June 18. Habakkuk 3
We stepped back in time when we read our passage today. Habakkuk wrote not too long before the invasion of Jerusalem by the Babylonians who took Daniel captive. Can you imagine being a prophet in those days before the invasion and having to tell everyone that … they were going to lose, and God was going to allow Babylon to conquer them? I suspect that was a highly unpopular message. Not sure I’d want to be giving it out to people on street corners. I’d be afraid of being harmed!
This short three chapter book basically is about Habakkuk’s unhappiness at this state of affairs. He wants to know why. It’s not like the Babylonians were the good guys, here. They didn’t worship God at all. Habakkuk asks a lot of questions in the first two chapters and has to wait quite a while before God answers. But answer God does, and chapter three, our chapter for today is his beautiful and surrendered response. Habakkuk, like Daniel, chooses to see beyond his own pain and his own time in history and accepts that God has a bigger plan, and he can trust it.
This is how we are called to live as well. Life here on earth may not go swimmingly for us. (How has your life been? All happy and tidy? Me neither.) This does not change the reality that there is a God who cares so much that human beings come to know Him by their own free choice that He allows hard things in order to give them many, many chances to turn to Him and love Him as He loves them. Life here on earth is just a nanosecond compared to the life to come when we reside with God. Hard as it may be, it’s not the whole story. The life lessons we learn here somehow equip us for there. We can trust that it ends well with a beautiful and eternal new beginning. That’s where Habakkuk lands in chapter three. His decision to trust in the face of disaster is stunning.
My verse: Habakkuk 3:16b “… I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us.”
My response: O Lord, there is that word “wait” again! Even when there seems to be no hope, Habakkuk’s choice is the choice of faith and trust. So he waits for Your justice and judgment on evil doers—quietly. His confidence is in You despite the desolation around him! He trusts more in Who You are than in what he presently sees. Help me to have that kind of faith.