“O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’
And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.”
This looks like a Facebook post from 2020. The world is on fire. There is unrest in the streets. There is suspicion in speech. The innocent are dying. Protests rise. Riots erupt. Injustice begets more injustice. The world continues to burn.
But this is not a Facebook post from 2020. This is the prophet Habukkuk of the Biblical times calling out to God as the world is on fire (Habukkuk 1:2-4 NKJV).
The book of Habukkuk is a word from God to a person a long time ago, and the response of that person to God’s word.
The prophet asks God for mercy because its absent. He demands justice because its lacking. God is seemingly gone.
The LORD declares judgment will come even if it seems like it will tarry. The LORD declares people will know the Name of the LORD like waters that cover the seas. God apparently listens even when we think He has gone.
God says two things on earth are certain:
- Every sinner will be judged before a holy God (Habukkuk 2:16).
- Every tongue will confess there is a holy God (Habukkuk 2:14).
Until then, the world will regressively behave like there is no Throne eternal. But one day, we will all stand before this Throne with our crowns shattered. One day, our lifestyles of “No, King Jesus” will declare “There is King Jesus!” The exclamation point, pending our lives, will be one of rejoicing or regret.
Everyone can give a monologue to God. But few, like prophets, are bold enough and humble enough to have a dialogue with God. What God said shifted Habukkuk’s mindset:
“Though the fig tree may not blossom,Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.”
What do old prophets teach us about handling today’s news? God does not punish honesty. He responds to it. Prophets can be disheartened with the God they believe in. But they cherish God’s answer even if it’s not the answer they want. In spite of troubles, prophets rejoice in the LORD believing the God of all the earth will do right.
Here in lies the faith of prophets—they believe in trials. But believe they are seasonal. They believe in God’s goodness. And they believe He’s eternal. The only way out of finite trouble is seeing Who is Infinite.
Jesus, help us to believe Your Best when the world is the worst, to be better when our souls are prone to become worst, and to trust the God of all the earth will do right.
All views expressed on this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.