Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Thoughts on Habakkuk:
Many years ago, I attended a Bible Study on the Book of Habakkuk. I don’t think I had even heard of Habakkuk until then, it is not one of the oft quoted books in the Bible. However, that study, so many years ago, has stayed with me. Basically, the book of Habakkuk offered guidelines on how to handle turbulent times in our lives. Chapter 1 opens with Habakkuk’s lament to the Lord: O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? 3 Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. 4 So the law becomes slack. and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous; therefore judgment comes forth perverted.5 Look at the nations and see! Be astonished! Be astounded!For a work is being done in your days that you would not believe if you were told.
In other words, be patient. Habakkuk insisted the Lord was everlasting and too pure to look on evil and tolerate wrongdoing, but he would wait and see. Chapter 2: “I will stand at my watchpost and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me and what he will answer concerning my complaint.” OK, I’m waiting, explain yourself, God. As chapter 2 goes on, the Lord says help is coming: “For there is still a vision for the appointed time, it speaks of the end and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Help is coming in the Lord’s time, when the time is right. In the third and final chapter Habakkuk prays, ending with the familiar verse: “Though the fig tree does not blossom and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the foldand there is no herd in the stalls,18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the God of my salvation.” The lesson I learned from Habakkuk was, when troubles arise, I should:
1. Make my complaint to the Lord. 2. WAIT for His answer or action and, finally, 3. Be joyful in the Lord my Savior regardless of the circumstances knowing that help will come when the time is right. Lord, during the days of Lent, while we wait to celebrate the resurrection, may we have the patience and faith of Habakkuk. May we stand on our ramparts and wait and praise your name. Amen
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The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.