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Habakkuk was a God-fearing man who saw with Heaven-Eyes. He saw all the injustice and wicked sin that God’s children had gotten themselves into, and he spoke to God about it.
He said, “O God, how long will You put up with this wickedness in front of You? Aren’t You going to do something about it?”
God answered Habakkuk, “Oh yeah. I am. Watch Me! Something is going to happen that you won’t even be able to believe! I’m going to let the Babylonians do the job.”
“What?!” Habakkuk’s jaw dropped. The Babylonians were terribly wicked people.
God continued, “Yup. That’s right. Those uncaring Babylonians who rush in like the wind to steal and destroy.”
Habakkuk did not understand. Why would God use these wicked Babylonians to discipline His children?
So Habakkuk said, “Lord, You have been around from the beginning. My Holy One, You are everlasting. My Protector, You have chosen them as Your instrument of punishment.”
Habakkuk is respectfully acknowledging that God is Boss, so this is His decision. But Habakkuk goes on to ask…
“But Lord, You are so pure that sin cannot come near You! How then can You put up with these untrustworthy, selfish Babylonian people? They are even worse than we are! Are You going to let Babylon be allowed to keep doing all their evil?”
Then Habakkuk waited to hear God’s answer.
God did have an answer! He said, “Write down what I’m about to tell you because it will happen.
“The person who wants what is not right, will blow up with pride and collapse with exhaustion. But, My righteous ones who stand firm in justice and integrity, will LIVE because of Faith. The proud man will be let down by wine. He will never be at rest, and he’s always hungry and thirsty. He is never satisfied. He gathers to himself all the nations, and he takes captive all peoples.
“But one day, all those same nations that he took captive will make jokes about him. They’ll say, ‘Oh, you’re doomed. Everyone will reap what they sow. People who stole money from others, get money stolen from them! People who embarrassed others, get embarrassed themselves.‘
“All the take, take, taking will come to nothing in the end. The violent things people do, will happen to them. It doesn’t pay to worship yourself!
“You can be sure of this! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has decided: The wicked nations’ efforts will go up in smoke; their exhausting work will be for nothing.
“Recognition of the Lord’s majesty will fill the earth just as the waters fill up the sea.
“The Lord stands in His Holy Place — His Place of Otherness and Purity — let all the earth shush in His Presence!”
Sometime after Habakkuk wrote all this down, he also wrote down a prayer to God that was sung as a song with wild and victorious string music. He sang:
Lord, You are famous! The things You do are awesome! Do them again now, in our day. Let it Come! But in Your anger, remember Your mercy too.
Your glory came, Your splendor shone! You stood and shook the earth. You march, march, march on forever! You pulled out Your weapons to deal with the nations. You came out to save Your people and deliver Your Anointed One. You struck the wicked nation who came to scatter us.
Your answer made my stomach tied up in knots. My heart started racing, my lip started quivering. My legs started shaking. It felt kind of scary. BUT! I will wait patiently for the day when you come crashing down on the nation who is invading us. I don’t even have to see it to believe it will happen!
Even though the fig tree doesn’t bud and there are no grapes on the vines… Even though the olive crop dies and the fields produce no food… Even though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls… I will be happy and rejoice in all God is and does. I will be happy in the one who Saves!
I know most of us these days don’t have fig trees, crops, sheep or cows in our backyard. But it’s like Habakkuk is saying, “Even though there’s no milk or juice in the fridge… and even though there’s no peanut butter or bread in the cabinet… I will be happy.”
He who has Supreme, Highest, Ultimate Power — He is my Strength. He makes my feet like the feet of the deer; He will get me up, up, up to the top of even the most rocky and rugged terrain.
So while Habakkuk was a little nervous about the future at first, he realized: It doesn’t matter what scarrrry thing is happening around us. It doesn’t matter what we don’t have. It doesn’t matter how things look to our earth eyes. We can rejoice and let God be our strength through it all.
That’s a very different attitude than most people have, isn’t it? But it’s an attitude of Faith that believes in the One who is the Great I AM! And THAT is the attitude of Faith where we can all find Life in God!