"But the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.* Habakkuk 2:14 NRSV
Do you remember the days before you learned to drive a car? In those early teen years, you dream of driving. You romanticize the experience and the newfound freedom it will bring. You study the drivers manual, and you can't wait for the day when you get behind the wheel. You probably attended Drivers Ed or learned from your parents. Finally, the big day arrives; with apprehension and anxiety, you get behind the wheel for the first time. Nervous and with your hands sweating, you buckle your seatbelt, ensure the instructor is strapped in, check your mirrors (or backup camera), and put the car in gear. Hopefully, in your excitement, you've found the right gear and don't give the accelerator too much gas. You're off! With the car in motion, you quickly realize that the knowledge you gained from the driver’s manual is not the same as the actual experience of driving.
In today's verse, the prophet Habakkuk talks of a day when "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord." By knowledge, the verse means not what you learned in the driver's manual; it is driving the car. It is not knowing in the head; it is knowing in the heart. Recognizing God within ourselves and coming to a relationship where he becomes primary—becoming in tune with his desires for us and all of humankind, and setting aside our natural sinful selves. Can you imagine a day when the fighting and division of the world are replaced with the rule of love and kindness God wants us to have with him and each other? How would it look to live in a world with peace instead of conflict?
While we wait for that day to come, we can get in some practice driving hours. The more time we spend in the car listening to the Holy Spirit as our instructor, the better drivers we become. Our driving manual is the Bible. No matter how much we've studied the guide, upon rereading, we are reminded of things we've forgotten, overlooked, or didn't relate to before. We apply our experiences to the manual. When we have questions, we ask our instructor.
God, we thank you for the promised day when the entire world is filled with your presence. Everyone setting aside the egos and selfishness, accepting you as ruler of our lives. Until that day, please help us as we seek a deep loving relationship with you. Let your loving grace shine through all that we say and do. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen
What does knowledge of the Lord mean to you? How does it apply to your life at this moment?