We watch the evening news, read horrific posts and listen to the growing chaos enveloping our world and we wonder “where’s God?” Would it surprise you to know that a prophet in the Old Testament had the same question? Here’s God’s response:
While the book of Job deals with a personal question of suffering, the book of Habakkuk deals with the question of suffering seen throughout society. With the opening line in the very first verse, we get the tone of the book:
“The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.” Habakkuk 1:1
The prophet is witnessing horrors throughout his people in that time and is asking God, in a nutshell, “why”, as the next few versus state:
“O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save. 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. Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.” Habakkuk 1:2-4 NKJV
We understand this passage all too well, as we look around and see the horrors unfolding across the globe, within America, and even within our neighborhood. We wonder “where is God?” in the midst of this sea of chaos, violence, and corruption, but God gives an immediate answer in the following verses:
““Look among the nations and watch— Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you.” Habakkuk 1:5
God is answering an immediate problem that Habakkuk is witnessing. God answers that immediate problem in the versus following verse five, but then the profit asks a second question which is more of a general query with regard to the wickedness of humanity and how they treat the righteous:
“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he? Why do You make men like fish of the sea, Like creeping things that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with a hook, They catch them in their net, And gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice to their net, And burn incense to their dragnet; Because by them their share is sumptuous And their food plentiful. Shall they therefore empty their net, And continue to slay nations without pity?” Habakkuk 1:13-17 NKJV
The prophet wants to understand God‘s plan in dealing with the root cause of the immediate problem that he was seeing at the beginning of this book. Habakkuk realizes that there is an underlying cause with regard to societies ills and that it needs to be corrected. God answers him a second time and tells of another day in the far distant future where his question will be answered:
“Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:2-4 NKJV
This speaks to end times events that are happening in the here and now. There will come a day where all will be made right, where this future correction, as found in the following verses in chapter 2 will “speak, and it will not lie.”
The appointed Time is quickly approaching, where the root cause of the worlds ills will be dealt with and dispatched in quick fashion. This is what gives me hope when I read and watch the news. There is a time of reckoning when those that rebel against God and cause the righteous to suffer, the children of God through Jesus Christ to suffer, will be dealt with in the most perfect manor, through the justice of the most high God, through him whom which all authority in Heaven and Earth have been given, through Jesus Christ.
This is why we (Christians) should be well versed in prophecy; to give us hope and to give hope to others through Jesus Christ, in a brighter future where the wicked will be gone, we, the children of God will not be harassed by Satan and his kids.