Habakkuk, though it linger, wait for it…

27 Aug

habukkuk

We’ve started a series on the book of Habakkuk on Sunday evening.

Even though we’ve only just started, I was struck to see the dialogue between Habakkuk and God. More than a dialogue in fact, it’s the complaints of Habakkuk, and the replies of God.

I know that God is a relational God, and I know that I can freely talk with God, through His Son Jesus. I often feel though that I shouldn’t question God, because His ways are different than my ways. To question God, to question His ways seem a bit disrespectful. However, Habakkuk is grappling with God, never doubting His sovereignty, or His righteousness but being confused by what he sees around him. Habakkuk is struggling to reconcile the God that he serves and the pain in the world… and questions Him. And God’s answer is just absolutely unexpected. It will be even worse, He answers. What I’m going to do, He says, is that I’ll raise this evil people, the Babylonians, and they will ‘seize dwelling places not their own’ , they ‘gather prisoners like sand’, they ‘deride kings and scoff at rulers’ and God’s people, Israel, are included.

How often do I pray and the answer I get is just so unexpected? Sometimes it’s a ‘yes’ and sometimes it’s a ‘no’, and sometimes it’s a ‘later’. God often works in an unexpected way but He always acts according to His own agenda and in His own time. God says that His revelation awaits an appointed time. “Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay”. In this time, God’s righteous judgement will come.

What matters is not so much my questions to God, but rather my responses to His answer. Habakkuk responded with faith. The last verses of the book are amazing ‘I heard and my heart pounded (…) my legs trembled. (…) yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.’

This should be the response to my questions to God. Questioning God, but never doubting Him. Trembling, yet rejoicing in His Sovereignty AND His righteousness.

May the Lord be my helper…

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3 Responses to “Habakkuk, though it linger, wait for it…”

  1. Marraine August 28, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Je ne suis pas aussi calée (dans mon vocabulaire, et dans le reste d’ailleurs) que Phillip, mais ce que je sais, quand Dieu te soumet à une épreuve, il t’ouvre toujours une porte pour t’aider.A toi de l’a trouver! Inconsciemment tu as une force qui t’aide à surmonter la douleur. Je vous fait de gros bisous.Marraine

  2. inks75 August 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    You are right my sweet theologian husband! For me I don’t always feel that I can question God, unless I’m absolutely at the end of my tether, I feel that, well He’s God, so He knows, so don’t even ask questions… which often leads me to not even pray about it – which is wrong, I know. I was really encouraged with Habakkuk to raise my eyebrows, and think, and asks, and questions and even moan about things that I really am battling with.
    But indeed, without accusing God of being cruel or unloving.
    🙂

  3. Phillip August 27, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    The fact is Habakkuk (and us) had more than enough evidence that God was indeed good and “slow to anger and abounding in love” if he looked at God’s history of dealing with mankind up until that point and if he listened to what God had revealed about his character in his written word. It’s just very hard for a man or woman of faith to remember that in the middle of a storm that they are experiencing. Speaking to God openly and honestly is exactly the thing to do, as we see from Habakkuk, as long as we don’t become like the unbeliever who uses his or her narrow and limited experience and understanding to argue that God is either dead, useless, uninterested or evil.

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