“How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:2-4 NIV)

Much of the book of the prophet Habbakuk could be framed as a series of questions from an honest seeking heart in the midst of human contradictions.

How can he remain vigilant while his Nation sleeps?

How does he remain hopeful when what he sees gives him every reason to become cynical?
How does he stay engaged in prayer when there seems to be no answer?

How does he live above the flood of crises, lies, and the spiritual indifference of his time?

How does he continue to identify with a people who have forgotten that their true identity is one found in relation to their God?

Perhaps if we could invite Habbakuk into the classroom of our own Nation’s history he would gain perspective and courage. It has taught us that it was inspite of the drum beat of war from a foreign nation that we gained our freedom as a Nation. It was through a Civil War that nearly undid the fabric of our more nobler Judeo-Christian values that this Nation survived. Also, it is with the recognition that “the majority is not always right”. Sometimes you must row against the tide of the prevailing culture maintaining your spiritual convictions. Dare to declare,as did Joshua to his own nation, “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)
Remember, historians may write history but it takes prophets to make history. Indeed, Habbakuk does regain God’s perspective of history. He suddenly awakes, as it were, out of a momentary cynicism and slumber with renewed focus and resolve to declare,
“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fail
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. The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV)

(c) Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher . This article may be copied free of charge provided it is not altered from its original content. Please address any correspondence to:


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