(photo credit: Unsplash)
Turn your Bibles to Habakkuk.
I am pretty sure you have not heard someone say that to you regularly, for Habakkuk is one of those books that get “pushed to the wayside” due to it not being as big as Matthew, Mark, Proverbs, Psalm, and more, but Habakkuk is a gem laid out in plain daylight, yet many do not see it shine due to thinking “Oh, Habakkuk was a minor prophet from the Old Testament, what could possibly be in there,” but today, I am going to show you how Habakkuk is speaking to us in 2018.
First, I want to explain why Habakkuk is one of my favorite books, and it stems from freshman year of high school. When I was a freshman, my Bible teacher assigned us to put together a devotion, and each would be given 5-10 minutes to share it in front of the class. Back when I was 15, I didn’t really know how to put together a devotion like I do now, so I was freaking out.
I was wondering “What do I write,” “What do I speak on,” “What if I do not make it to 5 minutes,” “What if I mess up,” “How do I do this?”
I did what almost ever freshman would do; I copied my pastor’s sermon, and trust me, I know that was wrong, but I was a desperate 15 year old girl who did not know what she was doing, but God began to work in me about his sermon, which was on Habakkuk, and I thought “Wait, there is something more to Habakkuk that I never saw before.” Therefore, I began to do my own digging, and what once started as me copying a sermon turned into me putting my own twist on it.
When I fully looked at the context, the history, the wording, the structure, and the meaning of Habakkuk, I was floored by how I could have missed such an amazing book with a powerful meaning, and now, it is one of my favorites, and I hope it becomes one of yours too.
What is Habakkuk even about?
Habakkuk, in a generalized summary, is about evil escalating in the nation of Judah, and Habakkuk sees it happening and asks God “Why are you silent” or “God when will you do something,” which also asks “Why are you letting this happen?” Habakkuk wept for justice and for evil to be wiped away from Judah justice, but God seemed to be “silent.”
Habakkuk fervently prays to God, but what Habakkuk does not know, is that God does have a plan, and He uses the Babylonians, on His behalf, to bring justice and to punish those who lived wicked lives. In the end, Habakkuk understood the importance of trusting God even though we might not know what God is doing behind the scenes, and Habakkuk chose to find joy in God and what is to come.
When I first read Habakkuk, I sympathized with Habakkuk due to his heart breaking at the sight of sin in Judah, but it also taught me a lesson; God knows what He is doing, so we must trust Him. In 2018, we have sin ramping up in many different ways such as music being vulgar, movies being obscene, immorally, and we have wars, sickness, famine, droughts, and the lit continues, but God sees it all.
God sees sin,
He sees what you are doing even when you think no one does,
God sees all things done in the dark,
And God is a God of justice and mercy.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” Hebrews 13:5
Therefore, God isn’t turning His back on us, yet so many people ask “God why do you let this happen” or ‘God why are you silent,” which isn’t trusting God. Though you might be going through troubled waters that seem to have no end, you should trust God, for He will not leave you or forsake you, for He is with you always.
Atheist always ask “Why does God allow bad things to happen,” but then I ask “Why did Adam and Eve eat from the tree when they already had everything?” Due to the fall of man, we have sin, and it isn’t God’s fault; it’s our fault. We are the broken, we are the imperfect, and we were the ones who disobeyed God, so the question “Why does God allow bad things to happen,” does not make theological sense, for we brought sin into the world, not God, which brings us back to Habakkuk, for he chose to rejoice in God rather than continuously interrogate Him.
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:18-19
Habakkuk, in the beginning, questioned God, for he asked “Where are you,” and he wept endlessly, but God was listening, God was watching, and God did not let evil prevail, for He did stop it, and in the end, Habakkuk decided to find strength in God, to find joy in Him, and to not let his misunderstanding stop him from trusting God.
Habakkuk teaches us that though we do not know what God is doing behind the scenes, He has everything planned out accordingly to His purpose, so why let the factors around you make you falter in your walk with Christ? Sometimes, God will give us more than we can handle so that we can give it to God, for He can handle it, and sometimes, God is silent, for He is testing to see if we trust Him or question Him, for our faith should be strong and sturdy, and if we doubt God, then that means we need work on strengthening our faith, which we all do, for none is perfect.
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16
However, if you do run from God, you will end up like Jonah; in a deeper situation than what you want to be in, for Jonah was frustrated, but when God wanted to Jonah to go on His behalf, Jonah said “No,” and ran the other way, which is not the response we should have as Christians.
Jonah and Habakkuk were both frustrated due to sin being everywhere, but both of them show us two different outcomes. One shows us that when we go into prayer about the unknown, our faith will be made stronger in the end, but the other shows us that when we run from God, we only end up in worse situations, and in Jonah’s case, it was in the belly of a whale.
Habakkuk and Jonah describe a lot of people today. You have some people who are like Habakkuk, and they go into prayer about God delivering them out of turmoil, but then you have some who are like Jonah who run away from the problem and refuse to listen to God. In 2018, we have many Habakkuks and Jonahs running around, but we should strive to be like Habakkuk and go into prayer when we do not understand instead of running.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
In 2018, we can apply Habakkuk to our lives by trusting God even though the waves are rough and rigid. We can trust God by knowing that Christ is our strengthen, and if God can split the sea and if Jesus can conquer the grave, then He can also defeat the mountains you have, the battles you are fighting, and the turmoil you are in, but you must have faith. If God is being silent, it doesn’t mean He has left you, for He is always there, so trust in Him, for all things work out for those who love Him.
In the end, Habakkuk is a book filled with a gem that many push under the rug, but I hope to uncover that gem, for many people in 2018 are asking “Why God,” yet the answer lies within His Word. Habakkuk was just like you and I; a godly person who wished to see God make a change, and He did, so be like Habakkuk and go into prayer when you find yourself asking God “Why,” go to God about your concerns, He will answer them, He will comfort you, and He will bring you to the other side stronger, wiser, and with stronger faith, for God’s promises still stand and they will never fail.