Daily encouragement

Video by

Katie Fox

ACF Devo Team

dive deeper

Habakkuk 2:1

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

Behind the Scenes

The name Habakkuk means “one who embraces.” Interestingly enough, the book of Habakkuk is anything but him embracing his doubts. This small prophetic book is an intimate conversation between the prophet and God. His message is one that resonates today. Habakkuk asks the timeless questions we all seem to struggle with: Why is evil prevailing? Why are those who do wrong succeeding? We struggle with what God allows and why he does not immediately act to right the wrongdoings.

As Habakkuk cries out his perplexed questions, God answers him directly. “Look at the nations and watch-and be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:5). The Lord goes on to explain that he is going to raise up the Babylonians to enact his justice against Judah’s flagrant wickedness.

Habakkuk doesn’t embrace this answer. He can’t seem to bridge the seeming disparity of God’s character and his actions. He further responds to God by reminding God of his own character! He calls God “everlasting” and “my Holy One.” He says that the Lord’s eyes are “too pure to look on evil” and that he “cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Hab. 1:13). How can a good and loving God allow evil to be a part of his justice? It doesn’t make sense.

Make it Real

Have you ever been satisfied with the reply to an earnest question: “Because I said so?” Not only is this flippant response annoying, but it entices one to further press, why?  We are not easily placated. We demand explanation, we desire to understand an answer and if we can’t, we assume it must not be the right answer!

As a tired and weary parent, I often spout such a phrase as my go-to in response to a whiny kid gearing up for an argument. I want the conversation to be shut down. I don’t want to have to explain myself. So, with all my authority and power, I give such a response.

Have you ever felt this way about God? You cry out to Him asking why, wanting clarity to understand your situation or what’s going on around you, and you feel as though you are left with a “because I said so” response? I think as Christians we interpret such silence by shoving down our honest doubt and confusion and grit our teeth in order to “walk by faith.” Or perhaps the unanswered prayer pushes you to doubt and brings you to the conclusion that God cannot be trusted.

Habakkuk takes neither posture in response to God’s answer. He does not become spiritually idle, bitter, or resentful. Instead, he shows us what it means to further press - even embrace - God, how to pray and wait expectantly above the chaos.

We see in Habakkuk that God is not annoyed with our doubt or repelled by our pain. He isn’t a tired or weary parent wanting to shut down our pitiful pleas because he doesn’t have the energy to answer. In Psalm 121:2-4, the truth sings out: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Praise God is he never tired!

God is a merciful and loving Father, who will reveal what we need to know in his precise timing. We can look at his past faithfulness to encourage and give us assurance that he is who he says he is. Despite our limited perspective and knowledge of the Lord’s plans, we can have confidence that his glory and purposes with not be stopped by evil. Circumstances don’t dictate the outcome, God does. The God who reigns and rules outside of time gives us the assurance and hope that all will be set right when Jesus returns.

What starts out with a cry ends in confidence with Habakkuk declaring, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Hab. 3:19). Our God is one who is mighty and merciful, faithful and trustworthy. Even when things don’t make sense, God is ever at work, never sleeping or slumbering. His plans will always prevail. He gives us the strength to navigate the heights and reassurance that he is in control.

End in Prayer

Lord I praise you that you are trustworthy, that I can come to you with my doubts, anxiousness, and distress. Thank you that you are always at work and your plans cannot be stopped. Help me come to you, asking for strength to endure, even when things don’t make sense. Allow me to live by your will and faith in Christ. Amen.

Written by

Hollyn Roberts

ACF Devo Team