Reverent Trust in Treacherous Times


Where do you need to trust God in reverence today? We struggle with God’s ways at times and sometimes do not understand how the water of his will and hand flow across our land. We ask “Why do you tolerate the treacherous, God?”  Habakkuk asked the same question…

12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
My God, my Holy One, you will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 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 he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
destroying nations without mercy?
1 I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

2 Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay.
4 “See, the enemy is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—

7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
Then you will become their prey.

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

18 “Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman?
Or an image that teaches lies?
For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation;
he makes idols that cannot speak.
19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’
Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’
Can it give guidance?
It is covered with gold and silver;
there is no breath in it.”
20 The Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him.
Habakkuk 1:12-17, 2:1-4, 7, 14, 18-20

Habakkuk is questioning God’s justice and righteousness because God is planning to use Babylon to humble and discipline his own children of Israel.  It’s salt in the wounds of his own people and an apparent affront to God in Habakkuk’s mind.  And so he lays out a picture of what God is doing to ask, “why do you tolerate the treacherous, God?”

We also see that Habakkuk is on the hook to explain this to people who have come the prophet with questions.  He needs to figure out (2:1) what answer to give to this complaint.

God’s answer is clear.  His revelation will wait until its time and it will certainly come.  In God’s timing there is no delay.  Ahhh… if only we could be wired with God’s timing instead of the world’s…

God sees the enemy puffed up and knows that his desires are not upright.  God knows that Babylon is not falling willingly under God’s plan and has no loyalty to God’s purposes.  They are out for themselves, and inasmuch as God will use Babylon, he is using a force which is already aimed at opposing God’s people.

And the tool of Babylon has limited use in God’s hand. Their creditors will arise.  The hunters will become prey at some point.  Their own idols are carved by their craftsmen and will not come to life.

By contrast, the Lord is in his holy temple even now.  He is on the throne.  And God’s over-arching plan is to fill the earth with the knowledge of his glory.

We struggle with God’s ways at times and sometimes do not understand how the water of his will and hand flow across our land.

That is why God says to Habakkuk that the righteous will live by faith (2:4). There is a trusting reverence for God which is a core requirement to waiting on him and not letting our circumstances push us off our understanding and faith in God.

Where do you need to trust God in reverence today?

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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