This is the prophet who asked questions and got answers! Just like many people today, this bewildered man could not reconcile his faith in a righteous God with the troubling things he personally witnessed 700 years before Jesus.
Living by faith is a challenge for all of us. The prophet Habakkuk articulates humanities frustration with a God who does not act as quickly as we think He should. Boldly Habakkuk inquired of God “Why do the wicked prosper?” This seems to be a common complaint by people of faith in all generations. Habakkuk asks, he waits on the Lord, and he listens. “They fly like a vulture swooping down to devour; they all come bent of violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand. They deride kings and scoff at rulers.” (1:8-11)
God answered this prophet with a task. “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (2:2) Those who seek God find Him when they surrender all. As we get refined in the furnace of life, we too are sometimes baffled by God’s ways. During times of chaos, it is wise to earnestly seek God. Ask questions and expect God to answer.
Habakkuk started out just like most all new Christians do. He accused God of being insensitive to the needs of His people. In time, Habakkuk realized that God is always at work for our good even when He is silent. “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save!” (1:2) In all of his railings against God, Habakkuk did not form a committee to get his questions answered. He went straight to God. He climbs up into a watchtower to wait for God and he genuinely expects God to answer his questions. He praised God and the Presence of God pierced the atmosphere as he sang beautiful melodies in the night and God’s glory appears.
“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” (3) Not once does God say in His word that He will unravel all the mysteries. “Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, through there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (3:17)
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8) – This prophet is quoted in the New Testament: Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
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“It is finished.” 5/18/19
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