Burden and Faith
"The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw."
O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.
3 Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
4 Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.(Habakkuk 1:1-4)
The man Habakkuk was a man of strong convictions and great concern for his nation.God was showing him their wickedness and evil,the plundering,violence,strife and contention.The law was powerless,justice did not prevail and wickedness surrounded the righteous.He wondered and questioned God as to why He allowed him to see all this and why God was permitting it to continue.
Then God told Habakkuk how He was going to use WICKED Babylon as a rod of correction for the nation.Then Habakkuk was really perplexed and even more concerned because of God using an even more and greater power of wickedness as an answer.This the prophet just could not comprehend.But he took it all to the Lord and awaited His answer.
"I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected."(Habakkuk 2:1)
God gives Habakkuk 5 woes concerning the nation.
Increasing by stealing and debt for gain,
gain by evil means for security,
destroying others for gain,
deceiving and using others for gain and
then worshiping what you have gained.
It came down to stealing,coveting,killing,deceiving and worshiping material gain.
Yes God was going to bring judgement on the nation but He tells Habakkuk that eventually:
"For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea." (Habakkuk 2:14)
But in the meantime He reminds Habakkuk that:
"But the just shall live by his faith."(Habakkuk 2:4)
Then we have that great answer by Habakkuk in 3:17-19
"Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills."(Habakkuk 3:17-19)
So we see Habakkuk go from a sob of sorrow to a song of praise,from despair to a shout of confidence.In chapter 1 faith questions and waits.In chapter 2 faith sees.In chapter 3 faith rejoices.
Doesn't this sound very much like (Philippians 4:4,6,7,13)
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Is this not what Habakkuk did?He had burdens,he took them to the Lord and waited with patience.The Lord assured him,gave him peace,strengthened him and he is found rejoicing and praising God that He is his strength.
I believe we can draw many parallels from these passages in Habakkuk.Yes there is much wickedness in our world and in our nation and we wonder just how much longer God will endure it.
Yes He will judge the nations and it will be a harsh judgement,far beyond any judgement that has fallen on this earth or mankind and all indications are that it could be just around the corner.
But in the meantime concerning the time we live and knowing the future judgement that is to come we have the same answer as God gave Habakkuk."The just shall live by faith.,"and to remember that God is not willing that any should perish and that they should come to His saving Grace.
We are in a grace period and it seems that God permits a lot as He extends His Grace.There is no guarantee that we won't see some hard times before Jesus comes for His Church,but that will not be His wrath.He is our strength as He was for Habakkuk as we live the life of faith.
As it might look to us that everything is coming apart,it could be that everything is coming together.I believe we can also apply that to our personal lives.