Habakkuk is my soul brother. I think we may have been cut from the same piece of cloth. His name means embrace or wrestle. Well, an embrace sounds comforting and wrestle sounds really uncomfortable. So, which is it? It is both! Habakkuk is a “minor” prophet (whatever that is) with a major message to ME! It is a lesson he learned (wrestled) and it is a lesson the Father wants you and me to grasp (embrace). The problem is we have trouble understanding why God allows things that are evil to continue. We look around this world and wonder how can we survive?
Habakkuk lives in Jerusalem. The holy city. Site of the Temple. Capital of the Jewish nation. It is a center of commerce, education, religion, and law. We know little else about my friend, Habakkuk, except he is a brilliant writer. He can pen what his heart cries. He is brave! He questions God Almighty; takes two complaints straight to Heaven’s throne. His complaints are a burden and he writes five oracles to express them. Two other authors are so impressed with his writing they have written books about Habakkuk: Warren Wiersbe wrote From Worry to Worship and Dr. Martin-Lloyd Jones wrote From Fear to Faith.
Habakkuk’s time out is spent in prayer! Time outs spent here is where our burdens are released and lifted; sin is confessed; our eyes are opened; character is shaped; and in the aftermath, leaders rise, songs are written, the Spirit is released, revelation is received, missionaries get their marching orders, laymen receive their call, and God is glorified. For Habakkuk, he would receive a prophecy that assured him the evil would not go unpunished. Habakkuk recorded his conversation with God and how he asked the hard question: Why do your people suffer at the hand of the ungodly? I love his honesty: “O LORD how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! I even cry out unto thee of violence and thou wilt not save!” (Habakkuk 1:2) Let’s be honest, the church is filled with those of us who feel exactly this way!!!! I have cried out to Him for years and nothing changes. Like ole ‘Kkuk I have asked, “God what are You doing? Do you even see me down here suffering? Are you ever going to fix this? Surely, you see my pain! My tears run like a river.”
I love this “book” because Habakkuk records that God DOES HEAR AND ANSWER! God accepted his honest questions to UNDERSTAND!!!! Abba Father opens his eyes to the future of how He will use these enemies as a “rod of correction” for the Jews to turn their eyes back to Him and then the enemies who are vile, treacherous, and calloused will be defeated. God has “established the enemy for correction.” God then told Habakkuk to write down all he had been shown for all the people to read and be able to escape the coming “judgement” if they would heed the warning. Such mercy!
Are we like this prophet willing to “stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved?” The prayer penned after this encounter with God Almighty should be ours: “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid (in awe): O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: YET I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD GOD is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places.” (Habakkuk 3:2, 17-19 KJV)
(I Corinthians 10:13) He gives us a way of escape.
Time out in prayer renders this: our eyes are opened, we worship, and we exalt the name of the LORD. Time out in honest prayer for your family, your nation, your church may turn you into a prophet: A man/woman called into the service of God, speaking and writing all He has revealed to you, having your eyes opened (vision/dreams) that will be in harmony with God’s written Word and may predict things to come. The Word tells us in Acts 2:17, “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” We are living in the last days.
Are you in the depths of despair? Take this to the LORD. You will leave His presence delighted in Him. He always remembers MERCY even in His wrath. Jesus is our perfect picture of this fact. God’s highest law is LOVE and MERCY! Take your burden to the Lord.
The word selah is used three times in Habakkuk’s writing ( Habakkuk 3: 3, 9, 13) This Hebrew word is found in only two books: Psalms and Habakkuk. Theologians believe it is a AMEN used to add weight and to encourage the reader to STOP and ponder all that has been said. It is “the highest form of praise man is able to give” when we pay attention to all the LORD is saying.
Today, if you are carrying a burden, take it to the LORD! He hears the honest prayers of a hurting heart and desires to reveal to you what He is up to. He IS “the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8)