Thursday, July 06, 2006


I think I'm going to try to make it a point to blog about some of my under-the-rader favorite Bible passages. I'll do it, say, once a week. Or who knows, I could get tired of this whole blogging thing in a month. So for as long as this medium captures my interest, I'll try to highlight some oft-unhighlighted texts of Scripture.

Sure, anyone could wax eloquent (or, as Dr. J. Fortner would say, "wax an elephant") about Romans 8 or John 1. But there are some rich stories that go untold. Last week, it was Hosea at the auction block for Gomer. This week, it's Habakkuk.

Habakkuk was a faithful prophet living in 7th century Judah. One day, Habakkuk looked around at the unfaithfulness of his countrymen, threw up his hands, and cried out to God. "How long, O Lord, must I call out for help," he begins. And he rails on about the injustice in his land that goes unpunished. In essence, he's saying, "What are you going to do about this, God?"

And wouldn't you know, God talks back! "You're not going to believe this. But I'm raising up the Babylonians. They're going to be my big stick, and they're going to come in and punish your people for me."

Habakkuk is in disbelief. "The Babylonians?! But they're worse than us! How is that justice?"

God answers back with a list of Judah's misdeeds. And then the book ends with a prayer from Habakkuk to God. Habakkuk is trying to reason through what God has told him, reflecting on God's history of faithfulness as he talks to his Lord. Finally, he writes these words:

I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.

Basically, he's saying, "You know what God: I've thought about this, and I still don't like it. Your plan scares the heck out of me. But knowing how you've worked things out for Your people in the past, I know that ultimately you are going to work all this out for good." It's the Romans 8:28 of the Old Testament! :)

And then this:

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength.

[Sigh]. Beautiful.

Thank you, Mr. McGuiggan, for teaching me about Habakkuk.

1 comment:

Matt said...

How about some thoughts on Haggai and God's priority of building his house before our own? Some really good stuff in there about how all we do will come to ruin if God is not first in our lives.