Habakkuk can be a very upfront and personal kind of prophet. His first person narrative is almost auto-biographical, and he seems easy to get to know and relate to. He recounts his direct dialogues with God. And today we read his concluding prayer as our Old Testament passage.
Here he paints God’s intervention as profound and in cosmic terms. He continues his complaints and questioning of God’s wisdom, but answers his own questions in amazing amounts of trust and affirmation of God’s reign.
Last night at the Ash Wednesday service, we encountered the importance of confession and honesty to God. I had the privilege of inviting you to a special commitment to prayer, and fasting, and almsgiving, but also to come to grips with the purging and repentant nature of the ashes themselves. Well today’s Habakkuk passage provides another dimension of that honesty toward God.
As we move into this spiritual journey of Lent, it is important to know our place. Yes Lord, we have fallen short. Another key component of that is knowing God’s majesty above it all. “O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work. In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known.” In conjunction with realizing the cosmic and awesome nature of God, he is able to know his place in the whole created order, and that provides enough humility and trust to move forward with his petition.
It is hard to ask God for something if you don’t believe God can actually do it!
Habakkuk knows God’s power. He trusts in God’s power, and is renewed in that. And he does it in beautiful poetry which I cannot recount here. From pierced arrows to quivering lips to fruitless vines to the sun raising its hands, it is simply a passage you must encounter directly. Click the link above to read it yourself!