Habakkuk 1:12-17 O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. 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. The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad. Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food. Is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?
These verses are a great example of how we should react when we don’t understand what God is doing. Habakkuk is telling us, it’s ok to ask God questions. He shows us we should remember the promises of God, to remember the character of God and he asks God how His use of the Babylonians is consistent with His character.
Look at each one: Promises – “We will not die.”
How does he know that? Because of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. God said in Genesis He would bless all the nations through Abraham’s seed. And in 2nd Samuel He said that the throne of David would be forever.
Habakkuk first knows these promises. And then he says them back to God.
God’s character – Habakkuk says God is eternal, sovereign and a rock. He is pure.
God is everlasting. That’s important. God won’t change and He cannot lie. He made promises to the Israelites that will still come true. We see things like a TV show or a movie or a book; where there’s a beginning, middle and an end, in a set period of time. But, our life and history so far is only a piece of God’s story. God’s very answer to Habakkuk was to write it down – the significance wouldn’t be fully realized until the appointed time. The Israelites will be around in end times.
The last one; how can what God is doing advance God’s purposes?
That’s something we can only understand by knowing God’s promises and His character. And we only know that by reading the Bible. And meditating on what we read! Then we can think about a trial we’re going through and try to see how it can be used for God’s Glory. And we can certainly ask Him to help us understand. So,when something bad happens and we go through trials we should already know the Bible, so we can remember God’s promises, remember His character and ask God how this trial can advance His purposes.