The God of Surprises
Thank You, God, that You are all-knowing and that You are in control in every situation.
Read HABAKKUK 1:1–11
The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 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.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
The Lord’s Answer
5 “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.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.
8 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;
9 they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
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.
ReflectWhat is your gut reaction when you hear stories of violence and injustice? Do you think God shares your view?
We don’t know much about Habakkuk, except that he was a prophet (1). Even then, his prophecy doesn’t follow the standard pattern. The job of a prophet was to bring a message to the people from God, but Habakkuk addresses God first! Through the book, we see Habakkuk move from doubting to waiting, from waiting to trusting.
Have you ever asked, “Why, Lord?” or “How long?” as Habakkuk does (2–4)? In itself, doubt isn’t sinful. Habakkuk still believes in God, but he lets God know how he feels. The country is full of injustice and violence, and he wonders why God doesn’t step in.
God answers that he is going to intervene, but not in a way that Habakkuk would expect (5). God was raising up the Babylonians to be his agents of judgment who would sweep across the land like an unstoppable hurricane (6–11).
As Habakkuk was to discover, God’s ways can be surprising. He will use a godless nation against his people who have broken their covenant relationship with him. Would Habakkuk be satisfied with God’s answer? Would you?
What would you honestly like to say to God about today’s world? Tell him about it. Listen for God’s response.
Almighty God, I open my heart to You today. You see my doubts and frustrations. Teach me to trust You through it all.