Jeremiah 22:1-17; 2 Kings 23:31-37; Habakkuk
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “When I get to heaven the first thing I’m going to do is ask God why…?” “Why is life so hard?” “Why do bad people prosper and good people struggle?” “Why do non-Christians get away with making life miserable for Christians?” “Why are there diseases, wars, catastrophes…”
Habakkuk had questions, and his sound pretty much like ours. He asked, “Why are you ignoring me, God?” “Why do you tolerate wrong?” “Why do your enemies swallow us up?”
In other words, “Why isn’t life fair?”
What we see here in Habakkuk is a man’s frustration, expressing his honest feelings about life. Is there anything wrong with that? I’ve always been taught that the only stupid question is the question not asked. Now I’m wondering if that is true.
God answers the prophet. And he starts by telling him to “Write this down.” Whenever one of my professors used to say that, I knew that what was to follow was something I shouldn’t ignore, something he expected me to understand and remember.
God’s reply to Habakkuk is a wake-up call. In effect He is saying He really doesn’t need us to tell Him what is wrong in the world. And to be sure we understand that he is not unaware, He gives warnings to five different classes of people.
Woe to thieves and dishonest people. (2:6-8)
Woe to people who use people to get ahead. (2:9-11)
Woe to bullies and criminals. (2:12-14)
Woe to drunks, lewd and violent people. (2:15-17)
Woe to idolators. (2:18-19)
God’s not blind. He sees what is going on. And He will take care of it. Sin will be punished.
Then God reminds us, “But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” (2:20) In other words, “I’m God. You aren’t. Shut your mouth.”
In 2:4, God says something that hit me. “See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous will live by his faith.” I believe God is telling us that when we have the nerve to demand answers from Him, we become puffed up, we try to put ourselves on equal footing with God. Those questions don’t come from a good place in our hearts.
In fact, those who are truly His trust Him. The righteous don’t need answers, they live by their faith in God instead.
Habakkuk speaks again to God in chapter three. This time he says, “You’re right, God.” The prophet says things like, “I stand in awe of you. We’ve seen your glory in creation, your splendor in a sunrise. We’ve seen your heavy hand of discipline and your control over nature. You scare me, God. And I rejoice in you. I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Habakkuk submits to the Sovereign God and says “…in wrath remember mercy.” In other words, “Do what you need to do, God. We deserve it. But please have mercy on us, too,”
Habakkuk starts out by asking God to defend Himself. God reminds Habakkuk who he is talking to. And Habakkuk replies by bowing before a Holy God.
He ends his book with,”The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enable me to go on the heights.” The answers to his questions don’t seem to be all that important any more. He turns his focus instead to God.
So, no. When I get to heaven the first thing I’ll do is NOT ask God anything. I’m going to spend the first billion years at His feet, loving Him, being loved by Him, simply drinking in His Presence. Then, after a billion years or so, if a question comes to mind, I’ll sit with my precious Savior another billion years before I ask.