“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. 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? You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. He brings all of them up with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad. Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich. Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever? I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.” (Habakkuk 1:12–2:1 ESV)
Habakkuk’s theology is correct – God is eternal and He has sovereignly chosen the Babylonians for judgement over His people. But Habakkuk’s head and his heart are disconnected. He wants to know how an all powerful & good God could allow sin to go on unchecked. Furthermore, how in the world could a just and holy God use the wickedness of the Babylonians to punish His own people for their disobedience? Judah was indeed less wicked than the Babylonians, though only slightly! Have you ever been there? Have you ever questioned God and despite the fact that you know that He is in control of all things, you can’t seem to figure out why things have turned out the way that they have and where He is in the midst of the darkness?
Habakkuk’s main argument is that God makes all things and the current state of affairs seem as if He is absent from the equation. This is deistic thinking that resides in all of us that needs to be put to death! Habakkuk wants to know if God will sit idly by and allow the Babylonians to sweep across the world conquering, subjecting and treating people wickedly? Where is the justice in that? In 2:1, Habakkuk throws down a direct challenge to the Almighty. That’s scary! He is going to the watchtower to wait and see How God responds to His direct challenge.
We rarely challenge God directly & out loud like Habakkuk is doing, but aren’t these thoughts swimming around in the back of our minds? Don’t we question where God is and why He seems absent from certain situations? We seem to, by nature, gravitate towards believing that God set up the world but now just let’s it mostly run on its own. Nothing could be further from the truth, He is intimately involved in this world – whether we can see it or not. He holds all things together (Colossians 1:7 & Hebrews 1:3). We must battle this unbelief because it never leads us to worship. This is why when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His word. Let us lean upon one another to build our belief; let us walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).