Last night, I was thinking about my niece when she was a little girl. Her response to almost anything was always to ask, “Why?” If I told her it was time to put her toys away, she would ask, “Why?” If I said it looked like rain, she asked the same. I haven’t seen her in years, but I hope she is still asking…and finding the answer she needs.
In my Bible study this morning I found someone else asking questions…of God. Habakkuk was a prophet in the nation of Judah. He saw the stubbornness of his people who repeatedly ignored God’s calls to repent. He saw the evil ones taking command and the unlawful deeds going unpunished; wrong judgements being made. “How long shall I cry and thou wilt not hear? I cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!” Why, he asked, did God show him all these things, but do nothing about them?
God’s answer to Habakkuk was: “I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you.” Habakkuk 1: 5 When God told him that Judah would be overtaken by the Babylonians, Habakkuk could not understand why God would allow one evil nation to be overtaken by another that was even more evil…and goodness was to come out of all of this? Why? How? He wondered, but yet he decided: I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I will answer when I am reproved. 2:1
The Lord told him to write the vision down and make it plain that it would happen, but in God’s own time. The evil ones would be punished, their idols destroyed and everyone would know: The Lord is in his holy temple.
In Chapter 3: 2 Habakkuk prays: O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath, remember mercy.
He had seen the glory of the Lord and knew the power He possessed… the promises He had kept.
Habakkuk admitted to God that when he heard his plan for Judah, his belly trembled, his lips quivered at His voice. Rottenness entered into his bones, and he trembled. But, then he decided that even if he lost everything he had, his fields, trees, cattle…he would rejoice in the Lord. “I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength…” Habakkuk 3: 17-19
As we look at our world today and see evil taking control in so many areas, we must take a lesson from Habakkuk and put our trust in the Lord. We have been through many hard times, suffered loss, seen suffering and felt helpless many times. We also have seen the Lord’s hand in every situation and felt His presence in time of need. Though we might tremble at the thought of how God might deal with the situation we find our country in right now, let us not cower and run from the job set before us, but let us ask for strength to endure and His power to guide us in bringing as many as we can into the family of Christ.
We have seen men who wanted nothing to do with God, stand up and proclaim how Jesus saved them…and known the same salvation for our own sins. We serve a risen Savior who is just as alive and real today as when He walked with His disciples. The same love that saved Paul on the road to Demascus, by striking him blind, still works the same way today. We know the truth, but knowing it is not enough to save a world full of hurting people. We have to share it. Tell your story of faith and let others decide for themselves whether to believe or not.
It’s time to ask life’s biggest question: Why? Why are we here and how can we make a difference in the lives of those around us? We can’t all travel to other places and help build churches in other lands, but God’s love is needed just as much right where we are, next door and down the street, people are hurting and asking why. Let us pray for the ability to provide them with the answer: Jesus. In God’s time, He will return and all will be set straight…and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…and God will work a work, which those who witness will not believe, even though they’ve been told.