“The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?
Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.
So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous– therefore judgment comes forth perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:1 – 4)
I was Facebook-ing with an extended family relative just a little bit ago. We were comparing the Canadian government to the U.S. Gov’t. I have gotten a peek into Canadian politics and it reminds me of how much I miss living in Canada – politically it is like sinking into a calming cloud compared to the United States. (I digress slightly.) Anyway, I settle down to comment on this passage from Habakkuk, and I am reminded IMMEDIATELY of politics! And not Canadian! Forgive the outburst of political commentary – really, I don’t do it much! Moving on.
“I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint.” (Chapter 2, verse 1)
Do you prayer, beloved reader, about politics? Just sitting here thinking, and trying NOT to get political again. Paul tells us to prayer for government leaders; the reason is so that they maintain the peace and harmony, and allow professed Christians to lead accountable lives and worship as they choose. It is a wish and sentiment that each generation since the early church has had, and is most probably wished on every continent in the world.
To be far, the writer of the book of Habakkuk may not have politics in mind; it is very likely his “complaint” is personal or religious/theological in nature.
“Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.” (Verses 2 – 4)
The swirl of our modern life seems to pull in all sorts of concerns, cares, and complaints. Religious, theological, social, political – all the isms and principles that make up the complex group we call humanity. We need reminders every so often that we are on this earth a relatively short time, and that the concerns of this world should not overshadow or take the place of spiritual concerns. And that the agenda that the world has to offer pales in comparison to the Divine’s agenda. And then . . . . . a newspaper article, or post on the internet, or a sound bite from our favorite social media grabs our attention – and we are off again chasing the latest “issue”.
I shared some time back that I consider myself a contemplative – meaning someone who is primarily devoted to prayer and meditation especially in an isolated setting – trying to live in the modern world. I have mixed success in that. But, it grounds me; and reminds me of what is really important. And, it makes the waiting easier! Shalom!!!