Try, for a moment, to imagine how you would feel if you turned on the evening news and heard this announcemet: "Washington, DC will be destroyed by tonight!"  Your heart would sink and fear would grip the entire land. Disorder would sweep across the nation. Small groups of concerned people would secretly meet together to pray, in tears seeking answers to questions such as, "Why is God allowing this to happen?"
This is the situation Habakkuk finds himself in. Habakkuk lived in the Babylonian period. He was a contemporary to Josiah, one of the last kings of Judah. The prophet is broken hearted and prayed to God seeking answers. God had sent the Babylonians to lay siege on Jerusalem. Hab. 1:6. Habakkuk, perhaps in a flow of tears, says to God, ". . . .Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; You cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are You silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?" Hab. 1:13. NIV.  God tells Habakkuk that sin must be punished, and in chapter two, assures him that the Chaldeans will be justly dealt with. But, Habakkuk is told, ". . . . .  the righteous will live by faith." Hab. 2:4 NIV.
In the end Kubakkuk finally understood. We, along with Habakkuk long to remove to the world where holiness and love reign for ever. God has good reasons for is long-suffering towards bad men, and the rebukes of good men. For now we must go about our father's business, then, one day the prayer of the righteous will prevail. In the end Habakkuk was able to say, "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. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on to the heights." Habakkuk 3:17 - 19. NIV    
The lesson is, man shall live by faith, which has been the watchword of the Christian church. Faith is the ability to feel so sure of God, no matter how dark the day, there is no doubt to the outcome. Thus, in the midst of his gloom and despair, Habakkuk was an optimist of the first magnitude.
Just a thought from Parson Don across the Garden Gate.


Updated December 2, 2009
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