1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw. 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? 3 Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. 4 So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
Giant – A person of great size or importance. The person I am going to share in these two devotionals is Habakkuk. I do not know the size of Habakkuk, but I hope by the end of the second devotional, you will agree with me that he is a significant person in our faith.
Habakkuk, a name that I have never heard of before I believe in Jesus, and even now, I do not know anyone who has that name except the prophet himself. It seems like he is not a particularly favorable person, even among Christians.
The Birth of a Giant
The definition of a giant I use in this devotional is not the first criteria of the definition, so the birth of this giant has nothing related to DNA. It is the circumstances that he faced that turned him into a giant. We do not know much about Habakkuk. The only thing we know about him is from his book. Judging from the book, he was likely living in the late seventh century B.C. the book was probably written at about 615-605 B.C., towards the end of the Judah kingdom.
At the time, Judah was a long way from her golden age, not just in wealth and influence but also in morals. The prophet saw violence (1:2) and justice went perverted (1:4). How he felt about the country and the people he had been ministered to? I think what Peter said about Lot will be quite similar to what Habakkuk has experienced.
Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard)”2 Pet 2:7-8
Like any godly man, when his soul was tormented by all the unrighteousness, he turned to God, he cried for help, he cried to God about the violence he saw. People cry all the time, in fact, most of us are born crying but there are different types of crying. Some cry because of themselves. What a bad situation I was born and inherited. Some cry not for themselves but for others, like the prophet Jeremiah, “Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer 9:1). The first type is tear of sorrow, sadness, pity me! The second type is tear of strength that will carry you forward no matter how dark the situation is. Habakkuk continued his ministry even though he felt “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;”(Isa 60:2), even though he felt God did not respond to him.
12 Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. 13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
Test after Tests
Finally, God’s words came. Alas, it is not what we expected. God replied to Habakkuk. Eventually, He would send the Chaldeans!! What Habakkuk may have hoped was God perform a miracle, then all Israelites would return to God and live a righteous life and Judah would dominate the region again. But God has another plan. He would use someone who was even worse than the Israelites. “God, what kind of plan is this?” Habakkuk might think. It is different from what we expect from the God that we think we know. How many times in our Christian lives, we have felt that? Dear, don’t give up, one more step, just one more step, a giant will be born.