It is a common question asked through the ages, “Why, God?” Why do the wicked succeed? Why do the violent survive? Why is there injustice in the nation and even in the courts? Why, God? Why?
Habakkuk had the same questions. He lived during the “end” days of Judah, before the Babylonian captivity we have read about the last 2 days. He had a heart for God and sought to do what was right. But, what about everyone else? He was outnumbered, “The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:4 NLT). And that can be a hard place to be. Where right has become wrong and wrong has become right. And, where was God? Why was God not taking action to right the wrongs, punish the evil and make things right?
God answered Habakkuk, but it certainly wasn’t the answer he was expecting or wanting. God did see the evil, violence and injustice. and he was taking care of matters – in His time and His way. He revealed to Habakkuk that He was preparing the wicked, idolatrous Babylonian neighbors to the north to bring God’s judgment on Judah. Wait, a minute, God – they are even worse than us! That’s not fair!
If God had a penny for every time He heard that line – but, He owns everything already.
He doesn’t need your penny – or your advice. God doesn’t need to be understood by His creation. But we would be wise to accept His sovereignty, as Habakkuk did. Even when faced with answers He didn’t fully understand or like, Habakkuk realized and accepted that God was in control. He would punish Judah – and then Babylon – when and how He wanted. And, He would show His power, His patience, His justice, His grace, and His love when and how He saw fit. God’s people can rest in that knowledge. There is a lot we don’t have to know or understand – a lot of “why’s” we can’t answer. But we can rest in knowing that God knows. He knows. He sees. He’s got this. He is working out all things. We can bolster our faith and reliance on God’s way by joining with Habakkuk as He proclaims:
I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
17 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 stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:16-19 NIV
In our questioning, in our fear, in our uncertainty – yet we will wait patiently for God. He WILL set things straight. His perfect judgment is coming. Until then, wait and rejoice in God our Savior – He is our strength.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at Habakkuk 1-3
Tomorrow’s reading will be Jeremiah 41-45 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan