How long must I call for help?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Nothing seems to be going my way.
Have you ever been there?
The walls and worries are falling in all around you?
Habakkuk can relate.
Habakkuk had a beef with God and he used a formal complaint to make his case.
Habakkuk didn’t just have a funny name, he was a prophet and considered to be a man of great literary talent. Said another way, he was articulate and had the ability to drive his point home.
Habakkuk was worn out with all the bad guys winning. He was fed up with injustice. The crooks, manipulators, deceivers, robbers, extortionist, liars, cheats and fakes all had the high ground and he hated it!
Perhaps you share in Habakkuk’s sentiments, “Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they succeed in their heartless conquest? Will you wink at their treachery? Justice has become perverted!”
Yes! Tell it like it is Habakkuk! Don’t hold back. Expose the passive aggressive, back stabbing, smiling, self serving, betrayers of friendship and trust! Hang them by their toes!
It is notable that God doesn’t disagree or even make light of the complaint. What he does do is ask Habakkuk to hang tight.
The Lord affirms that the complaint is warranted. They are deeply guilty. What has happened in the dark will be revealed by the light. Sneaks can’t hide forever. They rely on their own strength and it won’t last. Their day is coming.
God assures Habakkuk that he is on it. That he is orchestrating things that Habakkuk wouldn’t believe even if someone revealed the plan. It may seem slow in coming, but be patient, it is about to get real!
Sorrow awaits those who build big houses with money gained through dishonesty, corruption and extortion. Those who do, will be exposed and disgraced. Their glory will turn to shame! They may appear as tall oaks , but they will be cut down!
The Lord encourages Habakkuk to take a good look around. To recognize what God is doing, remember and to rejoice in what God is about to do!
Habakkuk calms down, takes a breath and re-centers his faith.
He respectfully reiterates that there is deep need, yet, he will recognize, remember and rejoice even though circumstances don’t currently give cause for celebration.
His response sounds like the lyrics of a good country song as he indicates that the blooms have withered, the grapes have disappeared, the crops have failed, the fields are empty the flocks have died and the barns are empty, nonetheless we will rejoice and be joyful.
How is Habakkuk’s attitude possible even when things look so rough?
Habakkuk laid it out for us.
When things are bad and you have been betrayed, abused and used, wait quietly, be patient, take a look around, recognize, remember and rejoice knowing that the God you serve is at work, he is just and he never wastes pain or suffering. And never ever forget that the Lord is your strength!
We can count on the Lord even when we can’t count on ourselves or others.
Hard times, troubles and injustices are certain to come. When they do, like Habakkuk, we need to pause, take a look around and rest assured that God’s got this. He is doing something we won’t believe even if someone told us what he was up to.
Even though, we don’t know, we must trust him.
He is working ALL things together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose!
It may seem slow in coming, but it will surely take place.
(Inspired by the book of Habakkuk and Romans 8:28)