Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted. (Habakkuk 1:2-4)
Habakkuk, one of the prophets of God, saw injustice, which prevailed around him: God’s people were suffering from oppressions inflicted by those who did not know God. He and those who were faithful earnestly prayed, but those oppressions did not diminish. The hard life continued with him and the people of Judah. He, himself as a prophet, was getting frustrated. Finally, he opened his mouth and questioned — “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?” Then Habakkuk continued listing what he saw: violence, iniquity, destruction, lawlessness, and perversion. His heart, who had been faithful to God, started being clouded by what he saw. He could not stop crying out to God. His doubt was slowly creeping into his heart, and undermined his absolute trust in God. One portion of his heart started questioning about God Himself:
“Are you not from everlasting,
O LORD my God, my Holy one? …
“Why do you idly look at traitors
and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?” …
Is he then to keep on emptying his net
and mercilessly killing nations forever?” (Habakkuk 1:12a, 13b, 17)
Habakkuk could not believe let his God, the Holy one happen what he saw. He asked why God remained silent especially when the wicked one swallowed up those who were more righteous than him. Not just once, this injustice seemed continuing without any sing of ending. Like a fisherman, who used a dragnet, the wicked gathered everything on his path, dragged to shore, emptied the net, and went back to continue gathering whatever he could collect. The wicked did for pleasure while the righteous were suffering. For his eyes, this vicious act seemed never ending.
Upon Habakkuk’s prayer, God answered:
Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:2-4)
Although in our eyes, there is no justice and God seems indifferent to the righteous suffering. God says that His righteousness and His mercy will not delay, and will come on its appointed time. It seems slow, but it is not. It will surely come; it will not delay. And God says that the righteous shall live by his faith, not by what he sees, what he hears, or what he touches. Our God is greater than anything else. He is not indifferent to the faithful, and He carefully watches over the faithful because the faithful (i.e., we) are precious in His eyes.
Habakkuk concludes the book of Habakkuk by declaring about God:
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,
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 tread on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
This is Habakkuk’s victory song. He looked around, and he saw: the fig tree did not bud, and no grapes on the vines. The olive did not produce, and no crops in the field. The sheep disappeared from the pen, and no cattle in the stalls. But through faith, he could see through God’s hand behind the scene ready for action. Then he rejoiced in the Lord, and he was happy because God delivered him. Then he sang and praised “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”
Praise the God! The righteous will live by faith, not by sight. We will rejoice in God. We will be happy because of the Lord who delivers us. We are so precious to Him. He purchased the blood of Jesus Christ to make us His children. The One, who is the creator of the word, the omnipotent, and omniscient God, watches over every step of our lives. Hallelujah! His name will be glorified ever and forever. We take our refuge in Him, and He will protect against harms and guide us in the paths of His righteousness till we see Him face to face in our Eternal Home. He is One and Only One God! Sing praise His name with our eternally joyful voice! He is our ever-loving God.
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