Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 1:1-4
“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but You do not save? Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.” (Habakkuk 1:1,2)
The book of Habakkuk was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem. God’s people had drifted back into sinful practices. They lived for their own pleasure and had forsaken God and His law. Thus God raised up the prophet Habakkuk to confront the people. His name means “embracing” or “one who is embraced.” We will see how fitting this name is for Habakkuk as we work our way through the book. God will come to Habakkuk during his times of discouragement and confusion and lovingly embrace him.
From the opening words of the book, we see that Habakkuk was struggling with some problems that most sincere Christians wrestle with. Habakkuk had been crying out to God, but God had not answered his prayers — “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen?”
Habakkuk was also struggling with the wickedness and injustice that was taking place among the people of God — “Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.”
Most sincere Christians struggle to understand why there is so much violence, evil, strife, and injustice in this world. We see it everyday. The news is full of stories about these things. Life in this fallen world is filled with disappointments, struggles, tragedies, and conflict. Yes, we live in a broken, fallen world. We must be realistic and we must also remember that God is at work among us. We may not understand what He is doing; but we do know that He is in control of all things.
Our great comfort is the truth found in Habakkuk’s name — we are being embraced by God; we are not alone in our struggles. Read these assuring words from Psalm 15:
“Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure.” (v. 5)
“I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (v. 8)
“You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” (v. 11)
God embraced Habakkuk during his times of trouble and be assured that He is embracing us as we face the difficulties and uncertainties of life.
Lord God, I have known Your loving embrace during my times of trouble. I have experienced Your loving arms as You held me near. Thank You for the assurance that I am never alone. I am in the palm of Your hand and cannot be in a better place.
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