Are you weary of the world’s wickedness? Does unscrupulous evil oppress & depress you? This post is for you. Current events & comments compelled me to cover this; I’ll mention a pertinent current event near the end.
There was a passionate man of deep faith who took God seriously & got a real burden for all the evil he was seeing in the world. In one of his many prayers to God he used words like “violence”, “conflicts”, “injustice”, “wrong”, “strife” to describe the trouble he saw everywhere. Hey, what’s happening God, come on, why are you tolerating this? This guy really loved justice, and he was getting tired of praying & not hearing from God, especially since he had heard from God before & had gotten a foretaste of His glory & how things could be done decently in Godly order (order=”mishpat” in Heb.—weakly trans. “justice” in our English Bibles), instead of the chaos he was witnessing.
Who was this man? Habakkuk, a prophet who wrote a prophetic scroll around 610 B.C. During his time period people did not have an abundance (e.g. fig tree did not blossom, etc.). If one knows what was going on for him, & you read his short book, it is one of the most powerful faith inspiring writings for those who are tired of wickedness & tired of not hearing from God! Again, I am assembling some of the details we know to bring to life the story of Habakkuk confronting God. For instance, he lived in the Kingdom of Judah prior to the Neo-Babylonians capturing Jerusalem, & functioned as a prophet in the same evil age that Jeremiah served. Good King Josiah had taken out all the Assyrian pagan items in God’s Temple in 621 B.C., & later lost his life trying to keep the Egyptian army from reinforcing the Assyrians. His replacement was an evil king (Johoiakim) who took society right back into total depravity. Jeremiah prophesies against King Johoiakim (JER 22). Habakkuk begins praying for relieve & justice. Finally he gets really direct with God…he can’t figure it out, can’t figure God out, & is tired of the silence from God…Why?…”O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear?” HAB 1:2a (What he says is like PS 73, “O Lord, how long shall I cry” which he was familiar with.) What I love about Habakkuk is that his prayers & confrontation w/ God are by a man of deep faith in the character of God. His questions stem from his faith in God’s character. (This post then builds on my recent posts on faith that overcomes the World Order.) You can see he is a man of faith because he writes “yet I will rejoice” & “YHWH is my strength” HAB 3:18, 19.
God’s first answer is HAB 1:5-7. Then Habakkuk confronts him some more & gets more answers. Allow me to summarize and paraphrase what God tells Habakkuk. He tells Habakkuk there is not going to be a revival of obedience in Israel, they have chosen things already (God is not mocked!)…what they will get from Him is judgment in the form of the Babylonians (a recently created nation) taking over Judah. Habakkuk realizes that the cure is going to be worse than the disease—hey wait, they are worse than us God! God also tells him that evil is self-destructive, so Babylon would also be judged. He conveys basically that He wants His people to have life & life more abundantly, but He has to discipline them. God doesn’t explain suffering intellectually, but tells Habakkuk the “just shall live by his faith”! HAB 2:4 Likewise, I have written that God will bless America with judgment, & foreigners will take control of America, & the Communist Chinese will be worse than our own corrupt leaders. The debt ceiling problem that America just had this month was done in part to mentally prepare the American people for a genuine crash. While Americans don’t want our economy to crash—delaying the crash & running up more trillions of dollars of debt will only make the crash worse when it comes. There aren’t good answers at this point, only judgment. The debt ceiling was meant to be an enforcement mechanism to stop overspending, but they have raised it 42 times since ‘80…in other words, they go ahead & overspend, & then when they are in trouble, they raise the debt ceiling to allow the Treasury Dept. to cont. uncontrolled borrowing. If our politicians had been sincere, and not on an agenda to sink us, they would not have wasted trillions on senseless wars, unprofitable research, incl. many expensive unmonitored NASA projects and whatever, not to mention their exorbitant salaries. At any rate, the situation is going to increasingly match Habakkuk’s time period, and good people will get tired of the violence & injustice.
Another example of a similar prayer of faith, where the ones praying call God “holy & true”—in other words they have faith in God’s character—and like Habakkuk are weary of waiting for God to act…is in REV 6:10> “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge & avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Again we see that the faithful have faith in God’s character, in spite of all they have gone through. This is the faith that overcomes the World!! The prophetic message builds up the spirit. We pray “Thy kingdom come…”; & we live in the light of the promised future. YHWH God is still at work.