The prophet understands that God must punish sin. “But come on, God. How long? How long are You going to let me cry out, and You not answer? How long are you going to make me look at the evil in this world, the unfair treatment of Your people while the wicked go on their merry way, and prosper?”
God answers Habakkuk: “Wait for it! You’re not even going to believe what I’m going to do.”
Then Habakkuk replies, “Ok. If You say so. I’ll stand my watch.”
God continues to talk to the prophet and gives him a glimpse at what is ahead for the wicked. There is a series of “Woe to’s” that reaffirm that God’s got this. In God’s timing, evil will be addressed, severely addressed. No one is getting away with any wrong-doing. So Habakkuk takes God at His word. (which probably is a good idea for all of us)
But Habakkuk asks God for one thing: “Lord, while you are allowing your people to go through this storm – have mercy.” (3:2) And then this:
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 the heights. (3:17-19a)
We should not be surprised when we are faced with trials. We deserve much worse than anything we’ve had to face, or will face in this lifetime. We can let those hard situations break us, cause us to turn from God and make us bitter. Or we can take God at His word… Wait for it.
Wait for Him.
I imagine many of you can attest to times when God gave you supernatural strength to face a tough thing with confidence and joy. I imagine you can share times when God lifted you above the situation and gave You peace in the storm, when He gave you the “feet of a deer” to keep you moving through the valley of the shadow of death.
God uses difficult times to refine His children, to drive us to our knees so that we depend only on Him and find He is all we need. God uses difficult times to discipline His children, to punish the sin of the wicked, to reveal Himself through our examples.
May God show us mercy by being our Comfort and Strength when life seems unbearable. And may we, like Habakkuk, rejoice in the Lord, in God our Savior.
Then, wait for it. You’re not even going to believe what He has in store.