Reflections from Habakkuk

September 19, 2016

Part 1

The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and [He] gives it to whomever He chooses. Daniel 4:25b

God is sovereign over the nations and is providentially directing history. That’s crucial to remember always, but especially when things aren’t going the way we think they should politically.

Our Situation

As we see troubling trends in our nation, we cry out to God, wondering when He will intervene. But things don’t seem to get any better. God’s people, though, have been in similar situations before. Listen to Habakkuk:

O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? … the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds. Habakkuk 1:1-4

The U.S. still has a somewhat law-abiding culture, even though we are seeing rapid signs of decay. But Habakkuk’s words show us that things were much worse in his time. Note the Lord’s response to Habakkuk’s cry:

Look among the nations and watch—Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation … to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. Habakkuk 1:5-6

I imagine Habakkuk was confused by this. The Chaldeans? They were a wicked nation, much worse than Israel. But they didn’t have the light that Israel had—and that Israel had sinned against. So the Lord tells Habakkuk that judgment is coming. And if we believe what the Bible tells us, we realize that a day of judgment is coming on us too. A nation cannot flaunt its sin in God’s face forever without a response.

Nevertheless, we need to be encouraged because God is still at work. History’s great revivals were generally preceded by dark days. Oftentimes, things must get worse before people wake up and realize they need Jesus.