The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received. How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but You do not save? Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Habakkuk 1: 1-4 (NIV)
Do you see injustice, wrong-doing, destruction, violence, strife and conflict? Do you feel like justice never prevails and the righteous just can’t seem to get ahead? Then you feel pretty much like dear prophet Habakkuk felt so many years ago. We don’t know much about Habakkuk; most people have trouble pronouncing his name and finding his book in the Bible. Yet his book made it in the “Big 66” because God wants us to hear what this prophet has to say. God’s Word is timeless, so when Habakkuk speaks, what must we hear?
Habakkuk is a little-known prophet who was a contemporary of Jeremiah and a man of deep faith, steeped in the traditions of Israel. His prophetic writings were not addressed to Israel; but was a dialogue between the prophet and God. In the first two chapters, he argued with God over His ways. Like us many times, Habakkuk struggled to understand how God ran the world.
But God was not offended. He answered Habakkuk and made it clear that the corrupt destroyer would itself be destroyed! At the conclusion of the book, Habakkuk learned how to rest in God, trust His hand and “await His working in a spirit of worship.” He responded to God with a beautiful confession of faith, which we will explore during this month. No matter what has happened in your past, no matter what is happening right now in your present, no matter how uncertain your future, know this: God is in control. Never doubt. Do not fear. Only trust God’s Word and obey His voice.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stall, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3: 17 – 19 (NIV)