Offbeat #15 - Habakkuk Part 3

In our final installment of Habakkuk’s story, we’ll see how the prophet’s conversation with God comes to a resolution. So far, we’ve covered Habakkuk’s complaint to God about the injustice and evil within Israel, God’s declaration that he would raise up the Babylonians as instruments of justice and correction against Israel, and Habakkuk’s shocked and confused reply.
 
We left off last week with Habakkuk in his watchtower, faithfully waiting on God, but with questions and confusion lingering. Yes, Israel has sinned, but how could God let his covenant people be overrun by a nation far more evil than themselves?
 
Once again, we find a God who responds, this time revealing to Habakkuk the bigger picture. While things would be bad for Israel for awhile and they would spend years in Babylonian captivity, ultimately God would bring his justice to bear upon Babylon as well. God’s justice is commensurate with the evil being perpetrated, so his judgment on Babylon was to be severe. The final key point in what God reveals to Habakkuk is that, after God’s judgment on Babylon, Israel would come out again on the other side with a new opportunity to be faithful to God.
 
What I want us to focus on this week, is Habakkuk’s final response, which you can read in full in chapter 3. First, he offers one more prayer, asking that God would remain faithful to his word and to his character. His prayer is summed up well in 3:3, “In wrath remember mercy.” Then, Habakkuk turns his attention to worship. Nearly a third of the book of Habakkuk is dedicated to praising God for his character and justice. Once Habakkuk gets a glimpse of the bigger picture, he is awed by God. What is particularly moving to me about Habakkuk’s worship is that it came even though he knew it was going to be a long time in coming (decades!) or that he might not live to see it at all  (other prophets and history inform us that Israel’s captivity in Babylon was 70 years long). Even still, Habakkuk praised God because of the bigger picture; God’s justice would be done.
 
When it comes to the circumstances that we face in life, personally or corporately, we usually don’t know how they fit into the bigger plan. Usually, we just can’t say, “well this is happening because God is doing _______.” Even still, we do know the bigger picture. God has revealed to us his ultimate plan. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul said that God has made known to us “the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:9-10). God is on the throne of the universe and, in the end, justice will be done. Whatever situation you’re facing, as musician Derek Webb put it, “This too shall be made right.” For this reason, whether we’re facing good, bad, or something of a mix, like Habakkuk, we have a reason to worship.

Sean's Picks

Overview: Habakkuk - If you've enjoyed exploring Habakkuk with me, you'll enjoy this great video by The Bible Project.

Missions Spotlight:
Shannon Campbell (DiscipleMakers)

PRAY FOR  new students, as it often feels risky to come to any events where they don't know anybody and they have to put themselves "out there". However, it likely feels especially risky for many this season as we're in the midst of a global pandemic! With social distancing protocols, masks, and the potential of contracting the Coronavirus, many new and even returning students have felt anxious at times about meeting in face-to-face with others. Because of this, we have been offering a virtual option for most of our events, and we praise God that we can still meet in the campus spiritual center for our weekly large group meetings. We also have the ability under university guidelines to meet in small groups of 10 or less people outdoors. This is getting trickier as the weather is getting colder, but students are still curious about Jesus and they want to learn! The harvest is indeed plentiful.

Click here for more on Shannon and DiscipleMakers.
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