Read: Habakkuk 1-3
How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
This isn’t the verse you would pick for engraving on a plaque for the kitchen wall, but I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s one that you read and nod your head. So many times I want to ask God, “did you hear that prayer?” Habakkuk provides that voice for us, or at least for me. Time after time prayers are offered and it seems nothing is happening. Thanks Habakkuk. Thanks for having the guts to write down that which burns and tests my faith.
The Lord’s answer is not exactly what was expected:
“Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
You asked, now stand back and watch and witness God’s response in short order. You complain, so here come the Babylonians, those who are feared and dreaded, the ones that invent laws to please themselves; these are the ruthless who laugh at kings and rulers and destroy city walls. These people are coming your way and you will not be able to stand against them.
Habakkuk proclaims God’s sovereignty and speaks for us again, looking for clarification, a kind of “help me understand” moment:
Is he to keep on emptying his net,
destroying nations without mercy?
I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
God’s response is resolute.
“See, the enemy is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—
Hang in there Habakkuk! Remember the faith of Abraham, recall the stories of old. Hang in there all of us! God has a plan, even though our eyes are not capable of seeing and understanding. Woe to those who put their agenda before God’s.
- Woe to him who piles up stolen goods Habakkuk 2:6
- Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain Habakkuk 2:9
- Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice! Habakkuk 2:12
- Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies! Habakkuk 2:15
- Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Habakkuk 2:19
Habakkuk speaks for us in chapter 3, concluding that he will be faithful, a testament to how we should respond.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Even though I don’t see, yet I will wait, but more than that, I will rejoice while I’m waiting! God is my strength and refuge. He has adopted us into his family. It’s difficult to see at times, but we need to rest in that truth.
For the director of music.
On my stringed instruments.
Chapter 3 is a song to be played, music to be written to help us remember. One of those tunes that get stuck in your head and you hear it all day long.
Wait patiently and rejoice.
I’m so tired of waiting!
Know that God is sovereign.
I know you rule, but…
Rejoice when trials come.
I don’t want to rejoice
Hear my voice
Take comfort in knowing
I died for you
Do something today that reveals to the world
that you understand
You are my sons and daughters