A Lonely Job
Abba, Father, I praise You for the intimate relationship I can have with You. Speak to me now through Your Word.
Read Habakkuk 3:1-19
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.
“The call to follow Jesus is a call to radical difference–a call to live in alignment with the character and values of a holy, just, and merciful God” (Steve Bradbury). That can mean standing alone.
In one sense, Habakkuk’s role as a watchman before God was a lonely one. Yet, we can see from these verses that as he tried to plead about troubling issues, he stood within the community of faith. Verses 3-16 may have been a psalm used in the temple, for the passage collects various themes and idioms which we find elsewhere (Psa. 18:7-19; 68:1-18; 97:1-7). We can discern here the value of ensuring that we are deeply grounded in the communal worship of God and nourished by the profound spirituality of the Christian heritage before and as we venture forth to explore challenging and sometimes new issues that, as Christians, we face today. Euthanasia, the ecological situation, homosexuality, international governance, the growth of China and India as superpowers, living in a pluralist country alongside people of many different faiths, global world markets–these are only some of the challenges we need to explore with God (we each have our own list). We will only do so in ways that honor God by being sustained by the Scriptures, the historic Christian faith and our own Christian faith communities.
This is one reason why we need to engage caringly, expectantly, prayerfully and openly with the Bible, and through the Bible with God. Sometimes we shall gain surprising insights which will help us critique the challenges we face and then construct valid Christian responses. Sometimes we shall be left as perplexed as when we started, but we will have come close to God and we will be transformed, becoming part of the answer for others, not by what we say but by who we are. So it was for Habakkuk. As he waited patiently for the day of calamity, rejoicing in the Lord in the face of desolation, God made his feet like a deer’s (16-19).
Reflect on Paul’s words, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Now, rejoice in the Lord!
Lord Jesus, when I think of standing alone for You, I remember Your suffering on my behalf. You were rejected that I might belong; You died that I might live.
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