Sacred Scraps: Habakkuk


Disclaimer: Please offer grace knowing that any commentary is not that of a scholar
but simply me gleaning meaningful scraps of the Sacred.
 
I have some favorite books in the Bible.  Habakkuk is one of them.  First I was attracted by the sound of the name and the different ways that people struggle to pronounce it.  I thought with a name like that, maybe I should investigate.  But I didn't.  The old testament is so....old.  Especially some of the freaky prophets.  So I ignored it again, until I went to a writer's seminar.  This seminar used Habakkuk 2:2 as "their" verse:

And then God answered: “Write this.  Write what you see.  Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run."
I was intrigued that God commanded his prophet to write.  Still, it wasn't until I was doing a chronological reading plan that I ran into Habakkuk and finally read the book.

In Habakkuk's voice, I hear my own voice. I hear my impatience with the world around me, with the suffering and the wrong done.  I hear me crying to God, "Hello????  When are you going to deal with this????"

Habakkuk didn't get the answer that he wanted, or expected.

God had a plan.  A dreadful plan.  A plan to destroy.  A plan to imprison.  A plan to use the enemy's army.  Not the kind of plan one would hope to hear about when we cry to God for help to make things right.

But God doesn't have our plans nor does he ask our opinion on his plans.

There are times that I want to know what God was thinking.  Why is he delaying?  Why is he absent?  Why did this happen and why is he allowing that?  But after reading Habakkuk, I am more timid with my questions.  I know what my sense of justice and rightness might look like.  The big question is: Does it look like God's?

Later in the 2nd chapter, God speaks to the injustices.  He doesn't want to smack someone on the back of the head and tell them to knock it off.  It almost begins to sound like karma:

“‘Who do you think you are—getting rich by stealing and extortion?  How long do you think you can get away with this?  Indeed, how long before your victims wake up, stand up and make you the victim?  You’ve plundered nation after nation.  Now you’ll get a taste of your own medicine.  All the survivors are out to plunder you, a payback for all your murders and massacres. 
“Who do you think you are-- recklessly grabbing and looting, Living it up, acting like king of the mountain, acting above it all, above trials and troubles?  You’ve engineered the ruin of your own house.  In ruining others you’ve ruined yourself.  You’ve undermined your foundations, rotted out your own soul.  The bricks of your house will speak up and accuse you. The woodwork will step forward with evidence.'"

And it continues, but this is enough.  In these paragraphs I am reminded me that when I am looking at everyone else's issues, I would do better to remove that plank out of my own eye first.

I say I want God's justice, but I am desperately in need of his mercy.  As we all are.

As I wait on God today, for answers to many different questions, I am challenged to not put him in a box.  To not assume that I know his plan.  His plans are often unexpected and shocking.  An enemy army dispenses justice.  God born a baby to save the world.  Yeah, I wouldn't have come up with those ideas.  But I can rest knowing that he does have a plan.  For me, for you, for us.  Although I cannot anticipate his plans, I can rely on his character.  God is good.  God brings forth life.  God is reliable and faithful. 

Not such a bad trade off.
 

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