How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous will live by his faith.” – Habakuk 1:2-3, 2:1-4
About 2600 years ago a man named Habakkuk became frustrated with the sin he saw in his society. He cried out, “How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you will not listen… Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?”
Have you ever felt like Habakkuk? Have you ever looked at our society, thrown up your hands and said, “How long are you going to let this go on, LORD?” Perhaps you have experienced sin and wickedness in your personal life. Maybe you’ve been abused at home or mistreated at school. Maybe you’ve gone to God in prayer and said, “How long are you going to let this go on, LORD?”
This thought comes to our minds when we live by sight rather than by faith. God’s greatest desire is that we trust him. And far too often we don’t. We mutter about our misfortune and sometimes even blame God. Far from trusting him, we point our finger at him as if he were a used car salesman who has sold us a lemon. We even think that he must not love us.
Nothing could be further from the truth! God loves every one of us! But God does things differently than we would. You don’t have to look any further than the cross to see that. On that great and terrible day, as Jesus hung on the nails, things did not look good. This was not what his disciples expected. This was not what they would have done.
But, it is what God did! Because God knew that his Son had to go through hell if we were going to get to heaven. Thank God that he doesn’t do everything the way we would! Thank God that we can lean on him and trust his wisdom.
This is what God meant when he told Habakkuk, “The righteous will live by his faith.” We live by faith not by sight. We give our troubles to him, we put our trust in him and then we patiently wait for him to fulfill his promises. Most importantly, he promises that by faith alone in Jesus we have life with God forever!