As I was sitting in church yesterday morning I began to reread a few passages in the book of Habakkuk. This, the thirty fifth book of the Old Testament, is unique among the prophetic books of the Bible. The book of Habakkuk is not so much a message for the people, but a dialog between the prophet and God, who is trying to understand why the things that are happening are allowed to occur.
It was a time of great shaking for the nation of Judah, the end result of their rebellion and disobedience was being visited upon them. Although constantly called to repentance, it was stubbornly refused, and there was no change in the nation. The hardened hearts of the people of Judah would soon cause God to use the Babylonians as His chastening rod upon the nation.
All that could be wrong, was wrong in Judea the context in which the people found themselves during the time of Habakkuk being nothing less than disastrous. Politically, they were unsure and afraid because of the constant expansion of the Babylonian empire; socially, there was disorder and mass chaos due to the unwillingness of the people to abide by the laws of God. Justice had been replaced with injustice; trust in God had been replaced with trust in the arm of the flesh. Theft, greed, slander, and other more offensive sins were being practiced in full view of everyone. Lawlessness reigned, and rebellion had overcome the hearts of most.
Within this tumult, within the uncertainty, sin and rebellion, one man stood before God, seeking his face, desiring understanding in regards to his dilemma. Habakkuk’s dilemma was one that many true Christians face today in light of the condition of not only the world but also the church. Habakkuk sought the face of God and wanted to know how it is that the wicked go unpunished, and are allowed to devour those more righteous than them.
Habakkuk 1:13-14, “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours one more righteous than he? Why do You make men lie fish of the sea, like creeping things that have no ruler over them?”
God knew Habakkuk’s heart. He knew that the query stemmed from a sincere desire to understand the mind of God, and not some root of bitterness that he allowed to grow there. Habakkuk was not bitter, he just wanted to understand the heart of God, to perceive that which had eluded him. When we ask God with sincerity of heart, He will answer, for His desire is not for His children to live in ignorance. It is only when we come before God with our own agendas, or preconceived notions of what His answer should be even before He gives it, that He remains silent, and though we question, though we query, the answers never come. God knows the hearts of all men; He knows the intent, and the purpose for which we stand before Him.
God’s answer to Habakkuk’s pleadings was short, clear, to the point, and at the same time quite surprising. God did not go into detail, explaining his motives and motivations to Habakkuk, He did not expound upon the topic, but spoke personally and intimately to him saying, “the just shall live by faith.”
Six little words that speak volumes to every true believer, six little words that should give us strength and courage, that ought to embolden our hearts, and cause us to pursue God, without being distracted by the lives and practices of those around us.
The modern day Christian is continually confronted with opposition. Although it is subtler than outright physical persecution, everything around us, the world we live in, promotes the negation and denial of faith. Rather than promote Christian values and faith in God, the society in which we live is continually embracing, and tightening its grip on the worthless doctrines of materialism and self. This present generation is out for one thing, and whether it be in the form of fulfilling desires, experiencing pleasure, accumulating wealth, it all boils down to making the carnal man as happy and comfortable as possible. In order to achieve their desired goals, many men and women abandon their humanity, go to any lengths, and use any means necessary.
Looking at humanity as a whole, it seems very few are still concerned with God, justice, or honesty, and resort to manipulation, intimidation, and injustice, unconcerned with the fact that their perceived happiness is causing others to suffer. Man has become as a beast to his fellow man, that which makes us human slowly being depleted, replaced with cruelty, selfishness and bitterness. We speak of love only in general terms, never truly showing it in a practical sense, we invoke the name of God only when it suits us or when we have something to gain from it, and yet we still thump our chests, crying out to all who would hear, ‘we are the people of God.’
One thing is certain, if you are a Christian in this fallen generation, where the righteous is looked upon as an alien species, faith in Christ is the only thing that can keep you from desperation, uncertainty, and sadness, transcending you into the realm of righteousness, hope, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
It is easy to grow despondent. It is easy to throw our hands in the air, and give up the fight. Why do good, when those who commit evil are rewarded? Why pursue righteousness when the lukewarm fill the pews unhindered? We see, as Habakkuk saw the state of the world around us, and wonder how it is that God still tarries, how it is that judgment has not rained down. Leave the judgment to God. Nothing goes unnoticed by His all seeing eye. The day of reckoning is coming on swift wings, and all that was done in the darkness will be brought to the light. God is not mocked, though He tarry, He has impeccable accounting skills. He is just, He is holy, and in His time God will do as He sees fit. As far as you, His child is concerned, be certain that faith will carry you, and by faith you will live.
With love in Christ,
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
Michael Boldea Jr.