By Jessica McKillip
The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,Habakkuk 1:1-4
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.
We begin our study of Habakkuk with a look at what Habakkuk is seeing all around him. He sees violence, iniquities, destruction, strife and contention! And what does Habakkuk do when faced with this? He goes to God in prayer. He must have gone to God over and over in prayer in order for him to ask God, “how long shall I cry for help?”.
Just as Habakkuk turns to God in prayer, so too should we. In Philippians 4:6-7, we are reminded that when we are anxious we should pray. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
And in Habakkuk’s distress that’s what we see him do.
Some view questioning God as sinful, but Habakkuk shows this isn’t so. Rough passages in life, burdens that we carry, evil that we see, can produce doubt and questions. God can handle your questions.
In 1 Thessalonians (5:16), we are told to “pray without ceasing.” In Colossians(4:12-13), Paul says he is “agonizing [over you] in prayer.” Think about a burden you have. Are you taking it to God in prayer? I am encouraged this week by the reminder that when we’re faced with hard moments in our lives that we have a God who loves us and wants to hear our prayers.