Key Point - Though waiting can be difficult, God always hears and responds.
Quote #1: There is a strong theological theme in many books of the Hebrew Bible that God administers justice by rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked. This has been called “moral cause and effect” where the wicked get what they deserve. It can been seen in many psalms, including Psalm 1: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked...they are like trees planted by streams of water” (Psalm 1:1, 3). Habakkuk is challenging this notion of “moral cause and effect,” crying out to God that “The wicked surround the righteous— therefore judgment comes forth perverted.
Habakkuk 1:1-7 New International Version (NIV)
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? 3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. 4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
The Lord’s Answer
5 “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians,[a] that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own. 7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor.
Habakkuk 2:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts;I will look to see what he will say to me,and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The Lord’s Answer
2 Then the Lord replied:“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. 4 “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness
Habakkuk 3:17-19 New International Version (NIV)
17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Quote #2: Habakkuk struggles with the presence of injustice in God’s creation. The LORD responds by saying that justice will come; the righteous should live by faith. In response, Habakkuk states that his relationship with God will no longer be governed by circumstances.
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