News about crime, injustice and violence occupy a prominent spot in our television sets and daily papers. Such news only cause emotional weariness and even anger at the perpetrator of the crime or abuse. Questions come to mind whether or not GOD is still sovereign and in control of this universe.
Habakkuk the prophet struggled with the same questions as he himself witnessed evil throughout the nation of Judah. In a series of dialogue between GOD and the prophet, Habakkuk asked GOD Who graciously answered the prophet’s inquiries.
Tired of witnessing the wickedness present in every level of society, Habakkuk asked the question: “LORD, why do you allow wickedness to flourish?” (Habakkuk 1:1-4). The LORD replied saying, “I am preparing the Babylonians” (1:5-11).
Habakkuk followed up with another question revealing the prophet’s confusion: “LORD, why would You chose a more wicked nation like Babylon to punish Your people?” (1:12-2:1). The LORD replied saying, “The Babylonians will also be punished for their wickedness!” (2:2-19).
The dialogue between GOD and Habakkuk shows two important principles worth remembering. First, the dialogue reveals that it is impossible for man to understand the ways and works of GOD (Cf. Proverbs 20:24; Isaiah 55:8-9). The LORD said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). Habakkuk rightly, saying, “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). Indeed, we as believers are called to live trusting the One Who is Faithful. “The sovereignty of God is often questioned because man does not understand what God is doing. Because He does not act as we think He should, we conclude He cannot act as we think He would” (Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, 1988, p. 29). GOD is sovereign and knows exactly what He is doing. Therefore, as Habakkuk wrote despite the circumstances, “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him” (2:20).
Second, the dialogue reveals that GOD honors those who diligently and sincerely seek Him. Habakkuk diligently and sincerely sought the LORD for answers. His desire to defend GOD’s name and reputation was the reason behind his questions. Are we honest and sincere in our prayers to the LORD? He knows every struggle we face and therefore, we should truly open our hearts to Him. Peter calls us to cast our cares upon the LORD because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).