Habakkuk brings his complaints unto the Lord and has many questions concerning
the evil brought upon Israel by the Babylonians. His heart wrenches at the social injustice he sees at the hands of a ruthless and pagan nation. His complaints are legitimate from man’s point of view and his call out for justice to the one true God shows his understanding of Who the Lord is and of His concern for justice in His creation.
Habakkuk shows his knowledge of the Holy (1:12-17) by reminding God he knows Who He is and this is important for us as well whenever we begin our petitions directed towards the Most High. Where Habakkuk seems to fail is when he doesn’t listen to his own understanding of God. He speaks of His intolerance for evil and passion for justice and even reminds God that He knows He is using the Babylonians as “your instrument of punishment” for the sins of an adulterous Israel. Though he declares to understand and know the Lord and His plans, his human position limits his view of God’s whole plan of destroying evil and redeeming all things.
How many times are we like Habakkuk? How many times do we proclaim all of the knowledge we understand concerning God and His plans and fall short of His working behind the scenes? God replies to Habakkuk, reminding the prophet that evil will never reign supreme and righteousness will prevail, always and forever.
In every generation this narrative plays out. “How long, Lord” pleads the captives in Egypt waiting for the deliverer to come, the Psalmist throughout the Psalms, and the Saints beheaded who are beneath the golden altar (Rev. 6:10). We too cry out “How long, Lord” till You come and destroy evil and restore all things by righteousness? Our sight is limited and our faith is then activated and grown.
As we look around at the evil that seems to be permeating our culture today, inciting us to act in haste, not wisdom, we must stop and trust in the promises of God. We are to be the salt and the light of this world as Jesus teaches, even in the face of losing what we perceive as our rights and persecution on many levels. Our strength to do so comes from the Spirit of the One Who has promised His justice in His timing according to His purpose. Our only remaining response should be, “Your perfect will be done. Amen!”
This week’s devotional was written by Nelson Poynter. He is married to his wife Chris, is a graduate of Crossroads Bible College, and has a heart for God and for His people. He writes at www.nelsonpoynter.com