Devotional: May 18, 2020

When God feels absent (part 2)

Last week, in our devotional, we read the first four verses of chapter 1 from the prophet Habakkuk. The prophet was complaining on behalf of the people about the problems of the world, which they felt God was ignoring when wrongdoing went unpunished, violence was everywhere, the righteous suffered, and justice was perverted.

We feel that way sometimes too, don’t we? “How long, O Lord, will you let bad people prosper while the good suffer?” This is certainly an understandable complaint and something we should feel comfortable praying and asking God about. If we did though, how do you think God would respond? 
Let’s re-read Habakkuk today, but take notice what happens when we add verse 5 to the reading and include the words of God too. The Lord certainly responded to the prophet…

Scripture: Habakkuk 1:1-5 (NLT)

This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.
How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
    But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
    but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
    Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
    I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
    who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
    and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
    so that justice has become perverted.
The Lord replied,
“Look around at the nations;
    look and be amazed!
For I am doing something in your own day,
    something you wouldn’t believe
    even if someone told you about it.

Devotional Time
“For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if someone told you about it.”

Wow – God’s promise is for something so extraordinary, so life-changing, so earth-shattering, that we wouldn’t believe it even if we were told about it in advance!
But we really shouldn’t be so surprised, should we? God has, for a long time, been doing the extraordinary when blessing His people. God caused Sarah and Abraham to have a baby when they were 100 years old; God changed David from a lowly shepherd boy into a king. God blessed a teenage girl named Mary with a child who would save the world, and a the same time blessed you and I with the Messiah.

  • Who will trust that God’s promises are true? 
  • Who will wait on the Lord, refuse to get impatient, and watch and see what extraordinary things God brings to pass? 
  • Who will? I don’t know. But I do know that those who do are richly blessed.

Merciful and Mighty God, who brings light to the nations and healing to all of your people, give us the patience to wait for you, and hearts that will trust you. Give us that blessed assurance of which we sing, to have confidence that because you offered your son, Jesus, for our sin, you will also continue to give us everything we need, both now and forever. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.