O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! (Habakkuk 1:2 KJV)
There are many today who share this feeling of being left alone in spite of prayers for HELP!!! Much of what Habakkuk saw, we are seeing today. He complained to God about the problems his people faced – and the consequences.
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. (Habakkuk 1:3-4 KJV)
I do believe there are good-hearted people who see problems in our world today – such as spoiling, destroying or diminishing the value and quality of life; violence, as displayed by the bombs (delivered by air and in person) taking lives daily; law ignored or blatantly broken; consequences for wrong not apparent, while innocents suffer. How is that any different from what our world faces today?
God’s answer is not what Habakkuk expected, or wanted:
Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. (Habakkuk 1:5-6 KJV)
The next few verses give more descriptions of what is to come. From verse 12-17, we see Habakkuk beseeching the Lord not allow the destruction of His people. He reminds God that He made the covenant with them, asking for mercy even during the overcoming by enemies.
Habakkuk sees the wrongs in his people, looks to God for justice, but what he hears is almost unbelievable. While he expects the wrongs to be righted, he never expected enemies to be victorious. When we live through the same, can we respond as Habakkuk did:
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
And, can we accept, as Habakkuk did, God’s answer:
And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:1-3 KJV)
Do we have the faith to accept that consequences will come? That they may be totally unexpected? And that there is a truth that runs through the entire Bible:
… but the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4b KJV)
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17 KJV)
We read it again:
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:11 KJV)
And, one more time:
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (Hebrews 10:38 KJV)
In what is our faith to be placed? Totally in our Lord, even when only hopelessness is evident.