Habbakuk
November 16, 2019

Habbakuk

Passage: Habakkuk 1:1-4
Service Type:

How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.
Hab. 1:1-4How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.
Hab. 1:1-4

Thoughts from Habakkuk

We live in a world where injustice, violence, and evil of every kind abounds. G-D has no role in our society. His life-giving instruction, His Torah, is ignored and ridiculed. We pray, “How long, O L-RD? Where are you? Why don't you do anything about the condition of your people?”

However relevant those statements may be for our time, this is the conversation Habakkuk had with Ad’nai over the deteriorated spiritual condition of the southern kingdom of Judah. This exchange was not uncommon between G-D and His prophets. However, the familiar promises of redemption and blessing if the people repented did not come to Habakkuk, who was stunned by G-D's reply: Judgment would come to Judah through the Babylonians, a wickedly evil and barbaric nation. Judah’s last chance was long gone. There was no promise of escape, not even for the faithful remnant that exists in every generation. How could this be the response to Habakkuk’s prayer? Will we have to endure a similar response to our own as-yet unanswered prayers? Will there be another time when G-D does not relent?

None of us wants to think about the very real possibility of being caught up in the punishment of the wicked. We repeatedly see G-D’s goodness and mercy, working out His plans for the good of His people, especially when those plans lead through the dark and shadowed valleys. We pray and work for the harvest, but who would eagerly join Joseph or Jeremiah in the pit and the prison?

For more than two decades, Pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife Norine served as missionaries in Turkey. Suddenly, the two were arrested and held in a Turkish prison. Pastor Andrew’s wife was freed after nearly two weeks, but he himself remained in prison for more than two years. Plans for his release fell through several times. Pastor Andrew became despondent, not only because of his imprisonment but because he felt like G-D had abandoned him. When he was at his lowest point, he came to the realization that he had to move away from “thinking in terms of trust to thinking in terms of loyalty and endurance and faithfulness. Am I going to be faithful? Am I going to endure and persevere? Am I going to betray God when I feel betrayed—or am I going to be loyal to Him?” Pastor Andrew CHOSE to "stand in the dark…devote himself to the L-RD…and cling to Him.”

Habakkuk means "embrace." When faced with challenges, discouragement, disappointments, we can choose, like Pastor Brunson, to cling steadfastly to Ad’nai.

If you would like to read Pastor Andrew’s story, click on the link below:

https://www.charismamag.com/magazine/11/2019/70/42984-homecoming