Habakkuk 1:13 “Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?”

     Why does God hold back and let bad people do bad things to good people.  This is a perplexing question that has no ‘easy’ answer.  Good people and innocent children are being gunned down, blown up and killed in terrible ways daily.  Television, radio and the news is full of calamity, tragedy and violence?

     Why doesn’t God do something about it? He did! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16,17)  In Habakkuk’s time, this was still to come by about 600 years.  This was the long term plan – the plan since the beginning.  But what what about the immediate.  Habakkuk was crying out for the here and now!
   

 Habakkuk would have to wait but not without God’s assurance – not without God’s presence.  God replies to Habakkuk; “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, It will not tarry. Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:3.4)  And faith is looking to and believing in His promises contrary to what you may see with your eyes; “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

     Earlier God had said  that He was going to deal with the wickedness of Habakkuk’s world by giving it over to itself  (Habakkuk 1:5-10).    The Forerunner Commentary describes the vision in this way; “He tells the prophet that He is sending the ferocious, bloody, terrifying Chaldeans to conquer Judah! The prophet must have been stunned! This was not the answer he expected in the least. What kind of deliverance is humiliating defeat at the hand of these utterly godless people who struck terror into the entire Middle East?”  Wickedness has an insatiable appetite – its violence knows no friend and has no compassion.

     Pride in self and self-assurance always leads to defeat.  God only gave Judah what every nation earns for itself when idolatry, greed and corruption takes over because of pride and arrogance.  What about the faithful?  What about the innocent and those with no money or power to defend  themselves?  They endure by faith in  His promises.  We endure by our faith in His promises.

     Habakkuk asks, like we all ask  in the face of terrible events and injustice – why doesn’t God speak out? He did!  God told His prophets about Jesus and through His prophets the rest of the world.  He told Isaiah, 800 years before the coming of Jesus; “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)  Long. before Jesus was born on earth, God was very clear about the coming of His son to save us.

     The Old Testament is full of prophesies of the coming of Jesus.  Mary Fairchild lists forty-four prophecies of Jesus that have been fulfilled.   She writes: “Some Bible scholars suggest there are more than 300 prophetic Scriptures completed in the life of Jesus.” (44 Prophecies of the Messiah Fulfilled in Jesus Christ)

     Today, God is still telling us about His plan of rescue and salvation; “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; . . . ” (Hebrews 1:1,2)  God’s Word tells us that faith provides deliverance; “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:32-35)

     What’s God waiting for?  The Bible tells us; “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” (Hebrew 11:35-40)

     I was in jail a few days ago visiting a young friend.  He got himself in trouble and now he is waiting for his sentence from the court. He’s scared and in despair.  He knows he was in the wrong and accepts the consequences but that doesn’t mean that he’s not afraid and terribly anxious.  He has no hope to get through what will likely be a long, long prison term.  All he’s got is the Gospel hope.

     Is God waiting for him?  Yes!  The apostle Peter tells us; “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

   

Once I would have looked with no pity on my young friend in jail.  My hard and bitter heart would have said; ‘Lock him up and throw away the key!’  God waited and in His time brought my hard cold dead heart to life.  It was a miracle.  Thank you Jesus that you waited for me!

    God waits for my friend, for me, for you and for all that would come to Him.  And while God waits we hang on and spread His Word.   By faith we endure!

     Come Lord Jesus!
   

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