God’s answer to Habakkuk’s complaint is both depressing and shocking. Habakkuk’s biggest gripe had to do with God’s seeming disinterest in the appalling conditions that had gained a stranglehold on Israel. The downward spiral into total chaos — where their national dysfunction had gone from bad to worst — was taking a major toll on the prophet’s patience. Habakkuk’s cry of desperation — “How long, Lord?” — is a cry that is still echoing off the canyon walls of human history.
When God finally shares His plan to send in the Babylonians to administer judgment — Habakkuk’s response is — “What? You’re going to do what?” Surely God can’t do something that drastic to His own people! Raising up neighboring countries to deliver blows to God’s wayward children when they strayed from His commands was something with which Habakkuk was familiar. The book of Judges was full of these stories of God’s disciplinary actions. But to bring in a nation as fierce as Babylon — a country capable of galloping across multiple borders with their horses breathing fire — this was unheard of!
While punishment for sin is something forever borne for us by Jesus Christ our Savior, discipline for injustice is something for which we are personally held accountable. This is why the Bible teaches us to embrace God’s discipline. God disciplines us because we are loved — God disciplines us because we are His children.
“And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:5-11
God has always disciplined His people for failure to uphold His covenant. More often than not, God has used invasion by foreign nations as a means to wake them up and get their undivided attention. The first enemies that God would bring to Israel’s gates were from countries that were their near neighbors. When this failed to wake them up, God would bring to their doorsteps enemies that were from distant lands. The extinction level comet strikes will most likely come later.
God’s discipline seems to come in every size — each tailor-made to fit the appropriate problem. It can safely be said that nothing is exempt from God’s tough love. Why is this so? Why does this hold true across the board for everything? — from the lone individual, to the teeming nation? — from the micro-level, to the macro-level? It is simply because everything belongs to Father God, and He deeply cares for our wellbeing! “That None May Perish” is God’s Scout Motto.
If there is one major takeaway from Habakkuk’s timely message — it is this —
“… the righteous person will live by his faithfulness …” – Habakkuk 2:4
When all is said and done — faithfulness is what life is all about.
This in essence is —
“… the knowledge of the glory of the Lord …” – Habakkuk 2:14
Faithfulness is the Glory
Still being hammered out,
🙏 Prayer Requests 🙏
- Thank you everyone for your prayers for Luke, Rebecca & baby Maya!
- God has so graciously answered all our prayers by safely bringing little Maya into our world. We join Luke and Rebecca in rejoicing over this precious gift!
- Please pray for Rebecca’s own healing after giving birth to Maya.
- Rebecca did have to undergo a C-section after all. Let’s pray that she will have a full and speedy recovery from this procedure.
- Please join us in praying for President Trump and the First Lady.
- We have just learned that they too have contracted the Covid-19 virus! Let’s pray for a full and speedy recovery for them. May God in His mercy bring this global pandemic to a quick end!