From Bad to Worse
Lord God, I praise You that everything that is, is Yours. You made it and sustain it in Your love.
Read Habakkuk 1:1-11
 The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.  How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?  Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.  Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.  “Look at the nations and watch- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.  I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own.  They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor.  Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;  they all come intent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand.  They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; by building earthen ramps they capture them.  Then they sweep past like the wind and go on- guilty people, whose own strength is their god.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is Habakkuk's complaint and the Lord's response?
Habakkuk was scandalized by the state of his country. Everywhere he looked, he saw violence, conflict and injustice. He had apparently been praying about it for a long time (2). And he couldn’t understand why God wasn’t doing anything. It was an intense test of Habakkuk’s faith. It made him question the very heart of what he believed. How could God be good and allow such evil to flourish? At first, Habakkuk seemed reluctant to face up to the situation (3), but it was too bad to ignore. Then, to his astonishment, God sent an even more violent and godless nation to sort out the Israelites. It was an answer to prayer, but clearly not the one Habakkuk had been expecting. The Babylonians were an example of a nation whose people had turned their backs on God. When men and women of any place or time ignore the restraining principles of love, goodness and self-sacrifice, they set off on a slippery slope towards idolatrous arrogance. Everyone gives in to every evil and selfish impulse, and no one is ashamed in the slightest–just like the Babylonians.
Are you “scandalized” by any local or national situation? Pray and trust God to deal with it in his own way.
Lord, You are a God of holiness and justice. I trust You to deal rightly with the scandal around me.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.