“Lord, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, you will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment; you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish,” Hab 1:12.
Habakkuk woke up one day to find himself in an oppressive environment. It was as if the layers of God’s blessings had been peeled back to expose a festering wound that would not heal. Since the death of king Josiah in 609 BC, who had perhaps been one of the greatest reformers of God’s people, the Judean people had slid into a severe state of moral, social and spiritual decay. Their problem, an ancient one, seems to be much the same as ours in South Africa with our reformer Nelson Mandela, when we ‘changed our ways’ more out of respect for the person, than out of fear and reverence for our Holy God.
When the leader died so did the intent to reform.
Listen again to the heart-felt lament of Habakkuk at the ‘lostness of his people’ and what he feels is God’s silence … “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Hab 1:1.
The shock for Habakkuk, and therefore the shock perhaps for us in South Africa today, is the unexpected response by God and the strategy of God, to reform His people – this is what God had to say, “I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honour,” Hab 1:5-7.
If Habakkuk was perplexed before he is completely dumbstruck now. How could God use the evil and corrupt Babylonians as a tool of discipline against His People?
Perhaps you are asking the question, “What is God doing in our country?” In response to the prophetic message of Habakkuk, God has the following to say to all South Africans, regarding the reformation of our society:
- We are too dependent on leaders and not enough on Him.
- We repent superficially allowing moral and spiritual decay to set in.
- We are concerned more about our personal loss than the “lostness of all people”.
- He is using the current state of evil and corruption, that effects all South Africans, as a “tool of discipline” to humble us, so that we will reconsider our ways.
- For true change that will last, we need to truly repent before our Holy God.
Prayer: Everlasting God and Father, your ways truly are not our ways. Please help us to understand that you can use any “tool of discipline”, including evil, to reform our society. Today we choose deep, true repentance as we cast ourselves into the Mercy and Grace of our Holy God.