, the woes that should have been upon us, for our sin, we see in the Lord Jesus exactly what sin deserves. It deserves punishment, it deserves shame, it deserves to be exposed, to be ridiculed, to be mocked, to be taunted, and Jesus took it upon Himself.
People sometimes think that our world is awash in relativism. I think it’s just the opposite. We live in an age extremely certain of right and wrong; it’s that our world only has a few categories left. Make no mistake, the world understands fully what sin deserves. You don’t think the world understands that sin deserves mockery? Punishment? Shame? Go hang out on Twitter sometime. Open your eyes to the cancel culture that we live in. Oh, our world understands what sin deserves. Our world does not understand what Jesus accomplished. It does not understand that there is One sent from the Father, full of grace and truth, who faced what we deserve, who bore on His back the woes that should have been upon us, so that we can know instead of His righteous denunciation, we can know grace upon grace, and so we can show that grace to others, even if they deserve judgment.
Let us pray. Our gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word. It is always instructive for us. It is always profitable. Teach us, correct us, reprove us, that we may walk in Your ways and we may love the Lord Jesus, who loved us first. In His name we pray. Amen.