"O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work. In our time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy” (Hab. 3.2).
These are trying times in our nation right now. What is in your list of concerns? Here is part of mine. The pandemic, the social unrest and racial violence that never seem to end, and it is simply overwhelming to ponder how many troubled people feel entitled (or whatever) to purchase assault weapons to use on their fellow citizens. When babies cry it is a sign that they need attention. Listen to this: There are many crying babies in our nation right now. Something is not right! …
People of faith have answers.
Do you remember the plight of Habakkuk? He was a godly man living in a time of injustice and complacency. He knew his people deserved to be judged, and he asked God when He would finally come and show His people the error of their ways. God answered, but now Habakkuk was even more confused. God would use an invading army to accomplish His purpose. How could God allow His people to suffer at the hands of evil-doers? God answered His prophet again, and told him, “Trust me. You will survive this if you keep your faith in me” (Hab. 2.4). … Can Habakkuk help us understand what is taking place in our land right now? It is tempting to make direct applications to our time. The times seem right for an Amos or a Joel to come and explain how we are experiencing the consequences of our behavior as a nation. Flash back to a time before the pandemic. Did you ever pray for the spiritual health of the nation? “O God, make yourself known in these times of moral decline!” … I am sure many prayers like that were said. Is God answering such prayers now? … Think about that for a moment.
We should be wary of making simplistic applications from the prophets to our time. However, the spirit of Habakkuk speaks to us. So, until a prophet arises, let us come back to the prayerful prophet and learn. Let us learn to pray urgently, honestly, persistently, for our land and its people. Let us pray for healing, and for greater faith. May this time of trial drive us toward God in a greater way. But most of all, from Habakkuk, let us learn to trust in our God. One of the greatest prayers of faith in scripture is found in Hab. Ch. 3. He knows his God as He had revealed Himself in the story of his people. He simply has no doubt about what God can do. After reciting God’s mighty acts in the past, he makes his vow to God:
“Though the fig tree does not blossom, though the produce fails, and the flock is cut off from the fold …. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.” …
We see here that Habakkuk was a realist. He knew what was liable to happen when the invaders came. But he also knew his God and he trusted him, even though he could not understand His ways! Habakkuk has left us big faith-shoes to fill. I am trying to put my feet into those shoes right now and believe in God as he did. How about you?