It’s difficult to read Habakkuk’s words and not feel an inward groan,
an ache of knowing that so much is deeply broken.
Certainly, each of us, have echoed Habakkuk’s cries.
Everywhere I look, I see brokenness, God!
Fighting in the streets.
Children being abandoned.
People groups oppressed because of the shade of their skin.
Justice doesn’t even have a chance of prospering because the governing systems are so broken.
And we wonder where God is.
Does He see?
Can He not hear?
Doesn’t God care?!
Strange, isn’t it? To read ancient writings and watch them fit so perfectly in our own time as if they flowed from our pen.
Habakkuk had watched the slow degradation of his beloved nation for years. He had studied Israel’s history and traced her moral decline. He waited for God to move. He cried out for God to hear, and see, and do something!
Even as he threw his angry fists at the sky, tossing up his big, audacious questions, he also knew in his core, that God was real. He was present. He did see. He had not forgotten His people and walked away. Habakkuk knew truth.
This reality of God’s unchanging character both soothed and irked him. He knew God saw all the brokenness, yet Habakkuk was angry that God had not yet chosen to act as Habakkuk felt He, the Lord God, should act.
That’s a painful glimpse in the mirror for me, Sister.
Because Habakkuk is me.
Sit still with me here in the tension of an unchanging, always present, always loving God and the sinful, rebellious world we live in.
Consider the message the Lord had for Habakkuk, and ask what He has for you.
Choose to limit your words, and read His words before ours.
Grab your Bible, a journal and pen,
and open your heart to bask in the presence of the Almighty!
1) Read Habakkuk 1, then circle back and re-read verses 1-4 a few times through.
Answer these 3 questions in your journal from verses 1-4:
a) What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
b) What do these verses tell me about others and the world around me?
c) What do these verses tell me about me and my heart?
2) Close your time by praying for these truths to take root in your heart and for the Holy Spirit to remind you and teach you more about these things today. Be sure to write out any questions you have as you read! If you’d like to send your questions to us, we’d love to study with you!
The pronouncement that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help
and you do not listen
or cry out to you about violence
and you do not save?
3 Why do you force me to look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Oppression and violence are right in front of me.
Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.
4 This is why the law is ineffective
and justice never emerges.
For the wicked restrict the righteous;
therefore, justice comes out perverted.
God’s First Answer
5 Look at the nations and observe—
be utterly astounded!
For I am doing something in your days
that you will not believe
when you hear about it.
6 Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter, impetuous nation
that marches across the earth’s open spaces
to seize territories not its own.
7 They are fierce and terrifying;
their views of justice and sovereignty
stem from themselves.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards
and more fierce than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead;
their horsemen come from distant lands.
They fly like eagles, swooping to devour.
9 All of them come to do violence;
their faces are set in determination.
They gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings,
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh at every fortress
and build siege ramps to capture it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind
and pass through.
They are guilty; their strength is their god.
Habakkuk’s Second Prayer
12 Are you not from eternity, Lord my God?
My Holy One, you will not die.
Lord, you appointed them to execute judgment;
my Rock, you destined them to punish us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil,
and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
So why do you tolerate those who are treacherous?
Why are you silent
while one who is wicked swallows up
one who is more righteous than himself?
14 You have made mankind
like the fish of the sea,
like marine creatures that have no ruler.
15 The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook,
catch them in their dragnet,
and gather them in their fishing net;
that is why they are glad and rejoice.
16 That is why they sacrifice to their dragnet
and burn incense to their fishing net,
for by these things their portion is rich
and their food plentiful.
17 Will they therefore empty their net
and continually slaughter nations without mercy?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!