“O Lord how long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto Thee of violence, and Thou wilt not save! WHY dost Thou show me iniquity and cause me to behold grievance? For spoiling and violence are before me. . . ” These are the opening words of Habakkuk centuries before the horrific shooting in Connecticut last week but they reverberate to our day sounding eerily familiar. We are left to wonder the same thing when great calamity faces us, so we aren’t a lot different than this godly yet perplexed prophet. How does one make sense of how a young man could commit such despicable carnage and have such callous disregard for life, and very young life at that and then why did God allow him to commit these vile deeds?
Just like Habakkuk, when a tragedy comes we wonder, and if we’re honest we sometimes blame God, we question Him. And thankfully we have not just the opening lines of this great book but the closing ones as well. The prophet proclaims, “The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.” (3:19). Chapter three is a “prayer psalm” where Habakkuk, instead of being unable to comprehend the why’s of life, the Word from God has now explained some things to him and has brought him to a place of praise as He can see beyond the isolated tragedies in time to the great plan of God. He now stood on something firm (TRUTH) and he is able to rise above the uncertainties of life. Though the world is a mess, God is still Master !! And amazingly, He can take the worst of tragedies and bring great good despite them.
How often we’re tempted to complain about the trials of this life, to doubt our Creator? Habakkuk had been guilty, sometimes so are we but when we are, like him we must allow God to change our heart by listening to what He’s said and as we meditate on that we can truly praise Him though the world can be a scary place. Despite life’s sickening tragedies we may not have all the answers just yet for them but we do rest in the FACT that He is in control and so it is the Lord and His Word that can bring us to this place: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (3:18).