"Waiting on God Cont."
1. Focus on verse 1 for a moment and think about the importance of this verse. Explain your thoughts on this.
Habakkuk was very clear in what he was doing. He was waiting for God to answer him, but why was verse 1 so important? The simple answer is that it is a demonstration of how we are supposed to wait for God’s answers. As he waited for a response he stood his ground. As a former combat Marine, I know the importance of maintaining your post and doing it vigilantly.
Habakkuk did not just sit back and say I will act as soon as I get an answer, but instead he said I will continue to stand guard as I have stood while I wait to hear from God. Another point to note is that Habakkuk was planning his answer to God’s answer. He was making himself ready to respond back to God in some way.
This reminds me of a political campaign. When a candidate is running for some office, they typically prepare for either outcome. They usually have an acceptance speech as well as a concession speech prepared. This is a way of showing that they are willing to submit to the authority that governs them. For elected officials it is the people’s choice and for Habakkuk it was to God.
2. How did God choose to answer Habakkuk and what does it say about how we should listen?
As we all know, God’s ways are not always what we expect or think they should be. God decided to tell Habakkuk to take notes about something that would happen in the future. That is sometimes hard to swallow. In today's generation we are surrounded by instant gratification. We live in a microwave generation that wants to see results now. We want resolve to take place immediately, but that is not always the best thing for us.
God knows this and took this time to let Habakkuk know, be patient, things are not always as they seem. It may look like an impossible situation, but God knows what he is doing. Patience is not an easy virtue to express with anyone. Patience is knowing when to WAIT and when to move. Patience means sometimes you have to wait for God to finish before you decide to move. That is what Habakkuk was about to experience. It was time for God to move and for him to be patient.
3. Why do you think God used the word “woe” while speaking to Habakkuk instead of another word such as “cursed”?
Woe is a term that is used for the act of pity. This is a challenge to the reader and less of a general statement. It is easy to say, “look at all the success they have, I wish I had some of it.” What God wanted to impress on us was that the people listed were not to be envied, but rather felt sorry for. Not in a way that we begin to be their judge, but in a way where we cry out in intercession for them. A life of sin is not something to be envied.
Kapil Dev, a former cricket player from India, said it best when he stated, “In the long run, I believe that honesty is definitely the best policy. One can get away by being dishonest for a short term, but ultimately, honesty is what pays.” A dishonest person is always worried that their dishonesty will return to them and that is not a way to live the life that God has blessed you with.
4. How can we take this into our daily lives?
There are many practical ways to apply what this chapter is teaching, but perhaps the best thing is to be patient with God because he has not forsaken you. You cannot neglect your spiritual post while you wait for God to answer your questions. God is perfect in everything, even in His timing, and if we neglect our spiritual post while we wait for him, we are no better than the servant with one talent in Matthew 25:24-26.
24 “Then the man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a difficult man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed.
25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Look, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy slave! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered,
Be faithful over what God has given you and He will bless you. Do not long for what you do not have, but in everything give thanks to the creator of the universe.
Take some time today to reflect on what you have and how you got it. Talk with God and let Him know you are thankful. My biggest challenge is let God know that you will continue to stand your watch while you wait on Him.