Perhaps one of the least read books of the Bible is the book of Habakkuk. But it is one we ignore at our peril. The Prophet Habakkuk had some complaints that he took to the Lord—complaints that sound quite familiar in our own times. Here is his first one: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Chapter 1, v. 2). God responded with these words: “I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” He then details the destruction He will bring upon Habakkuk’s people because of their unbelief.
His second complaint is then built upon the Lord’s answer to the first one. He asks, “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” (chapter 2, v. 13). God then informs him (in chapter 2) why He is bringing this judgment upon Habakkuk’s people. And then something unusual happens in chapter 3. Habakkuk says, “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.” He then ends his book with the words “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
The single most important observation from Habakkuk is this: As the book ends, nothing has changed on the outside. The people of Judah have still forgotten God. Violence still reigns in Jerusalem. The wicked still oppress the righteous. And the Babylonians are still God’s appointed instrument for judgment. Hard times are coming and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Nothing has changed except this: Habakkuk has changed on the inside.
We all come from different situations. Some are happy, some are sad. Some are healthy, some are sick. Some are excited about the future, some face dark clouds of uncertainty. But if we know the Lord, if God is our Savior, we can still have feet to tread on the heights in the worst moments of life. We can stand when others fall around us.
Everyone reading my words is in one of three places: You’re coming out of confusing times. You’re in confusing times. Or you’re about to go into confusing times and you just don’t know it yet. So take this true saying and put it in your back pocket. If you don’t need it today, you’ll need it tomorrow or the day after tomorrow: You’ll never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have. And when Jesus is all you have, then and only then will you discover that Jesus is all you need. That’s the real message of the little book of Habakkuk.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship