Scripture: Habakkuk 1:1-4
Key verse: (2) “O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?”
Reflection: Not a lot is known about the prophet Habakkuk. Within this short book there is more than one literary form suggesting that each section was written during a different time period. Scholars suggest that the writings found here weren’t originally found in the same document. However, they were written during the height of Babylonian power. Throughout this prophecy, there is a common theme of theodicy. Theodicy seeks to answer the question of why a good God allows bad things to happen. The prophet asks “. . . why do you look on the treacherous, and are silent when the wicked swallow those more righteous than they?” (v. 13) I suspect this is a question all of us have asked at one time or another. Scripture reminds us we are called to live by our faith. This can be very difficult when we look around at the world we live in. When we are comfortable it is easier to look away from the senseless tragedy and injustice that affects so many. But when our lives are directly affected by tragedy or struggle, we too ask – how long God, how long before you hear my prayers. It is natural to wonder where God is during times of trial. Yet scripture assures us over and over again that God is with us. We may not be saved from the pain and destruction that arises out of evil and sin, yet we are able to rejoice in the LORD because God is the source of our salvation and strength. As Christians, this is further affirmed by our faith in Jesus Christ, who lived among us and knew what it was like to suffer and die. Habakkuk calls us to live lives of faith, and in time, God will punish the wicked. We need to be careful not to become the wicked. We are called to live our lives in deep humility and awe before God. One day all will be made right.
Prayer: Almighty God, be with us as we try to make sense of life. Help us to follow in your ways and devote our lives to you. Strengthen us for the journey of life and may we always depend on you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].