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Apr 2017

Cover the Earth | God’s Glory

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14

Let me be an instrument, to exalt, and to extend
Jesus’ name, globally, as the waters cover the sea
Open the heavens, O Lord, pour out Your Spirit

Cover the earth with Your glory, cover the earth with Your glory
Cover the earth with the sound of heaven

Let me speak what You say, let the sound prepare the way
Kingdom come, globally, as the waters cover the sea
Open the heavens, O Lord, pour out Your Spirit

Cover the earth with Your glory, cover the earth with Your glory
Cover the earth with the sound of heaven
All of the earth is Yours, all of the nations adore You
Cover the earth with the sound of heaven, cover the earth

Open up the heavenlies, let a new sound be released
As the waters cover the sea, cover the earth

Cover the Earth by Israel Houghton, Meleasa Houghton, and Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff.

We’ll be introducing a new song here over the next few weeks, and as we do, we want to take a moment to remind ourselves what exactly it is we’re saying and asking God for in this song. Cover the Earth is based on God’s statement in Habakkuk 2:14. Surrounding this verse, the prophet Habakkuk is lamenting before God because of the oppression and injustice that he sees inflicted upon God’s people by the Babylonians. Habakkuk’s lament to the Lord could be summarized in the one question we all ask in the face of evil and affliction, “Why?” “Why the suffering?” “Why does evil prosper?” and “When will this evil and suffering end?”. The Lord’s response here to Habakkuk serves as an indictment against the evil reign of the Babylonians, but it also serves as an inspiration and encouragement to His people – those affected by this evil and these injustices. This statement that God’s glory will fill the earth means that at the coming of God’s kingdom; at the announcement of His power, His justice, and His sovereignty, evil will be broken. Oppression will cease. Injustice will be no more. God’s people can be assured that the presence of evil, suffering, and the sadness, fear and frustration that accompany them, while these might presently appear powerful, they aren’t all-powerful.

Even more than this, at this announcement of God’s glory, God’s people will not just be delivered from the evil of their enemies, but they will experience the glory of God in the fullness of joy, peace, and life. The entrance of God’s kingdom will break the bondage of oppression, but it will also bring the love and mercy of God. And this won’t be a temporary solution confined to a specific location like the fleeting glory of Babylon; no, God’s glory will cover the earth forever as the waters cover the sea. God will triumph in the end, and His magnificence and greatness will cover this world and overtake everything contrary to it.

Habakkuk’s prophecy finds its fulfillment not simply in the overthrow of the present Babylonian oppressors, but in the overthrow of humanity’s greatest oppressor, the dominion of sin. In Jesus, the apex and embodiment of God’s glory and preeminence, through His sacrificial death and conquering resurrection, the flood of God’s power, justice, mercy, and love will cover and subdue this world when He comes again to rule this earth. In His ushering in God’s glory through the cross, defeating sin’s penalty and power over us, we set our hope in that day when Jesus will return and eliminate sin’s presence – with all of its injustices – and cover the earth with the joy and the fullness of God forever. In Jesus, the one who God has exalted above everything; it’s in Him and through Him that God’s glory has both conquered our greatest enemy of sin and will cover His people with righteousness. It’s in Him that we can be assured that the evil we see in this world has an expiration and the suffering we face will one day cease to exist. It’s through Him that we glorify and enjoy God as our knees bow and our mouths confess His greatness. Take a moment to read Philippians 2:9-11

God has highly exalted [Jesus] and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11

Rayshawn Graves

Click here to listen to the audio from Rayshawn Graves during the 9:00 a.m. service on Sunday, March 26th, 2017.

Click here to read Part 2 of our look at Cover the Earth.

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