The Observations.net Weblog
The prophet Habakkuk wrote:
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds‘ [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. ...“ (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Habakkuk was a prophet of God to the people of Judah. He was possibly a Levite and a musician in the Jerusalem temple. He wrote his prophecy during the early days of King Josiah, circa 630 BC.
Habakkuk struggled with a crisis of faith. He saw the wickedness of Judah; the horrible social injustices, the cruelty, the violence. And he cried out to God, ‘How long? When will You judge this wicked land?‘
He was losing faith in God‘s justice. The wicked were committing acts of violence against the righteous and receiving no consequences.
But God spoke to Habakkuk:
“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for [I] will work a work in your days, [which] ye will not believe, though it be told [you]. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, [that] bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces [that are] not theirs. They [are] terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle [that] hasteth to eat.“ (Habakkuk 1:5-8)
The Chaldeans will come, and they will destroy this land. There will be justice.
But Habakkuk‘s crisis of faith only worstened. “But God, You are too holy to use these vile Babylonians as Your instrument of judgement. They are even more vile than the people of Judah.“
And the Lord answered, “the just shall live by his faith.“ (Habakkuk 2:4)
God is saying, “Trust Me. Even when you don‘t understand, trust Me. Even when circumstances don‘t make sense, trust Me.“
Then, in response to Habakkuk‘s need for justice, the Lord went on to pronounce judgement against the Babylonians. “Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men‘s blood, and [for] the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.“ (Habakkuk 2:8)
Habakkuk knew that God was just. And to cement Habakkuk‘s understanding, God gave a vision of His glory to the prophet:
“... His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And [his] brightness was as the light; he had horns [coming] out of his hand: and there [was] the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, [even] for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.“ (Habakkuk 3:3-5,12-13)
Habakkuk saw the power of God and knew that he could trust in His Creator. In response, Habakkuk wrote his Hymn to Faith.
Much of the time, life does not make sense. We don‘t understand why things happen the way they do. Religious people of various persuasions will give you their explanations. But their explanations seem to fall short. The Buddhist will tell you not to care. The new ager will tell you that it is all in your head. The Pharisee will chastise you for daring to question. The judeo-christian will say that he doesn‘t have time to worry because he‘s going to be raptured out of here any second. And, yet, you know that they are all wrong.
Suffering hurts. The world is unjust. And like Habakkuk, you will not be silenced. “Why?“ you demand.
Then comes the voice of God without chastisement or rebuke. “Trust Me. I am God. I am all- powerful. Everything is under My control. Trust Me, for the just shall live by faith.“
“I will execute My plan,“ says God. As He told Habakkuk:
“... Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.“ (Habakkuk 2:2-3)
In other words, God has His plan, and He will work His plan. It may seem to delay, but keep on waiting. For there is no delay. God‘s plan will unfold at the appointed time. And all will make sense.
* posted by Robert on Mon 09/01/03