Read Habakkuk 3:1-19
When I answered the phone that Sunday evening and heard news of my friend’s mother having been murdered the night before, the questions flew around my mind like snowflakes in a blizzard. Why would God allow such wickedness? How could He let such dark and horrid evil steal my friend’s mother, her children’s grandma, from this life so pointlessly? It wasn’t fair. It made no sense. The whole event shook my faith in a way I’m not sure words can rightly portray.
I think that might be how Habakkuk felt when he wrote his book. His name being “the embracer,” Habakkuk’s very nature needed to understand the why’s. Why was God allowing His own people, Israel, to live in sin? And, furthermore, why in the world would He use the Babylonians to serve the punishment due the Israelites? Really, God? You’re going to use them to right this wrong?!? Needless to say, it was not how Habakkuk had imagined God’s justice to play out. Not at all what he’d pictured when he visualized the end of the Israelites season of sin and their return to the One true God.
Nevertheless, Habakkuk knew Him whom He followed. Though he knew not why He did things the way He chose to do them, Habakkuk trusted the very character of God. And that is what prompted him to write this song of praise that we read today.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (vv 17-18)
Habakkuk could have looked around at the situation, thrown his hands up in despair and given up on the One he had chosen to follow. Except, when he gave his life to God the LORD, he trusted not the things He would do. He trusted Him alone. He knew the character of the One true God, so placed faith on that. God alone was Habakkuk’s hope. Not the way he had hoped God would do it. Not his own ideas of how things should be done. God Himself was the strength of Habakkuk’s life.
When we follow the One True God, are we placing our hope and faith in what we think He should do or how we think He should act? Or do we trust His very character enough to say with Habakkuk . . .
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior?