Hello Habakkuk!

If God is so good and so powerful, how come He doesn’t answer our cries for help?

How come God allows all these horrific things to happen in the world He created?

If these questions and others like them cross your mind from time to time, then this book containing the prophecies of Habakkuk could be just for you.

So that’s all of us then.

These kinds of questions are nothing new. God’s people have been wrestling with these questions for thousands of years.

Habakkuk is a prophet, probably based in Jerusalem around the same time as the prophet Jeremiah. His name is thought to come from the Hebrew for ‘hug’ or ‘hold on tightly’. Nice.

Habakkuk looks around him and sees all the corruption and exploitation and injustice and abuse in society and can’t help wondering where God is in all of this. Where is the love?

He longs for God to show Himself and restore His love and justice, His kingdom here on earth.

Babylonian armies are invading Palestine and God is doing nothing. God is not listening to His people. He seems to be ignoring them.

Habakkuk longs for God to show Himself and rescue His people, protect and deliver them from their enemies.

This work of prophecy is not a message to the people. This book is entirely addressed to God. It’s like a prayer. Some of it is written as a song to be sung.

By the end of this book, Habakkuk has had a vision of his personal situation within a wider context. He catches a glimpse of the bigger picture.

The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s complaint
How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?    Habakkuk 1:1-2

What I find fascinating about these first two verses of the book of Habakkuk is that Habakkuk is asking God THAT question that we sometimes do not feel able to ask out loud. We’re afraid people will think our faith is not strong enough. We believe that there is no place for doubting and difficult questions.

But Habakkuk gets right in there. In fact, this section is entitled ‘Habakkuk’s complaint’.

And then read the line before that. Don’t just skim over it.

The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

These questions and the subsequent answers Habakkuk receives are not frowned upon by God. They all form part of ‘the prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received’.

It’s OK to ask questions.

It’s OK to have doubts.

It’s OK to wrestle with these big issues.

So as we delve into the book of Habakkuk this month, let’s allow ourselves to explore those questions that we have never dared to ask.

If God is who He says He is, He’s more than capable of engaging in our doubts and confusion and anger and whatever we may throw at Him.

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