Goodness – this could have been written yesterday!Violent troops rampaging across countries – ‘fearsome and frightening’ (1.7) and ‘eager to destroy’ (1.9), taking prisoners. Sounds to me like events in the Middle East.
Condemnation of the ruling classes – ‘you made your family rich at the expense of others’ (2.9), even thinking themselves above the law. Here are our highest earners and tax avoiders.
‘Our Lord, how long must I beg for your help before you listen?’ Habakkuk’s lament is the cry of many of us just now. But God’s answer is not that reassuring – it seems to be a plea for patient, faithful waiting on justice to roll down.
Prophecy isn’t always about giving a message of hope at least in the short term, but sometimes it is about offering a warning: if you do this, then that will surely happen. Like the psalmists though, there is still the refrain – ‘I will celebrate because the Lord God saves me.’ (3.18)
The world may seem to be going to hell in a hand cart, but that is no excuse to join in. God’s people are called to remain faithful and to know that in God’s good time, to quote Julian of Norwich, ‘all shall be well’. It’s not easy, but there are quite a lot of us about and even a few can change the world and one day (sing along!) the earth shall be filled with the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea.
quotes are from the Contemporary English Version
The above was written on the afternoon of Friday 13th November and by the end of the day, there was a vast chorus echoing Habakkuk’s lament – How long, O God
Listening to the different responses to the killings in Paris, I have been struck by the many who declare that they will not give up their values of freedom and justice in the face of violence. These are the ones who would stand with Habakkuk – bewildered by the situation they find themselves in, longing for an end to the killing, but determined to declare the love and faithfulness of and to God in the midst of chaos.