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A Hopeful & Timely Message in Habakkuk

Written by David Michael on

Recently, I turned to the book of Habakkuk for clarity and hope during this time of unrest in our culture. Injustice and idolatry prompted him to cry out to the Lord:

Why do you make me see iniquity and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted (Hab. 1:3-4).

In addition to rampant moral degradation in the land, Babylon was threatening to invade and destroy. Amid such troubling circumstances in Habakkuk’s day and ours, God speaks through the prophet. I want to offer you three insights that are particularly helpful and applicable to our present circumstances.

1. If We Knew What God Was up to, We Wouldn’t Believe It

Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told (1:5).

What we have witnessed in the past three months is astounding and very unsettling! It can seem to us, as it did to Habakkuk, that life as we know it is spinning out of control. However, what seems like chaos and craziness to us is God accomplishing his purposes. He is in control, and if we were told those purposes, we would not believe it. It is good to be reminded of this.

2. We Know Where This Is Going

So many times in the past several weeks I have wondered, “Is this ever going to end? Will things ever be back to normal? Will Truth78 survive this? Will we survive it? Are we self-destructing? What will happen to us?” There are no certain, short-term answers to these questions but we have the ultimate answer in Habakkuk 2:14:

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 

This is where all of the craziness is leading. When all is said and done, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD. So many in the world are blind to this glory, but they will not always be blind. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11). This is a sobering, yet comforting reality.

3. We Are Trusting God, No Matter What 

Habakkuk resolved to trust God, regardless of the outcome.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls… [and we could add, “though COVID-19 consumes us, and our government, health care, economic, security, justice, and public safety systems all collapse…”]  yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation (Hab. 3:17-18).  

Our hope is secure. We have an inheritance that no virus, individual, government, court, enemy, nor anything else can take away from us:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 

 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

 

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:31-39).

In this, we have all the reason we need to rejoice and approach these uncertain days with hope and confidence.  


This article originally appeared on the Truth78 blog.

David Michael

David is the co-founder and executive director of Truth78, a ministry connected with Desiring God. David and his wife, Sally, are longtime members of College Park Church, where David formerly served as a pastor and elder.

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