Timing, Turmoil, Trust.

Just before deadline - time, stress or rush concept.

Timing is everything. We are repeatedly reminded through scripture that God has a plan and we are to put our faith and trust in Him. Habakkuk was getting tired of waiting, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not save”. “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?” The culture surrounding the time of Habakkuk was in a deep dark place far from God, they had once again forgotten who He was. From Habakkuk’s perspective things couldn’t get any worse and yet it did, God was going to use an unbelieving nation to destroy the people who turned away from God. In his prayer in chapter 3 Habakkuk calls on God to remember mercy in His wrath as He dealt with the people, Habakkuk was remembering the people who continued to follow God. Throughout this time in a culture of wickedness and unfaithfulness there were still those who stayed true to serving the Lord.

We read a similar message in the book of Zephaniah not just for a nation but also for judgment on the whole earth, “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth, declares the Lord… When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth”. Each time I read through these books I begin to understand a little bit more of the burden that this message would have had on the prophets. Yes, these were men of God, faithful and true to His word but they were still men, they had all the same pressures of the culture and society around them. Zephaniah writes in chapter two a big part of “making it through” was their hope and faith in God, it was an attitude of humility before Him that would see them saved from the day of the Lord’s anger.

The message we read through the last pages of the Minor Prophets is one of hope and continued restoration of the relationship of God and His people. We begin to see the process of rebuilding faith in loving and forgiving God. Zechariah chapter 8 outlines the Lords promises to bless Jerusalem, verses four and five picture two generations of believers that hold the key to a change in the culture. The picture is of the (old) faithful remnant watching as the next generation of boys and girls move forward in carrying on what they have brought so far. This is a picture of hope that we must be striving towards today as we pass on our faith to the generations behind us.

A Persistent Faith…

FaithTilesReflections founded on the book of Habakkuk as a whole.

I can’t quite put my finger the how and why, but as I read through Habakkuk I feel like I have connected at some level with the experiences of Habakkuk more so than the other prophets. It may be that my recent involvements through the Alpha course where asking questions about life, faith and God resonate with the questions that Habakkuk directed to God. Habakkuk’s concern around the question of why God is allowing injustice, violence and suffering is a question that many people (both Christians and non-Christians) continue to ask today.

I believe that with our superior yet limited human minds we will never fully understand why God allows the good, the bad, and the ugly in our lives. Reading between the lines of Habakkuk’s poetic and prayerful writing we can be encouraged by the conclusion of his strengthened faith and trust in God’s greater plan. It is our continued faith in God, in His plan for salvation that should keep us going. Habakkuk writes: “the righteous shall live by his faith”, this is a faith in God that is higher and stronger than everything in this world. Living in faith and obedience to the Lord is how we will overcome the injustice, violence and devastation of our times.

Paul in Romans chapter 1 reminds us of that same faith that Habakkuk writes of in his day is the same faith that separates us from the wrath of God upon the unrighteous and ungodly today. For those living in faith we will continue to live in Christ through eternal life when He comes again. The words God spoke through Habakkuk teach us a timeless message of waiting upon Him, to be faithful to His plan and timing to be worked out in our lives. There is so much more to be gleaned from the words in Habakkuk, and as I reflect on his calling as a prophet I have to continue to examine the call the Lord has on my own life. God has the plan already laid out, it is up to me to trust in Him, to be faithful, to wait and listen for Him through the good times and the tough times.