Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Faith of Habakkuk

A story of the kind of faith we need today. Habakkuk most likely lived in the days of the ungodly King Jehoiakim, and the society he lived in was corrupt and sinful. As a true believer, he was at his wits end. And God was not going to make him feel better.

Habakkuk's Complaint

1:2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, "Violence!"
but you do not save?

3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.

4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.

The Lord 's Answer

5 "Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.

6 I am raising up the Babylonians, [a]
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwelling places not their own.

7 They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.

8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like a vulture swooping to devour;

9 they all come bent on violence.
Their hordes [b] advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.

10 They deride kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
they build earthen ramps and capture them.

11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty men, whose own strength is their god."

And God's warning went on to get worse at Habakkuk's further lamentations. Habakkuk could have thrown in the towel, or gone ballistic. His response though, was a measure of the true believer...

3:2 LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

And, in one of the most amazing of the many statements of faith in God's Word, Habakkuk concludes...

3:16 I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.

17 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,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Look around us today, and note the same conditions. We seem to be floating in a sea of sin, despair, and fear. In this day, we can do no better than to remember and repeat Habakkuk's last words of faith in prayer.

Sir Chuck

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