Tuesday, June 26, 2012

That little book called Habakkuk ~ Part 2

You can read the introduction here.

When we open our Bible (or Bible app) to the book of Habakkuk we first see Habakkuk complaining to God about the destruction and injustice surrounding him. 

Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Habakkuk lives in a time when the kings of Judah have yet again forsaken God.  They have decided to follow their own desires which result in injustice, wrongdoing, destruction, violence, strife, and conflict.  Habakkuk's first complaint sounds a lot like our world today.  The world has chosen to follow its own desires and completely ignore God.  Where there is no light there is darkness and we certainly live in a dark world.  Habakkuk is a God-fearing man and the state of his people breaks his heart.  Do I as a Christian have a broken heart for the world around me?  Do I cry out to God for those who don't know Him?  And in my own life, do I follow after God's heart or do I follow my own desires? 

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?

This is not Habakkuk's first cry to the Lord.  He has been praying and grieving for his people before this "first" complaint and yet God has not answered him yet.  Are there times when we feel like Habakkuk?  Have we been praying and pleading for God to intervene and heard nothing in reply?  I have.  My desire is to stay at home full time and my husband and I have been praying to God over this issue for almost 2 years and yet I am still working outside the home.  Does the silence mean that God doesn't hear me?  Certainly not!  As we will see God does here Habakkuk's complaint.  He hears our complaints everytime we come before Him.  We want an answer right now at this very second but God sees a big picture that we don't.  He answers in His good timing.  We expect to hear the answer that we want but as we see in Habakkuk we don't always hear that answer.

I am raising up the Babylonians, 
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
    to seize dwellings not their own.
Habakkuk 1:6

Whoa!  Wait just one minute here.  Habakkuk was pleading with God to intervene.  God was supposed to do away with the injustice and violence.  He is supposed to bless Judah with peace and abundance.  How many times do we feel this way?  "God, You're supposed to bring me home right now and bless my husband with a job that provides for us."  I don't think Habakkuk was planning on hearing the answer he got.  God, seeing the big picture, answered Habakkuk with some very bad news.  Instead of blessing Judah with peace He is going to send the Babylonians to punish Judah's sin. 

We are not promised our every heart's desire.  God has a plan to work out in our lives and sometimes that plan isn't pretty.  That's a result of sin.  Our fallen world does not promise happy endings.  However, if we are born again we will find a happy ending in eternity one day.

Reading the book of Habakkuk has been very hard.  I guess I was hoping to find good news that promised me my every heart's desire.  I didn't find that.  But I did find that God does know the big picture.  He does hear me and will answer me in His timing.  Stay tuned next week for Habakkuk's second complaint after his unexpected answer.  Trust me, this is not the end!

Do you expect God to answer your heart's desire?  Any insights from Habakkuk's first complaint and God's first answer?  I would love to hear what God is teaching you!

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