“Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. (Habakkuk 1: 5 NIV)
The ancient prophet Habakkuk, watched in disbelief at the evil around him. How could a loving God allow such things! He asked himself why God would be silent in these times, and how long they’d have to endure these trials before God stepped in.
In the days of Habakkuk, towards the end of the 6th century BC, his nation, Judah, had rebelled against God to the point where there were few differences between them and the godless Babylonians of the time.
Judah had been almost swallowed up by the attitudes and lifestyle of all that surrounded them. They would need to be delivered, but when. And how would that happen? Habakkuk complained because God didn’t intervene, but through time with God, he heard God’s reassurance that He would deliver Judah when He was ready . . . and in a manner the prophet never have thought possible.
In 1975, the Australian rock band Sky Hooks released the song “Horror Movie”, which focuses the listener on the amount of violence and imagery that can be seen on the nightly news. The line ‘shockin’ me right out of my brain’ says it all. How would you describe contemporary culture today? Most of us would agree that in the 36 years since this song was released, the world has been spiralling out of control. Random violence, the breakdown of marriage, the liberalisation of sexual morality, cyber crime and the global financial crisis are all symptoms of a world that’s lost its value system.
It seems as though God is being shoved more and more into the background as people focus on themselves. Australians no longer see a need for God because they’ve come to be reliant on themselves and proud of their amassed wealth.
Our world is not that different from Habakkuk’s, we sing the same song, “….could it get worse?”
And while the thought of the future could take us into a deep depression we should take heart from the book of Jeremiah. God promises to look after us when He says,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Maybe you’re confused with what’s happening around. There’s always hope. Do what Habakkuk did.
Make time to be alone with God. Talk with Him as you would a friend.
Ask God to give you a vision for a future where hope abounds.
Remember, while God’s plans might sound a little strange, accept and follow them. He has an awesome future planned just for you . . . if you would only follow Him.
Look – watch – be utterly amazed. It will be unbelievable.
Peter Tyrrell is the Vice Principal (Community and Operations) at Melbourne School of Theology. Peter has extensive experience as a teacher and principal in schools throughout Victoria. He also comes to the role with a wealth of business and ministry, serving as CEO of Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll's radio Bible teaching ministry.