There’s nothing like an election season to remind us of how terrible our situation is! Most every politician points to the troubles in our nation with lots of promises to fix those things once they are in office. They also remind us why their opponent is exactly what our country does NOT need! Frankly, nothing is quite as depressing as watching the mess our country is in as it unfolds in political ads and TV newscasts.
The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk went through similar emotions. Listen to his expression of grief over the state of affairs in the nation of Judah:
Habakkuk 1:2-4 (NLT) “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. 3 Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. 4 The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.”
Habakkuk sounds like he lives in modern-day America. He wanted answers from God. He was not quite prepared for God’s answer when it came. God responded by showing Habakkuk the coming punishment of Judah at the hands of the armies of the Babylonians. God would use these wicked warriors as His hand of punishment on His chosen people. Habakkuk could not understand this. Why would God use such wickedness to punish the wickedness of Habakkuk’s fellow countrymen?
Sometimes God’s ways are difficult to swallow. We often ask, “Why doesn’t God act in this situation? Why does He allow this to go on?” When we say that, often what we mean it, “Why doesn’t God do it the way I would do it?” We have our preconceived ideas of how God should act. When He doesn’t, we are perplexed. We need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. After all, He is sovereign God and knows the beginning and the ending! This was the lesson Habakkuk needed to learn. He determined to watch and learn from what God would do in his situation.
Habakkuk 2:1 (NLT) – “I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.”
What he observed was the assurance that God would deal with the wicked. Habakkuk gained a new awareness of God’s absolute control and care over His created world. Such an understanding gave him a fresh perspective and renewed trust in God. Habakkuk made, perhaps, one of the greatest declarations of faith of all time:
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT) – “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”
Friends, it may get worse before it gets better. But remember, God is working according to His plan and His timetable and in the end, He will reign supreme! Never abandon your trust in Him regardless of what you are going through. He certainly will not abandon you!