14 But the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord's glory as the seas are full of water.
Day 1 of 7
Pray: God, thank you for inviting me into the work you are doing.
This verse pops up in the midst of a dynamic dialogue between the prophet Habakkuk and God. In a tumultuous time, when the southern kingdom of Judah was turning away from God, Habakkuk spoke his mind. As he calls out Judah’s violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty, the prophet cries, “Our LORD, how long must I beg for your help before you listen?” (Hab 1.2 CEV). Living among criminals and chaos, Habakkuk knew the nation was headed for destruction if God didn’t intervene.
God did respond. God tells Habakkuk that one of Judah’s major enemies, the Babylonians, will overtake them. God will use this sinful nation to judge Judah and ultimately restore justice. But first, God outlines the wrongs Judah has engaged in. Each accusation begins with, “You’re doomed!” This message is so terrifying that it made Habakkuk weak with fear. Yet nestled within these foreboding words is a beacon of hope: “But the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the LORD’s glory as the seas are full of water.”
God says it may take a long time, but it will happen. The earth will be filled with people who know God. This knowledge will be as deep and as full as the seas are full of water. Habakkuk could trust this vision of the future, and so can we.
American Bible Society was founded in 1816 on the vision of everyone in the world having access to knowledge of God through Scripture—a vision our founders connected with this verse. Over the past 200 years we have provided God’s Word in hard-to-reach places, bringing hope across barriers of geography, language, war, disaster, disability, and injustice. We have invited millions of people to reconsider and renew their relationship with Scripture—to engage with the Bible so that they can experience its life-changing message.
Our work today is founded on a rich history that is interconnected with the history of our nation. American Bible Society’s founders and early leaders include Elias Boudinot, John Jay, John Quincy Adams, DeWitt Clinton, James Fenimore Cooper, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and Francis Scott Key. Our early work included distributing Bibles to the crew of the USS John Adams and to soldiers fighting on both sides of the Civil War. As we celebrate our first 200 years of faithful ministry in 2016, we look forward to continuing this good work into our third century. We hold fast to the vision given to Habakkuk that one day knowledge of God’s glory will fill the earth. “It may take a long time,” God tells him, but we are encouraged by the promise that comes next: “but keep on waiting—it will happen!” (Hab 2:3b CEV).
Reflect: What is your personal history with the Bible? Were you introduced to the Bible as a child, teenager, or adult? Did you hear it read in church, with your family, or in school? Who gave you your first Bible? What role has it played in your life?
Respond: Take a moment to review the history timeline on the American Bible Society website. Pay attention to names, events, and interesting facts. This is a rich legacy that you are now part of!
God, thank you for promising that the earth will be full of your glory. Thank you for the ways American Bible Society has been able to participate in this vision. Continue the work you started through our founders 200 years ago, and go with us in the years ahead.
Good News Translation (Today’s English Version, Second Edition) © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.