2011-01-29 - Habakkuk
A Man Who Argued with God
Today we will look at an Old Testament prophet who was so fed up with the evil in Judah that he complained to God, and the Lord answered him. Habakkuk lived around the time of the more well-known prophet Jeremiah. At that time, Judah was ruled by King Jehoiakim. The book of Kings says that Jehoiakim "did evil in the eyes of the Lord." He was ambitious, cruel, and corrupt. So, Habakkuk's first complaint to God was, "Why does the evil in Judah go unpunished?" (Habakkuk 1:2-4) God's answer to Habakkuk was not good news. The powerful Babylonians would invade and punish the unfaithful nation of Judah. (Habakkuk 1:5-11).
Habakkuk then asked why a just God would use the wicked nation of Babylon to punish a people more righteous than themselves. (Habakkuk 1:12-17) God's answer to Habakkuk was that the nation of Babylon would be punished. In fact, Babylon would eventually be destroyed. And, more importantly, God told Habakkuk that the faith of the righteous would be rewarded - "The righteous will live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)
The prophet Habakkuk concluded with a prayer to God. In it, he remembered God's actions of both wrath and mercy in the past. He concluded with a statement of trust and faith in God. Even if God sent suffering and loss, Habakkuk would have faith and rejoice. (Habakkuk 3:16B-19)
Whenever we face adversity, pain, and loss, we can remember that God has been faithful to us in the past, and that He will be with us no matter what happens to us in the future. He is working out his purpose in our country and our lives. As Hakakkuk said:
"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, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and enables me to go on to the heights." (Habakkuk 3:17-19)