Offbeat #14 - Habakkuk Part 2

This week, we’ll continue to explore my favorite “offbeat” prophet: Habakkuk. In last week’s blog, I told you that God responded to Habakkuk’s blunt complaint by answering him. What I didn’t tell you was how God answered. You may recall that Habakkuk’s complaint revolved around the blatant sin and injustice being perpetrated by Israel. His call upon God was for intervention. God’s answer was a resounding yes; he would absolutely intervene, but not at all in the way Habakkuk was wanting….
God declared to Habakkuk that he would raise up the brutal and demonstrably wicked Chaldean (a.k.a. Babylonian) Empire to be his instrument of judgment upon Israel. They would come, trample down and completely subjugate Israel, and Israel would sufferer terrible losses in the process. What I’ve said in previous blogs, I’ll say again here: YIKES! Why would God do that? Following this unexpected declaration from God, Habakkuk once again cries out to God in blunt honesty:
“Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One?...
You have ordained them as a judgment…
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” – parts of Habakkuk 1:12, 13 (emphasis mine)
Habakkuk’s tone of revulsion toward Israel, quickly becomes a defense, “You’re going to use them? I mean, come on! We may be struggling a bit, but they’re way way worse than we are.” Poor Habakkuk is completely caught in the middle and simply has no idea what God is talking about or why he’s doing what he’s doing.
When faced with frustrating circumstances and confusion about God’s response, the temptation is to run away, become defiant, or simply to shut down. Jonah famously took the run-away approach. Peter was defiant toward Jesus when the latter declared his death was necessary and quickly approaching. Even the great prophet Elijah shut down and hid in a cave at one difficult point in his journey when he wasn’t getting what God was doing.
Here, though, is where Habakkuk is a little different. After issuing his second complaint, Habakkuk says what he’s going to do next:
“I will take my stand at my watchpost
And station myself on the word,
And look to see what he will say to me,
And what I will answer concerning my complaint.” – Habakkuk 2:1
While not understanding, Habakkuk’s response is one of faith. He resolves to wait, watch, and see what God is going to do. This is a key element of faith. Last week, I made the point that God isn’t rattled by our honest questioning. He doesn’t even reproach us for our anger… IF we’re still willing to trust him. As I mentioned last week, I first encountered Habakkuk in a season of life filled with confusion, where my expectations for how life was going to go were shattered. Habakkuk’s unwavering trust in God and his patience before him helped give me the resolve to hold on, to wait and see what God would make out of the mess.
God continues his conversation with Habakkuk by encouraging his posture of trust and patience, with a reminder that he, God, will be faithful to carry out his promises.  
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2:3
Tune in next week to see how Habakkuk’s story ends.

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What Does "The Gospel" Mean? - I've highlighted The Bible Project in the past. Once again, they've done a great job on this one. This video explains what early Christians meant when they talked about "the gospel."

Missions Spotlight:
White Ribbon Day

More. Committed. Than. Ever.
  • 2020 has been a year of incredible challenges, but we are more convinced than ever that Jesus is STILL the answer.
  • We've had to reschedule many of our upcoming outreaches (Zambia, India, and Haiti) until early next year, but we're still committed to the goal of reaching as many people as possible in every nation with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ and we’re excited to report that things are SLOWLY STARTING TO OPEN UP!
  • We’ve been offered a few opportunities to share the message of Jesus in live venues across the United States over the next few months, and we are asking that God would move powerfully in these events and draw many people to Himself.
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