Habakkuk 1

Habakkuk is a prophet who writes around 620 BC or so.  He has some questions that he wants God to answer.  His first question revolves around his attitude that God is allowing bad things to happen.  He is outraged at the violence and injustice all around him and wonders where God is?  He points out seven different problems that come up in verses 2-4:

  1. violence
  2. iniquity (sin)
  3. wrong (wickedness)
  4. destruction
  5. strife
  6. contention
  7. injustice

The list is repetitive at the root – and sounds a whole lot like our society today – doesn’t it?

Habakkuk is seeking God around these things.  He is praying when he says “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help”.  He has been raising the flag but doesn’t feel like God is listening, or certainly not responding to his prayer.  But God is listening and is definitely doing something, although it is probably not the answer Habakkuk wanted.  God is raising up a foreign nation that will come and destroy Judah.  “I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told”.

God says that Habakkuk wouldn’t believe what He is up to even if he understood.  Why?  Because the Chaldeans are a nasty bunch, yet God has chosen them to come and destroy Judah and punish their disobedience.  Verses 6-11 describe just how evil they really are.  Yet God can use anyone or anything to do His will, and is this case, it is an evil kingdom that will come to correct the disobedience of God’s people through destruction.  So what does Habakkuk do?  He asks God his second question.  “Are you not from everlasting”?  Habakkuk doesn’t like the answer and immediately tries to remind God that He is a God of love and can’t go off and destroy His people.

Habakkuk knows God and trusts God but can’t accept God’s answer here.  He reminds God of His nature, and reminds Him that the enemy is evil and doesn’t give Him any credit for what they have done.  He challenges the plan God has laid out, and wonders why God is taking the action He is.  We have to work through questions like this the same way Habakkuk did – by communicating with God and understanding Him.  That means we share our feelings and ask God the questions that we don’t understand.  We can talk with Him.  We have to in order to get His answers.  Habakkuk has gotten one answer about what is to come, but continues to seek more clarity from God.  We need to do the same.

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