Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dark Clouds

This is a reflection from the book of Habakkuk. It is a short book from the minor prophets in the Old Testament.

The book is a dialogue between the prophet, Habakkuk, and God.

In the beginning (Chapter 1 to 2:2), Habakkuk asked why there are violence and uproar against the Judah and the LORD is not protecting them.

Judah's enemy, the Chaldeans (v 5), are powerful. Habakkuk asked God for help (1:2-3) and God refuses.

It is interesting how Habakkuk ended off the crying for help. We see that in Habakkuk 2:1:

And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.

Reprove. It also means rebuke. This ain't just Habakkuk complaining to God. Habakkuk is waiting for God to rebuke him. Perhaps because he sees his people in sin? In the wickedness? The unclean people he lived with?

God replied promptly (Hab 2:2-2:20). Look how God start with:

2 Then the LORD answered me and said,
"Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run.
3 "For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
Aka God is telling Habakkuk to write this down because it is going to be really bad. And those who read it will be so terrify that they even given the opportunity to run away. I can guess most of the readers of this tablets will be those evil-doers God is punishing. Yet to Habakkuk, I am showing you what I have in store. It is going to happen and it won't stop. Just wait for it.

The rest of the response God is condemning the people for stealing (v 6), evilness (v 9), violence (v 12), cheating from their neighbors (v 15), and ultimately, idolatry (v 19).

The LORD is angry and is pouring out His wrath. YET, His servant, Habakkuk, has to wait for this condemnation to happen (what I bolded).

In Chapter 3, Habakkuk prayed in response.

He didn't ask the Lord to stop. He already see what the Lord had in for store to punish Judah for their disobedience. Habakkuk simply acknowledge He is the Holy One and let it be done. He simply asked the LORD to in wrath remember mercy (Hab 3:2).

To make it worst, the Lord told Habakkuk to take a front seat and experience the suffering that He will be unleashing among Judah with Chaldeans.

And here's Habakkuk response (Hab 3:16-19a):

16 I heard and my inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade us.
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food.
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hind's feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.

Habakkuk is in fear. His whole body is shaking. His heart sank. He already see the catastrophe coming down on his nation. There is nothing he can do. It is going to come. And he has to wait to witness it firsthand. Yet..what did Habakkuk do? He waits. And what else he will do? He will exult in the Lord. Habakkuk will give Him Praise. Why? Because the LORD is his strength. When Habakkuk and his people...all that they have is crashing down, Habakkuk focuses on the ONE that matters.


I am surprise to see the LORD asked Habakkuk to stay.

Is it fair? Was it necessary?

I ain't going over there because that will miss the point of the book. Among darkness and among hopelessness, Habakkuk focuses on what matter the most. His strength is found in the LORD.

And tonight...that's all I am reflecting and praying.

Dark clouds are brewing and they are coming.

I am shaking. I am scared. My heart lost its spirit. My shoulders sagged. I am lost. Beyond all the questions of whys and hows....I fall face down and pray.

For I can still rejoice. Even when everything fall apart. Nothing seems right. What's should be just is not and what should be kind is not.

For I have a LORD who gave me salvation. And I will exult in the HIM. For He is worthy. He will never frail and never falter.


1 comment:

Jen said...

I'm going to give you an AMEN too!

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.