Generous God, You are the source of all things good. Help me focus on what I have rather than what I lack.
Read Habakkuk 1:12-2:1
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.
Sometimes we must wait for God to make sense of what is going on in our lives. He can shine light into our darkness and confusion.
From time to time, people are horrified by images of death and destruction that they see on their television screens almost daily. They may scream inwardly, “This must not go on!” That was how Habakkuk felt when he thought about the brutality and violence that the Babylonians were noted for: “The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks … he gathers them up in his dragnet … Therefore he sacrifices to his net … for by his net he lives in luxury” (15,16).
Here, the vicious, unrestrained cruelty of their war methods is compounded by the fact that they worship false gods who endorse such injustice. Adding insult to injury, they prosper from the spoils of their war campaigns. Was Nietzsche right then? Is might right? Does God endorse and affirm such behavior? He has already told Habakkuk that he is raising up the Babylonians to carry out his plans (6). Isn’t God implicated in their affront to justice? How can God, who is so pure, look on evil and tolerate such unadulterated wickedness (13)?
The deep dilemma which Habakkuk felt so sharply suggests two things as we contemplate the violence inflicted by humans on humans, whether in north Africa, Afghanistan, the Congo, or closer to home. Sometimes God does work through the evil of others to accomplish his purposes, however strangely this fits with our understanding of God as love. Supremely, we see this in those who unjustly and violently crucified Jesus. Amid all this violence, God was reconciling the world to himself. Of course, there is more to the issue of ungodly violence than this. Habakkuk knows God has more to say. So he will watch, pray and not let go.
Pray for God’s intervention in a situation of violence and injustice that is inflicting suffering somewhere locally or in the world.
Lord, sometimes it is hard to be Your disciple in this bewildering world. Guide me and give me faith to pray and trust Your ways.
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