Habakkuk addresses God; not Israel. He struggles with God’s lack of action over Judah’s sin and not responding to His cries. This short book is one of lament. Lament is a circle where one:
2) Points out the suffering and injustice to God.
3) and demands God do something.
2:4 says, “People with integrity will live because of their faithfulness.” We live by our faithfulness. This is quoted three places in the New Testament, twice by the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11) and once by the author of Hebrews (10:38). Some say it is one of the most important verses in the Old Testament because of its impact on the Apostle Paul.
This kind of faith is more than trusting that God is real. It’s the kind of faith required for hard-core belief that God loves us. It is being faithful when we are in the depths of despair, when we think it cannot get any harder and it does. It’s the kind of faith that when our whole world is shaken and nothing makes sense, we cling to God because we KNOW He is able. God will answer; He is in control!
We can question God, shout at God, wait, often impatiently, for God to answer or act, we can trust God. We do not have to like the answer – Habakkuk certainly didn’t. We can tell God we don’t like it. And we can look at God’s love story to us: Genesis to Revelation, and trust Him because we know He loves us. We are faithful because we trust the faithful One.
Habakkuk emerges as an example of God’s righteous people living by faith in the midst of confusion, fear, and doubt. “People with integrity will live because of their faithfulness.” When our lives are shaken and faith and fear collide, we can accept that tension and turn it over to God; because we have faith, in the midst of our fear that God is in control.
And remember, waiting IS an action! Just read Habakkuk to see that action in full force.
Queries for the week:
• What role does faithfulness play in your life?
• Is there a situation in your life right now in which God’s actions or inactions make no sense to you?
• How will you handle it in light of Habakkuk?
• What is your next step?
Co-heir with Christ, Wife, Moma, Nana,