C.C. Habakkuk’s hope – a prayer for today #188

Today I find myself echoing and sharing in an ancient prayer, a prayer from the 7th century actually. It is the prayer of Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet of God. It was his prayer then, it has become my prayer now. First Habakkuk says,

“But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

Wouldn’t that be something? a hushed earth, waiting to hear the voice of God, Creator of all. Reminds me of the words in Psalm 46:10,

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

So Habakkuk prays, “Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Habakkuk 3:2)

Renew them (God’s deeds) in our day, – what was going on that Habakkuk wanted God to intervene? Well, Habakkuk 1:2-4 gives us a clue as to what was troubling Habakkuk,

“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? (ever feel like that?) Or cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ but You do not save? Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.”

Now you understand, dear readers, why I would make Habakkuk’s prayer my own today, why it is so personal and so relevant given what we are witnessing in our world at this time. There is strife, and conflict abounds. Sounds just like what is happening all around us today, doesn’t it? So I guess I understand how Habakkuk felt when he cried out to God, How long, O Lord? I feel Habakkuk’s anger and pain as he asks God,

“Why then do You tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” and Habakkuk heard God’s words,

“See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous will live by his faith – . . . Because he (the wicked) is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples. . . . For you have shed man’s blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them. Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin! You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life. The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.” (Habakkuk 2:4-11) Reminds me of the stones ready to cry out at Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, should the people be silenced. Then another warning –

“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime! . . . For you have shed man’s blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.” (Habakkuk 2:12 & 17)) This admonition is followed by something to look forward to, words proclaiming hope for the future –

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

I can hardly imagine it! That must be the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11) Hope – hope on a not yet visible horizon, but hope nonetheless.

I confess – I can feel overwhelmed by the darkness of these days, by the violence and the bloodshed which seem a constant presence with us. Evil appears to have the upper hand. Churches are not fully open and some are still closed altogether, while streets are full of angry mobs and burning buildings. It is now that I want the faith Habakkuk had when he asked God to renew His great deeds in our day; in our time make them known.

Habakkuk wanted to see God bring restoration, healing, peace and prosperity to a land he loved. But he knew that could only happen if the people sought God and returned to God’s righteous ways of living. And so, surrounded by evil, by violence and bloodshed, by oppression and injustice, by destruction and conflict (sound familiar?) Habakkuk prayed. Habakkuk prayed for God’s intervention, for God to enter in – pleading with God, in wrath to remember mercy. Then Habakkuk prayed these words,

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Though . . . yet . . . – that’s a prayer of faith! And I want to make it mine today! Though evil seems to have the upper hand and darkness to prevail, yet I will rejoice in God, my Savior, in whom there is no shadow of turning but only the fullness of goodness and light. I will cry out to Him, I will wait on Him, I will put my hope in Him and in what He will do. For,

“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14)

sincerely, Grace Day

3 thoughts on “C.C. Habakkuk’s hope – a prayer for today #188

  1. Oh my! That chapter in habakuk could have been written today! What a blessed reminder and word of encouragement.

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  2. Fill us with your Spirit full of faith so that we too can pray with all confidence that Love is prevailing even now! What a blessed prayer for today that God’s Word has given us through Habakkuk!!! Thank you, friend, for holding out our effective weapon!

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  3. Fill us with your Spirit full of faith so that we too can pray with all confidence that Love is prevailing even now! What a blessed prayer for today that God’s Word has given us through Habakkuk!!! Thank you, friend, for holding out our effective weapon!

    Like

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