July 27, 2022 - Habakkuk 1-3

Things were so bad for Habakkuk and Jerusalem! The prophet looked out over a landscape of devastation and hopelessness. In his hopelessness, Habakkuk entered into a conversation with God about what he saw, and he was as honest as can be. He cried out to God, but he could not hear God answer. He just didn’t understand. How can the unrighteous and godless Babylonians so mistreat the people of God? How can God let them get away with that?

Habakkuk waits, and wow, what an answer the Lord gives! “Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans” (1:6). The Lord is doing this! But the Lord also reminds the prophet that the righteous one will live by his faith (2:4). That is, to Habakkuk the Lord says, “Trust me. Lean on me.” And though Habakkuk is so terrified that his bones quake, and he trembles, yet he will wait on the Lord: “Yet I will triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” (3:18).

It has often been noted that the matter of courage is not the absence of fear; rather, it is the pressing ahead in the face of fear. Perhaps a bit of revision here. Faith is not so much the settled resting during good times; rather, it is trusting the Lord even when everything is falling apart. With this assurance, we sing:

God is working his purpose out,

as year succeeds to year;

God is working his purpose out,

and the time is drawing near;

nearer and nearer draws the time,

the time that shall surely be:

when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea. -- Arthur Campbell Ainger (1894)



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