Yesterday we wrapped up the book of Habakkuk. There is so much to observe and learn from this short but powerful book.
We have spent 17 brief moments together looking at Habakkuk’s distress about his land and God’s people, and God’s reply back to him. And it feels like we have just scratched the surface of what there is to learn about the Lord, and our human condition.
What Habakkuk saw in his day, we see in our day as well. Habakkuk saw the injustice, the lawlessness, the paralyzed indifference of those who are sworn to uphold the good and the right. Habakkuk saw this for Judah. We see it in every corner of the world today.
Like Habakkuk, we often complain bitterly to the Lord… “Why don’t you do something?”
When we complain, we must ask ourselves why we are complaining. Is it because:
- We cannot control the lives or actions of others?
- Minor injustices have become major, and we can no longer ignore them?
- Our own comfort or convenience has been interrupted or upset?
Too often, our complaints are rooted in our own selfishness. I say this reflectively, not judging you, but looking at my own life in the mirror.
When I lay aside my selfishness, and allow God’s love to compel me, the reason for my complaints change. Now I have the same love for others that God does, the same heart for people that He exhibited on the cross, the same desire to point others toward Christ.
And that mind shift, that change in perspective, changes everything.
There is so much to walking with the Lord, captured in both the Old and New Testaments. But yet, the Lord refines everything down to this one little sentence fragment:
“… But the righteous will live by his faith.”
(Habakkuk 2:4b NASB)
When we keep first things first and focus on the Lord, all the other issues of life work themselves out. Either the matter is resolved, or we discover that the matter is no longer of first importance in our lives, and must take a back seat to our pursuit of knowing God and walking with Him by faith.
Habakkuk had no promise of life getting any better in his days; in fact, the Lord said it was about to get much worse. Habakkuk did not run and hide, nor did he complain.
Remember Habakkuk’s summary of what he expected, and how he responded:
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
(Habakkuk 3:17-18 NASB)
May we see the Lord as our strength, just as Habakkuk did, able to navigate like the deer in the rocky, unstable, hard places of life. May we rely on His power to have steady feet as we walk in obedience to the Lord, hearing His voice and following Him in faith.