You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong.
Habakkuk is an interesting prophet, quite different than the other prophets in his day. He served during a time when he perceived paradoxes in God’s activity. In the later half of the sixth century BC, chaos abounded everywhere in Judah and people disobeyed the law (Habakkuk 1:4) because they knew that the Babylonian Army was coming to invade and conquer. Wrong was right. Justice didn’t exist and a careless complacency mixed with fear epitomized the spirit of the day. Habakkuk looked at this and criticized God. “Lord, how long?” (1:2) and “Why” (1:3, 13b) were regular questions in his prayer repertoire. You could retitle the first chapter of his prophecy, “The Confessions of a Critic”. He couldn’t understand God’s actions. “Why do you tolerate the wicked?” and “Why are you so silent?” rolled over in his mind on a daily basis.
Do you feel like that today? “God, how long?” and “Lord, why do you permit this?” are often the questions that reveal the confusion and pain of our spirit. Somehow in our minds we think God owes us an explanation for his activities. And when we ask him to explain these issues as they relate to the events of our lives, we receive a silent balk.
Habakkuk quickly learned that God has his own reasons for doing what he does. Chapter 2 records some of those purposes. In the midst of confusion, God wants us to learn some important lessons. And one of the most profound is that he is a holy God (2:20), pure in purpose and in wisdom. He has reasons for his actions and in his time they will become clear. In the meantime, our job is to trust him and to show patience. Read the book of Habakkuk today. You may be a critic that’s ready for a turnaround!