Habakkuk 1:12-13 O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgement; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
At many times throughout its history, and no less today, the Church has found itself identifying closely with the message of Habakkuk. The prophet was commissioned with the onerous task of warning God’s people that they were under God’s judgement, and that the instrument the LORDwould use to deal with them was the savage, godless nation of Babylon.
This explains the anguish of Habakkuk’s cry. Was not his God ‘the LORD ’, who had made an Everlasting Covenant with them based on his abounding and unchanging LOVE and MERCY? Had he not PROMISED them he would care for, provide for, and protect them FOREVER? Had he not proved himself to be their solid ROCK?
Today, we are seeing OUR nation moving further and further away from the truths of God’s Word: the LORD’s Day is no longer any different from any other day of the week; Christians are being prevented from speaking out against lifestyles and practices that are clearly contrary to GOD’s WORD; we are slowly losing the battle against the legalisation of (even later term) abortion and euthanasia. We are appalled at the way all these issues are being dealt with in the media, and by the repeated use of catch phrases like ‘homophobia’, ‘marriage equality’ and ‘assisted dying’ to cloud the real issues and gain emotional support for causes the Bible clearly condemns. With Habakkuk we ask, Why is a Sovereign God who is pure and holy allowing these things to advance unchecked?
The key to the answer to the prophet’s enigma is found in the next chapter: ‘… but the righteous will live by his faith’ (2:4). Whatever action God takes in history to purify his ‘Bride’ we know that HE IS in control, and that HE IS working ALL THINGS for our good (Romans 8:28). All we are required to do is to TRUST HIM, even when our circumstances confuse us. Remember, this is how it also was for Jesus’ disciples at the foot of the cross! And just as God KEPT his promise to conquer death on the third day, let US trust Jesus to keep HIS promise: “I WILL build MY church, and the gates of Hades WILL NOT overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)! Let us sing with Habakkuk and the compilers of ‘Scripture in Song’: “Though the fig tree does not blossom and there be no fruit on the vine, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stall; yet will I rejoice in the Lord, yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation, God the Lord is my strength.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)