The book of Habakkuk starts with the prophet stringing together heart-filled, sorrow soaked questions to God. Habakkuk is reflecting on the sin, affects of sin, and God’s seemingly idle observance of it all. Wickedness is prevailing and he is sick of it. I would contend that is is a good thing to come to God with your questions. When times are tough, your life seems to be falling apart, or you don’t see or know what God is doing, ask him. Searching for answers anywhere else will only lead to speculation. Seeking God’s council will lead to revelation.
Habakkuk pleads with God to do something about the sin that is “perverting” the nation and God answers.
God’s answer to sin: justice.
God responds to Habakkuk’s complaints by telling him that the Chaldeans, a rival and hated nation north of Israel, would come down to destroy them in form of God’s justice.
Too easily we can forget that our God is a just God. As Christians we like to focus on more pleasant attributes of God such as grace, mercy, peace, compassion, etc. What we need to remember is that our God is just. When sin is committed against him it is punished. Romans 1:18 says “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”
The word justice is in the Bible 163 times.
The word wrath is in the Bible 212 times.
I’ve been asked several times over the last few weeks why we are studying through Habakkuk. Surely a New Testament book would be easier and more practical! The reality is that Habakkuk, being in the Bible, is the inspired Word of God and speaks to us here and now. It shows us how God deals with sin and ultimately leads us the Jesus Christ.
Jesus took upon himself the wrath of God for those who believe in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Martin Luther calls this the “great exchange”. Jesus died on the cross in our place becoming our sin. In turn we become his righteousness.
Habakkuk is book about God dealing with sin. It ultimately points us Jesus and show us how he dealt with our sin in the cross.
Think about the magnitude and punishment for your sin. The more you come to a reality of the severity of your sin against God, the more you will worship Jesus for being your substitute for your sin.
Love Jesus Christ for becoming your sin so that you can become his righteousness and live a life full of worship and mission for His glory.
Live knowing that you are in this sin-stained world to be a light to those who don’t know Christ. Just as Jesus stepped down into our world to be a Light, we are to step into our world to be a light.