|... why are you silent..?|
Habakkuk raises a question that most of us want to ask but afraid that we might don't get the answer or afraid that people may think that we're faithless, but the truth is: we are unsure sometimes. He raised a question that doesn't seem like a prayer but a mere complaint directly to the throne of God.
"O Lord, how long must I call for help before you listen, before you save us from violence? Why do you make me see such a trouble? How can you stand to look on such wrong doing?" (1:2-3)
Ten verses after that, Habakkuk made another complains;
"... why are you silent while they destroy people who are righteous than they are?" (1:13)
He raised these questions shortly before Babylon invaded the Jewish nation of Judah in 586 BC and erased it from the map.
[Obviously, Habakkuk didn't read the Dale Carnegie's book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The first principle noted in this book is; "Don't criticize, condemn or complain". He was few thousand years earlier before the book was published.]
In today's contexts, we may raise a similar question when we're having the difficulties trying to rationalize everyday events with human's mind. If you're like me, you may raise questions after watching evening news such as; "How could rapists or murders only sentence to jail penalty while he should deserve a dead penalty instead?", "Why You let Your Churches burned?", "Why you let the wicked rich and let the righteous begging for support?", "Why Believers persecuted because they worship You, O Lord?" etc.
The only way to get away from these questions is by deciding that there is no God; that all things happen by chance and we're only a physical creature, here today and gone tomorrow. But we're smart enough to realize that it's not true. (Write to me if you have problem about this) Just look at the stars, sun and moon. We have many clues that He is exist then He is not. (So why live like there is no God?) Why He is silent, I do not know. He may reveal some of His plans but not all.
When reading through Chapter 1 of the Book of Habakkuk, I'm imagining that there was a long pause between verse 4 and 5. After a long waiting He replied to Habakkuk;
"Keep watching the nations around you, and you will be astonished at what you see. I am going to do something that you will not believe when you hear about it." (1:5)
Wait for a minutes, what should Habakkuk do? None? Just keep watching??? Who do the work of judgment? God of the Bible said, "I am going to do something." So I said with the same mind as Habakkuk, "Well, do it now! I cannot stand watching the injustice happening around the world." He gently whispered to Habakkuk and Habakkuk writes to me and you what He said:
"Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will not be delayed." (2: 3)
What astonish me is that God never rebuked him for complaining. God answered when we are sincerely asking. Habakkuk never lost his faith in Him. He learned the lesson of faith by the end of this book - 'to trust in God's providence regardless of circumstances. He declares that even if God should send suffering and loss, he would still rejoice in God his Savior'. (NIV Study Bible commentary)
Do you still have hope for God to turn your tear into laughter? Would you hold on to your faith in Him and 'keep watching'? Will you let Him using you 'to do something' in this world?
I don't feel that I've done much justice to The Book of Habakkuk by writing this simple note because it is rich and hundred fold more amazing than this. But let me summaries this book with our context today; we are to wait for Him 'to do something' in our country (Malaysia), wait patiently, prayerfully and live by faith- trusting in Him.
"The righteous will live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4)