Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18Do these words send your blood pressure skyrocketing: Enron, Maddoff, AIG, Chase, bailout?Do these words strike terror in your heart: recession, depression, unemployment, repossession, foreclosure, bankruptcy?
The more our economy unravels and the more jobs are lost the angrier I see people are getting, setting up true class warfare among Americans. We are being set up to hate those who have jobs, money, health insurance, and any type of financial security all while watching the government slowly take over the country to prepare us for a socialistic society under the new administration. The anger is there and it is real at what we see happening around us and in many cases, to us.
The question is, how should we as Christians respond to these tumultuous times in our lives and nation? We can find part of our answer in the book of Habakkuk.
The reforms of the godly King Josiah were being overturned by the evil Jehoiakim and there was no justice in the land. The people had quickly reverted back to violence and wickedness and they were under the judgment of God. God used a people more wicked than Judah to judge them which creates some interesting parallels to our current situation.
The prophet questions God’s use of the Chaldeans to judge a nation that even though they were deep in sin and wickedness was still more righteous than the Chaldeans! This rightfully confused him and we find Habakkuk doing what many of us find ourselves doing: asking why.
We want to know if God cares about us when we are broke and scared and about to be overrun by debts and creditors. We want to know if God is peering into our lives and simply observing or is He doing something on our behalf or sitting with His hands in His pockets observing our situation?
Habakkuk asked God those kinds of questions, so did Job and so did Elijah. Is there anything wrong with asking “why God?” If we are to look at our biblical forrunners, no. However we had better be prepared for the answers we shall receive. God asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?” He asked Job, “Where were you when I…” and He answered Habakkuk by telling him that he would be amazed that evil would triumph over them (1:5-9) and that God Himself would bring that victory. Whew! Not very encouraging is it? Look at Habakkuk’s reply to God after that revelation: Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge; And You, O Rock, have established them to correct. Habakkuk 1:12
In spite of how completely crazy all of this looked and sounded to Habakkuk, he expressed total confidence in God and His sovereignty over the situation. It does not mean he had all of his questions answered, or that his situation changed one iota (in fact it was about to get much worse!) but he chose to try to see things from God’s perspective. It is the same for us in these troubled days my friends…our foes are many and from all corners yet our God reigns! He has not abandoned us and He will take care of us! Like Judah our lives may become hard and our pleasures may be few but look at the response of the prophet: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.to be continued
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