Some of the most beautiful words written come from Habakkuk. This Old Testament prophet recorded his raw and honest conversations with God amidst a turbulent and uncertain time in history.
Gazing ahead in the course North America is tracking, I don’t know how far we are behind Israel but am grieved as we careen toward inevitable disasters positioned on our current trajectory.
Government leaders who open doors of lawlessness, a broken and corrupt medical system, education, increasingly detrimental to children’s minds, the breakdown of healthy family and growing animosity toward believers in Jesus are a few factors. It can be easy to focus on the peril at hand, yet it is only a small part of the landscape God sees.
“How long, Lord, must I call for help but you do not listen? Or cry out ‘violence!’ but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice and tolerate wrongdoing?”
God takes Habakkuk’s complaint, and expands the picture by 1000x. “Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed for I am going to do something in your day you would not believe even if told.”
He tells Habakkuk He is bringing a godless army to completely overthrow His people and destroy the land. I resonate deeply with Habakkuk’s answer – I’ve asked it myself.
“But God, Habakkuk laments, why would you allow a wicked people with no regard for your glory to inflict more injustice to turn your wayward people? Don’t you have any better ideas? “Yet,” he says, “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 complaining prophet realizes he is part of God’s answer, and must watch to be ready when his part is revealed. God responds:
“Write down the revelation, make it plain on tablets so messengers may run with it. For the 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…”
God explains destruction will be allowed only for a time, and woe to the city built on injustice. There will be reckoning, but even in the chaos, God’s work is relentless and redemptive. In the end Christ will stride through the earth, establishing complete justice and mercy.
“You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed ones. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot and with his own spear you pierced his head!”
Jesus initiated the fulfillment of this on the cross, giving us authority and answer to Habakkuk’s complaint. We look at Habakkuk from the other side of the cross! The enemy has limited power, and we, the vision of what will be. The answer we watch for is how we are to invite the kingdom of heaven to collide with earth bringing life and peace!
What vision have you received that fits into His grand vision of salvation? If we have written it down, and believe God will bring it to pass, even if there be no good thing in sight, we can say with Habakkuk: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the fields produce no food… yet I will rejoice in the Lord…The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and enables me to run on the high places!”