QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I wait for You, God, in worship. In the silence now, I give myself to You and await Your voice.
Read Habakkuk 1:12 – 2:1
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
My God, my Holy One, you[a] will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
destroying nations without mercy?
2 I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.[b]
- Habakkuk 1:12 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; Masoretic Text we
- Habakkuk 2:1 Or and what to answer when I am rebuked
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWaiting is an inevitable part of life. It’s also an important aspect of spirituality. Are you waiting on God for something?
The first two chapters of this book employ a question-and-answer technique. Unlike many of the other prophets, this is not a conversation between prophet and people but between prophet and God. The prophet complains and waits for God’s reply. But it’s not a welcome response. He accuses God of tolerating national corruption, only to be told that the Babylonians are being raised up to punish the people of Judah (1:6).
This leads to Habakkuk’s second complaint: why is God using a wicked nation who will relentlessly punish people who are more righteous than they are (13)? Why is God turning a blind eye to the brutality of the Babylonians, knowing what the impact will be? Having voiced his anger, the prophet waits. It makes for uncomfortable reading: Habakkuk’s desperate questions (17) and God’s seemingly hard, unyielding answers.
God’s ways are always redemptive in the long run even though they are often baffling to those living through them. This is surely exemplified in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The bleak dereliction of the cross gives way to the glory of the risen King.
‘My soul waits for the LORD more than those who wait for the morning’ (Psalm 130:6, ESV). Use these words to start your own psalm or letter of lament before the Lord.
‘Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy’ (Psalm 130:1,2).
Book and Author Intros
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