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Habakkuk 1: 1- 17

Friday, 11 August 2023

“Are You not from time everlasting, LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, LORD, have appointed them….” -Habakkuk 1:12 [NASB]

Habakkuk was a prophet who lived in Judah before it was invaded and taken over by the Babylonians. The people of Judah were exceedingly sinful, corrupt and had no fear of the God whom they claimed to serve and worship. Greatly disturbed by the situation and the seeming inaction from God, Habakkuk turns to God in desperation. As he pours out his heart to God, it was like desperately asking Him, “Why do you not do something?”

· A frank conversation with God

It appears that Habakkuk was having an open conversation with God expressing his frustration and anger at the conditions in the land. His request to the Lord was, probably, to intervene and bring about a change in the people. He had been requesting God for a long time without receiving a reply causing him to complain “How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen!” Hab 1:1 (NLT)

We are struck with the frankness and honesty in his conversation with God. He does not hide his frustration. The Jews held God in high esteem such that they wouldn’t even take the name of God on their lips. Yet here we see the prophet pouring out his heart to God.

We have a God who knows and understands our weakness. He sees/ knows our struggles, our battles within and without, our failures and our desperation. Heb.4:15 –16 [NLT] says, “In Christ we have a High Priest who understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Be encouraged brothers and sisters— in times of desperation, we may not find a person who can understand. But our Lord knows our heart and cares to listen and reply.

· God’s unexpected reply (Hab.1:5-11)

God does reply to Habakkuk’s complaint but the reply was not quite what Habakkuk expected. In V.5, God says: “For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.” God told Habakkuk that he would send the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people, to execute his judgement on the people of Judah.

· God’s patience and His justice

God, who had been merciful and patient with his chosen people, the Jews, had reached the time set for judgement. Either the people should repent or wait for the judgement of God.

God sets a time for everything (Ecc 3:1). He repeatedly gave His people enough warning, yet they did not listen. Now there can only be an expectation of punishment for disobedience.

To those who willfully reject Him and throw aside His guidelines, there is a warning in Hebrews 10: 26, 27: “if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice of sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

· The hope of the righteous

Habakkuk was filled with dismay at the prophecy from God. He, once again, questioned God asking “will you let the wicked swallow up a people more righteous than they?” (Hab.1: 13) The answer that Habakkuk received to this question restored Habakkuk. God assured him that the wicked will be punished “but the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.” (Hab.2:4).

We too are living in an age where desperation can set in when we see the state of the world around us- wickedness on the rampage, the ungodly having their way, the godly being persecuted and suffering, and the like. But we understand from Habakkuk that God has His plan of action all set. Those who continue in their ungodliness will surely reap their outcome from the just God. The godly need only to be patient and live faithfully until God’s appointed time of fulfilment.

Prayer: Everlasting GOD, help me in my times of desperation and doubt to cling on to You and wait to see You working Your perfect plan.



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