Martin Collins, discussing the Louise Weiss European Parliament Building in Strasbourg, France, observes that its architects designed it to be a 21st Century version of the Tower of Babel. Nimrod and his followers constructed the original edifice on the plain of Shinar to protect themselves against another universal flood, presumptuously exerting human authority over God's authority. The first time around, God confused the languages, turning them into a scrambled Rubik's Cube. Today, the European Union, with its many languages, arrogantly defies the Living God, thinking that a multi-cultural confederation will overcome the power of God. Any tower or fortification that mankind builds is vulnerable to destruction. The only Mighty Fortress which will last through the Day of the Lord is our Refuge—Almighty God.
Martin Collins reflects upon a existence of manmade underground burrows which Pentagon and government officials vainly regard as their 'place of safety' in the event of nuclear holocaust. Because these subterranean complexes, such as Cheyenne Mountain located near Colorado Springs, Raven Rock Mountain Complex in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a handful of others, are several thousand feet below the earth's surface, surrounded by sheer granite, their designers smugly reckon that they can smoothly run military and governmental programs from the security of their 'gopher holes.' In the aftermath of the Day of the Lord (the ultimate response to mankind's endless sinning), these pitiful complexes will provide no security for their occupants, who, in stark terror, will desire the boulders to crush them alive (Luke 23:30; Revelation 6:16). God's called-out ones should realize that the only place of safety is a personal relationship with Almighty God (Psalm 4:8; Proverbs 29:25).
Martin Collins, focusing on the Prophet Habakkuk, whose name means "one who embraces" or "one who clings," suggests that a major theme of the Book of Habakkuk is the importance of clinging to God regardless of the vicissitudes of life. Habakkuk's prophecy seems to be up-to-date when describing God's called out ones today, who are compelled to cling to God as evil change agents threaten to destroy our civilization. Habakkuk evidently lived following the times of Josiah's massive reforms, a time of spiritual decay following the bright times of Josiah, a transitional time something like we are experiencing today, a time the law is powerless and justice no longer prevails. We should never be tripped up when we see bad things happen to good people or vice versa, realizing that history is indeed following God's timetable. God's timing is perfect. We should never doubt the justice of God, remembering that terrible events cannot separate us from the love of God. When we feel overwhelmed, we need to (1) stop and think, refraining from rash speaking, (2) calmly restate basic principles, (3) put events in their right context, and (4) return to God for further clarification. Habakkuk followed this formula as he reflected upon every attribute of God, realizing that God had been continually faithful to His people and that the impending invasion of the Babylonians was not the last event in God's plan, but only a tool in bringing about God's ultimate purpose. Like Habakkuk, we must detach ourselves from the problem at hand, return to the ramparts and seek God's counsel, staying in the watchtower, seeking God in prayer and study until God gives us the answer, remembering that the just shall live by faith.
The Bible oftentimes speaks in polar opposites: good and evil, light and darkness, heaven and earth. A pair of opposites like these, called a merism by theologians, is destruction and restoration. Citing many prophecies, Charles Whitaker points out that restoration often follows swiftly on the heels of God's wrath, providing us with hope that God's blessing will come sooner rather than later.
John Ritenbaugh, taking both a backward and a forward look at the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, poses the question, "What is so bad about Babylon?" The Babylonian system (code name for the world's political, religious, economic, and cultural systems) poses a menacing danger to God's people, but God wants us to work out His plan within the Babylonian system- obligating us to struggle against its ever-pervasive sensual pulls, a system that had its dim beginnings with the dictatorial, violent, and enslaving rule of Nimrod—the first celebrity rebel of note—a hunter, enslaver, and destroyer of men. The significance of the tower of Babel reflects Satan's overweening pride and hubris (a triumph of human reasoning) to displace God. What man does through his clever inventiveness and creativity will not outlast God's eternal works. If men do not become aligned with God's thoughts, their grandiose plans will not succeed. Coming out of Babylon will undoubtedly require suffering, pain, and self denial, but the sacrifice will pay immense spiritual dividends.
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