One of the great insights of the Bible is that God does not do the expected things through the expected people but uses unexpected people to draw attention to what really matters.
The prophet Habakkuk stood out as he held up the character of God and his promises against the injustices and suffering of his day. The Old Testament prophets had three great callings:
- To convince people that the past was not without its faults
- To provide consolation
- To offer glimpses of a better world
Dealing with the past
Habakkuk complains that the destruction and violence that he sees is due to his own people’s self-centredness in the past (CF. Isaiah 1:13).
Whether it was Judah’s past or Babylon’s history, God said human blood has a voice (Cf. Gen 4:10).
The sobering truth is that God does not ignore the violence that abuses human beings. He notices any injustices that impacted our lives, as well as those in the lives of others that we have neglected.
Look back! The past is not without its faults. It’s essential that each of us learns from our past, so that we can admit our mistakes, apologise and move to build a different future.
Providing comfort and consolation in the present
Habakkuk waited for deliverance from God but it he didn’t know how God would accomplish this.
Where do you find comfort when your world is spinning out of control? Can you see the good things that God has planted in the people and the natural environment that surrounds you? Jesus engaged with the people and things that surrounded him, which reminds us that true comfort doesn’t come from an instant answer, but by knowing that what you have expressed has been heard and is valued.
Offering glimpses of a better world to come
In v. 14 Habakkuk gives us a glimpse of a better world in which he reimagines a future that depicts a transformed society who experience God’s peace and where God’s authority alone is honoured.
As our world changes and so much of what is permanent is swept away this is the missional moment of our history. As you imagine a world swamped by the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, does it challenge you to go beyond your own interests and salvation and consider the wellbeing of others? The love of God is not restricted to religious people or churchgoers but resonates with people from every walk of life who long for a different day.
Imagine a different week
As a follower of Jesus do you imagine a different way of living. As you look around will you walk and pray blessing on broken people and broken systems? Check out the ‘Walk, Pray, Talk’ resource.
In the new normal will you be someone who stands out to reshape the things that surround you, so that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea?