HOW CAN YOU DO THIS?
Lord, thank You for our relationship.
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.
‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.’ (1 Pet 5:7). Meditate on this promise before God.
When I was a child, my mother used to encourage me to share how I felt about things. Her stock phrase was ‘I’ve got broad shoulders’. She could take what I said, however bad it seemed, and it wouldn’t change our relationship one bit. She was always there, even if I ranted and raved.
God has broad shoulders, too! Most of the prophets take Israel to task for not fulfilling their covenant obligations. Habakkuk takes God to task for (apparently) not fulfilling His! God had promised to protect His people and act for them (cf., Hos 11:1–4), but here He is doing the opposite! He is bringing a cruel, godless army to attack His special, chosen people! How come? The second question that torments Habakkuk is that the Chaldeans, God’s means of judgment, are even worse than Israel. How is it, he asks, that God is ‘silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves’ (13)? Furthermore, they will do so in a barbarous manner (14–17). Will this go on forever, he asks (17). He then waits to see how God will reply to this extremely serious complaint.
I love Habakkuk’s daring directness with God. His frankness illustrates his very real relationship with God and his continued trust, despite what he knows lies ahead and despite the fact that he feels it’s very unfair. It is a wonderful thing that we can be really honest in prayer. We don’t need to pretend. We can express the hurt, the bewilderment, the despair that we feel, especially when we sense that God is silent, that He seems not to care, that He allows things to get worse instead of better.
Are there things that God is allowing in your life that seem very unfair? Talk it through with Him honestly, remembering that He has broad shoulders!
Lord, we are aware that Your ways are far above ours. Help us to understand when we don’t understand.
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