The Complaining Prophet

Monday, February 5                

Habakkuk is unique in that it’s written in the form of a debate with God.  As a prophet of God, Habakkuk represented God to Israel and vice versa.  But to Habakkuk, God seemed to be aloof and  indifferent to Israel’s needs.  He was doing nothing to restrain evil or to turn the nation from idolatry to serve the living God.  Habakkuk needed some answers.  He took his complaints to God—and he didn’t mince words.  He was terse and blunt.  He accused God of not listening, that he tolerated injustice, that the Law was being ignored, and that evil prevailed.  He reminds me of Jeremiah, a contemporary of Habakkuk.  Jeremiah also debated with God and was disgruntled because his messages from God had no effect whatsoever on God’s people.    He felt that his ministry was useless, that no one listened to him, and that he constantly suffered persecution at the hands of his own people.  Why did God call him to a miserable, fruitless ministry?  He regretted that he had ever been born.  Habakkuk probably felt the same way.  After reading Habakkuk’s blunt criticisms, one might expect a stern rebuke from God.  Not so.  As he did with Jeremiah, God dealt with Habakkuk with understanding and grace.  He answered Habakkuk’s questions and in the end, Habakkuk responded with trust and worshiped God.  Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, we can count on him to treat us with gentleness, too.  So if you happen to be in a spiritual funk, take heart.  God is ready to meet your need.  Trust him.

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