Habakkuk – God is enough
“The just shall live by faith.” Habakkuk 2:4
Habakkuk was among several prophets, including Daniel, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and Nahum, through whom God warned Israel and Judah of coming judgment. Israel at the hands of the Assyrians and then, even while thinking they were secure and above such things, Judah would be conquered by Babylon.
It is happening before Habakkuk’s eyes. His country, now under king Manasseh, is sliding further away from God and getting worse every day. The ungodly oppress the righteous and rule the courts so justice is perverted with no standard for right and wrong. Sounds familiar.
So the prophet cry’s out to God, “Where are You?!” “How long will You be silent?” “Why don’t You do something about this?” These are God’s people. Habakkuk saw what happened to Israel and as he looks out over Judah and Jerusalem he is just overwhelmed, he doesn’t understand. Where is God?
Maybe you have been there. You don’t understand what is going on in the world, why evil seems to be prevailing and God is absent. Or silent. Your cries seem to go unheard.
God answered Habakkuk. Finally God revealed His plan to His servant. He told Habakkuk that He was preparing the Babylonians to march upon Judah as God’s means of judgment.
God answered but it wasn’t what Habakkuk was expecting, or what he wanted, or thought God would do, and it made him even more confused. Like Abraham ‘negotiating’ with God over Sodom and Gomorrah, or Jacob wrestling with the Angel at Bethel, Habakkuk wrestles with God.
“Are You not from everlasting, O Lord God, my Holy One?” (1:12) “Why them? They’re ruthless. Evil. Our wickedness will be judged by those more wicked than us? Habakkuk doesn’t get it.
God answers his servant again and assures him that the Babylonians will also be judged in time, their evil ways will not go unnoticed.
So God answers the cry of His heart but the answer doesn’t really satisfy. Sorrow and confusion remain.
Are there things going on in the world today that have you hanging on by a thread? You cannot comprehend the selfish wickedness of people, the meanness, the illogical, inhuman things people are promoting, all the while seeking to silence the voice of love and the sanctity of life?
Or maybe it is something personal. You have a wounded loved one, a child that is hurting, or maybe a relationship is going bad and you can’t stop it. A diagnosis blind-sided you or you lost your job, or car, or house – any of a million things.
God answers your cry but the answer leaves you wanting something different, you want it fixed, over, better. And it’s not.
Habakkuk is a unique name for a person. I haven’t seen it on any baby name lists but it has a beautiful meaning – “embrace.” The amazing thing about Habakkuk is that not understanding the ways of God didn’t ruin his faith. For some people, the first sign of injustice is reason to chuck their faith out the window. Not Habakkuk. His faith actually increased. He fell into the embrace of God and trusted in the goodness and love of his Heavenly Father.
He realized that when answers do not satisfy, God is still enough.
“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”
Dear one, God’s love for you and those you are praying for is unfailing and unfathomable, trust Him. Live by faith. Jesus said to John the Baptist’s disciples, “Blessed is he who doesn’t stumble because of Me.” (Luke 7:23) In other words, “I don’t always do things the way you expect or might prefer, but I love you. Trust Me.”
The deepest joy, peace and hope will be yours when you let go and trust Jesus. He is enough.