February 20: Habakkuk’s Complaint – Part 1

Read Habakkuk 1:1-11

Do you ever look at the injustice in the world around you and wonder, how can God just let this happen?  People don’t seem to care about doing what’s right at all any more.  We are tempted to think that this current generation is surely the worst that ever walked the earth:  anarchy, rebellion, murder, and it can only go downhill from here.  Every generation is tempted to look at the world around them and think that their time is the worst, the most wicked.  Worse yet, what if your complaint involved those who should know better, Gods own people?

We’re often told that complaining is not godly behavior.  But complaining about God’s people can make you a downright unpopular character.  At the opening of Habakkuk we find this prophet doing exactly that; complaining that God’s people were simply not interested in following His laws and acting rightly any more.  But Habakkuk wasn’t upset at Judah; he was upset with God.  Habakkuk wanted some action.  He just couldn’t understand why God was keeping quiet while all this was going on.

God responded to Habakkuk that He was about to punish Judah and do it in a rather interesting way.  God said that He was raising up the Babylonians specifically to be a particularly brutal hand to carry out the job.  Certainly God was perfectly capable of delivering justice to His wandering people.  He had done it many times before, but not this time.  This time God was going to use a foreign nation, and a nation that was more wicked than those He had chosen to punish.

What can we learn from this?

  • God is not oblivious to our rebellion. He may be silent on the matter for a time, even a long time, but He sees it, He cares, and He is prepared to take action when the time is right.
  • God is not afraid to use others, even the wicked, to carry out His will.
  • God is not afraid to build up the wicked for a time to bring His people back into line.