The Lord gave this message a year ago when I was struggling with the wickedness, corruption, and other evil things I see and hear in the world. May the Words of the Lord through Habakkuk encourage you also in this time of crisis and distress.
The Prayer of Habakkuk
The global pandemic, upheaval, and turmoil in the nations, people suffering for their faith, political and religious oppression, violence against innocent people, unrighteousness, godlessness, injustice, and other wicked deeds sometimes are overwhelming. One time I was praying to the Lord for His justice and righteousness. He reminded me of the prayer of a man in the Bible named, Habakkuk.
“O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises.
Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore, perverse judgment proceeds.
Habakkuk was a man who lived during the kingdoms of Judah and Israel around 600 BCE. He wrote His prophecies before the Babylon invasion. God used Habakkuk to warn the people of Judah to repent and turned from their sinful ways.
“Habakkuk grappled with God’s economy of justice. He finds it inconceivable that God could use an evil pagan nation to judge His people. However, God uses a vision to convince Habakkuk that His ways are right.”[i]
Habakkuk was not the only one who had struggled with God’s justice. In the book of Psalms, the writer expressed his heart:
“Lord, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked triumph?
They utter speech, and speak insolent things;
All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
They break in pieces Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger,
And murder the fatherless.
Yet they say, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob understand.” Psalm 94:3-7[ii]
Then the writer of Psalm remembered who God was:
“Understand, you senseless among the people;
And you fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?
He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct,” Psalm 94: 8-10
Going back to Habakkuk, God spoke to him.
“Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you.“
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:2-3
Then God spoke to Habakkuk about sure judgments for the wicked:
“Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house that he may set his nest on high that he may be delivered from the power of disaster…
Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establish a city by iniquity…and nations weary themselves in vain?… For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the water covers the sea.”
God assured Habakkuk that He would surely bring justice. When Habakkuk heard the response of the Lord and realized the horrible devastation that will come to the wicked because of God’s justice, he asked God for mercy. Habakkuk even prayed for revival.
“O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid;
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2
Then Habakkuk was at peace trusting that God will do what He said He will do – to bring judgment and justice to the wicked in His own time.
“Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17 -18
I also need to pray for God’s mercy to those who are involved in wickedness, corruption, deceit and unrighteousness – for God to have mercy on their souls. Surely God will bring justice to the wicked, but He is also merciful, waiting for them to repent.
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8-9
A few months ago, we experienced a severe thunderstorm in our area here in the southeast. There was a heavy rain and very loud thunder and lightning. It was the fiercest lightning I have ever experienced in my life! I was trembling in fear and realized the awesome power of God!
It reminded me of the experience of the people of Israel in the Old Testament when they received the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.
“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off…” Exodus 20:18
The sharp, loud thunder and fierce lightnings were for me a demonstration of the awesome power of God! I felt as if God was saying to me, He is still sovereign and in control, and has the power to do whatever is right for Him to do. I felt like a worm, and was reminded that I’m not the judge, and should not fret about the wickedness and injustice I see in the world. The Lord God in heaven has all the power and might to bring about justice and righteousness in His own way and in His right time. My role is to intercede, do His will and pray earnestly for God’s will be done and His kingdom to come here on earth as it is in heaven.
[i] The Complete Jewish Study Bible
[ii] All Scriptures quotes are from the New King James Bible
Prayer: Dear Sovereign Lord, You are awesome and powerful! We praise and thank You for your mercy and grace. Send revival, in your wrath remember mercy.
Currently, (March 2022) after a year the Lord gave this message; another major international crisis and conflict is going on in Eastern Europe.
If we are only looking at the news and what our naked eyes can see, it looks discouraging. It seems the bad guys are winning. But God is doing things beyond what we can see. He is changing hearts and He is saving souls. Many are turning to God in times of crisis and distress.
“For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
You may have heard the old expression, “Pay now or pay later.”
Well, the Bible says;
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.” Romans 14:10-11