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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Habakkuk's Question

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

Have you ever heard this very common question:


How can a good God tolerate evil?


You've probably heard that asked, or even thought it yourself. Well, the prophet Habakkuk asks God that question.


Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler.

Habakkuk 1:13-14

Habakkuk complain twice in the first chapter...2 times. And he even knows it after the 2nd complaint, he even says this:


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.

Habakkuk 2:1

And God has an answer for this question Habakkuk is all about God's prophet questioning the ways of the Lord. If you want the full answer, read Habakkuk 2, but here is a summary of how God replies:


2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.

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.
"Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, "'Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?'
Will not your debtors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their victim.
Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed man's blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
12 "Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime!
13 Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people's labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
16 You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed! The cup from the LORD's right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.
Habakkuk 2:2-3; 6-8; 10-13; 16

I know, that was a long summary, but here's one that is even shorter:


God tells  Habakkuk that he will punish evil in the end. Even if it prospers now, God says "the people's labor is only fuel for the fire"


And I would like to point out that God tells Habakkuk to write it down, because he know the same question will come up in the future. That question will always be asked, and I know this because if I God-fearing prophet will question God it, you better believe non-Christians will! And they do. And now the next time someone asks you this, or you wonder this, just open your bible to Habakkuk two and let God answer the question because he is smart like that.

There are many other answer to that question, but I like this one because this is what God said to a doubtful prophet. And the last chapter of Habakkuk is a song of praise to God.
Habakkuk concludes with this:

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, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

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