Post 30 / The Next Language
November 30, 2020
1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4 Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. … 14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. … 20 But the LORD [is] in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. [Hab 2:1-4, 14, 20 KJV]
I would like to thank my Alaskan friend Bob Bates for posting Habakkuk 2:3-4 this morning. It was timely and applicable to our lives at this time, as we await the outcome of the American election.
But more importantly, we are waiting for the outcome of the global lockdown related to the corona virus. We are waiting for the substance and meaning of all this as it relates to our vision to take the gospel to every people and every language. I must confess impatience over the delay- not just of the ability to go but to get clarity for the “new normal.”
The picture of Habakkuk standing on the high place, watching for a vision is like our hopeful vision of the day when every tribe and tongue and nation will be with God. That vision came with specific instructions. “Write the vision, and make it plain…that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is for an appointed time [note- His time, not my time], but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, WAIT for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
These words of Mathew Henry commenting on this text could have been written today. “When we are tossed and perplexed with doubts concerning the methods of Providence, are tempted to think that it is fate, or fortune, and not a wise God, that governs the world, or that the church is abandoned, and God’s covenant with his people cancelled and laid aside, then we must take pains to furnish ourselves with considerations proper to clear this matter; we must stand upon our watch against the temptation, that it may not get ground upon us, must set ourselves upon the tower, to see if we can discover that which will silence the temptation and solve the objected difficulties, must do as the psalmist, consider the days of old and make a diligent search (Ps. 77:6), must go into the sanctuary of God, and there labour to understand the end of these things (Ps. 73:17); we must not give way to our doubts, but struggle to make the best of our way out of them.”
I think our end time vision could very correctly plug into this context. The injunction to wait is equally as poignant. The following verse explains why. The “soul which is lifted up is not upright in him” suggests to me a reference to impatience and even tying it to pride. How is pride in juxtaposition to waiting? When we wait, we must cease our own works. It is our works and achievements that bolster pride and mitigate against waiting. I must confess that I had looked forward to boosting the count of recorded languages to new levels and I still believe that will be part of the plan that pleases God; but right now, with the global lockdown, God is saying loudly and irrefutably, “Wait!”
But why? “But the just shall live by his faith” (Hab, 2L4). The final vision or fulfilment will not be the result of our impatient flailings but of our faithful waiting on the Lord. And that does not suggest total passivity. The text is quite explicit that the record of the vision must be “plain upon tables” so that those who read them would be ready to “run”. Evidently it was customary to write some prophecies on tablets where they could be hung publicly so everyone could see. This would expedite action when it was obvious that the time had come to do something.
As servants of Christ in the church age the command is to “Go ….”. We have even been given the vision of a warrior’s vestment that includes shoes: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God…your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:13-15 KJV).
If we are to combine our text in Habakkuk with that from Ephesians we might want to make sure those shoes are running shoes! When the time comes we will be running. And while we “wait” maybe we should be focusing on the “preparation” of the Gospel of peace.
Indeed, we have been doing that with new scripts, with new relationships with partner missions, and with learning about new recording technologies. We have been preparing with a new focus on distribution through social media. We are initiating various new technologies. We have seen a vast increase in interest and access to our recordings posted in over 6,000 languages on the internet. For example- in 2018 the total hours of downloaded content from our websites was 72,000 hours. Impressive I thought. Then I looked at those same statistics for hours of downloaded content in this year alone and it is over 4,000,000 hours. Yes, 4 MILLION! That is an increase of approaching 1,000% by my math.
I asked the IT Coordinator Rob McDonald how that could be. Today I got this response: “We don’t know exactly what the main reasons for the increase may be, but they could include any or all of these:
- Downloads from the cloud are much faster than they were from our own servers
- We introduced Program Sets, which bundle content from multiple programs that are closely related
- We added a slideshow player to the 5fish website, making it easier for people to play directly on the site
- We now have language-level ZIP files, so people can download all content in a language in one click
- The latest version of Media Library Tools improves the ability to update from the cloud
- The cumulative effect of other improvements and promotion over an extended period
- The move to the cloud involved some changes in our measurement systems
- Corona-virus might also have had an impact this year”
So, could the corona virus be an instrument of God to fulfill verse 14 of our text? “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Did you know that with our free app– 5fish.mobi –on your cell phone you can quickly share any of 6400 languages with Gospel content to bilingual people you run into? You can even stay socially distanced and simply tell them how to load the app onto their own phone. That way they can take 5fish back to their friends and neighbors.
What is God saying to YOU? And how will you answer Him?
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
P. S. As a “thank you” for your continued support of the ministry of Global Recordings Network USA, and in celebration of over 80 years of God’s faithfulness, we have compiled a collection of 80 daily devotions written by GRN founder, Joy Ridderhof. You may read or download your copy of Rejoice Always – 80 Devotions with Joy Ridderhof here.