Are You Listening, God?
Scripture reading for September 24th: Habakkuk 1-3
“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.” Habakkuk 1:2-3
Have you ever had questions for God? Have you asked God for answers, but wondered if He was listening or ignoring your cry? Habakkuk found himself in such a position. He was called to speak to God’s people on behalf of God but his words went unheeded by the people. He began to question God and He was silent. God always hears His people but sometimes is slower to respond than we would like. Sometimes, His response brings more questions!
In this case, God told Habakkuk how He was going to raise up the Babylonians and use them to sweep over the land and destroy it. (Habakkuk 1:6-11) These people were a law unto themselves and they were bent on violence. They were guilty men whose strength was their god. They were ruthless and impetuous and cruel. Habakkuk was perplexed that a God who was holy could use something as vile and lawless as the Babylonians. Why would God even think of such a thing?
We can read God’s answer to Habakkuk’s complaint because God told him to write it down. His answer spoke of the time of the end and would prove true. (Habakkuk 2:2-3) Babylon was full of pride and evil desires, but God used them to chastise His people for a season. In the end, Babylon would be punished because sin always brings punishment and death. God’s people were to deal with these revelations by a simple fact: “the righteous will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4.
It really doesn’t matter if we have questions and God doesn’t answer. It doesn’t matter if, when He does answer, the answer causes more questions. God’s ways are always righteous and just. His people must learn to trust Him and live by faith in who He is! We please God only when we live by faith! (Hebrews 11:6) God promised Habakkuk that He would judge the wicked and bring woe to those who live for themselves. He also promised to fill the earth with His glory! (Habakkuk 2:14)
Habakkuk ends his book with a prayer and a psalm. The prayer is for God to renew His deeds in their day and time. It’s a great short prayer for revival. (Habakkuk 3:2) The psalm tells of the splendor of the Lord as He comes to judge the earth and deliver His people. It ends with a strong statement of faith! Habakkuk had his focus on the Lord and His just and holy character and nothing else matters! He is prepared to wait on God, no matter what! Living by faith is the way of the righteous!