Habakkuk 1:2-4; 2:1-2a - 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, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. ... I will take my stand at my watch post 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. And the LORD answered me ...
When my son was a toddler he got very, very cranky on the ride home from church. He needed a nap desperately, but there was no way he was going to let himself fall sleep in the car.
And so he yelled at me instead. He was so mad; he didn't even know what he was mad about. And he yelled every bad thing he could think of, finally working up to an endless stream of "I hate you, Mommy! I hate you, Mommy. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you!"
Suddenly, there was a break in the hate. In a totally normal tone of voice, he asked, "Can I have some juice when we get home?"
I said, "Sure, sweetheart," and he said, "Thank you." Then he went right back to the screams of "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!"
I told this story to someone once, and she was horrified. But she missed the real lesson of the story, which has to do with love and trust. My son could only let himself go that way because he was totally confident that I would still love him, no matter what he did or said. I wouldn't leave him on the side of the road. I wouldn't even take his fruit juice away from him, and he knew it. My toddler could safely have a meltdown because he knew his mother was trustworthy.
And that's basically what Habakkuk is doing in this Bible passage, isn't it? He says a lot of harsh things to God. He accuses God of not listening, of ignoring evil, even of forcing him to watch while wicked things go on. None of that is fair to God. But it doesn't really matter, does it? Because Habakkuk knows the same thing we know—that the truth about God is that He does love us, does care about evil, does intend to save us and rescue us and put an end to the terrible things around us.
When Habakkuk gets done with his yelling, look what he does. He goes off right away to keep an eye out for God's answer. This is his version of "Can I have some juice?" He trusts God not to abandon him. Better than that, he trusts God to answer him and to fix the terrible situation he's been so upset about. And sure enough, God answers.
What about you? You may be in the middle of a horrible situation right now. Is it safe for you to complain to God? Yes. God says to you, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me" (Psalm 50:15).
But God has done more than just make us a promise. God has acted to save us. He has come down into our world with all its evils to be one of us, the Man Jesus Christ. In order to rescue us from the power of death, sin, and evil, He lay down His life for us on the cross. And on the third day He broke the power of death by rising again. Now He promises to share that victory with us—any of us!—who trusts in Him and cries out for help.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, rescue us from the evils around us. Come quickly to help us, O Lord. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When do you remember having a meltdown, and why?
2. Who are the people you allow to see you at your worst?
3. Do you feel okay allowing God to see you at your worst? Why or why not?
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