Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Lesson Learned From Habakkuk

                 Habakkuk was a prophet in the Old Testament. He was the eighth of the twelve minor prophets collected in the Old Testament. Little is known about him besides what facts we can gather from the book of Habakkuk. It is uncertain about the period of time that he lived but it is assumed that it was around 612 B.C. The book contains five oracles about the Babylonians and this was around the time of their rise in power. Although the book only contains three short chapters it is still important. We should live by his example in our prayer life.

“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do
not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’
but you do not save? Why do
you make me look at injustice?”

-Habakkuk 1:1-3

                In the first four verses of the book, Habakkuk is questioning God how He can tolerate the sin and evil that is happening. He tells God there is no justice and great strife. The Lord’s reply is that He has plans for the Babylonians. He tries to console Habakkuk and put peace in his heart.

“Look at the nations and watch- be utterly
amazed. For I am going to do
something in your days that you would no believe,
even if you were told.”

-Habakkuk 1:5

                Habakkuk makes a second complaint. He says that the Lord just looks on at the violence and the strife that is among the people of Jerusalem. Habakkuk compares Babylonians like fishermen and the rest of the world like fish. He says that the Babylonians conquer nations and destroys them as they get rich off of them.

“You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures
that have no ruler. The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he
catches them in his net, he gathers them up in
his dragnet; and so rejoices and is glad.”

-Habakkuk 1:15

                God, in return, says that Babylon will eventually be judged and destroyed. The Babylonians work in vain and will be judged for gaining unearned wealth. The Babylonians worship idols and cause others to fall into sin. This won’t last long though according to 2:3. The end will not come right away but it will happen at its appointed time. In the third and final chapter, Habakkuk realizes that everything happens according to God’s will.

“Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.”

-Habakkuk 3:16

                We can relate this story to the leadership of our country or the terrorist attacks that happened on 2001. We can even relate it to bullies in our schools and workplace. We can pray and pray that God will change their hearts or punish them. Sometimes we might feel God is taking too long and we never cease to encounter conflict. We lose hope and question how God can let these people bring harm to His people. God will take care of them in due time. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that there is a time for everything.

                At first, Habakkuk complained and tried to move the hand of God. In the end, however, he came to realize the truth and reality that we should all recognize. If our prayers aren’t answered right away, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hear us. He will answer them if and when He sees fit. It doesn’t mean He loves us any less; after all, He gave His one and only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Although from the Old Testament, the testimonies throughout this part of the Bible can be related to our everyday lives in 2012 and beyond.

“Consider what God has done:
Who can make straight what God has made crooked?”

-Ecclesiastes 7:13

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