Habakkuk was a man who would have fit well into our church family.
He was a man deeply interested in the things of God. We do not know much about him, but he proved to be one consumed with law and grace. Consequently, he was a man passionate about praise, prayer, and preaching. He longed to hear God’s Word, sing God’s Word, pray God’s Word, herald God’s Word, do God’s will, and increase the number of God’s people. Sound familiar?
The prophet was also one seriously confused by the mysterious providence of God. He wondered why the wicked prospered, the righteous suffered, and his Sovereign Lord did not immediately right that which was wrong. He longed for God to flex his mighty arm, but his God seemed so slow in doing so. Don’t you find yourself wondering what in the world the Lord of the Nations is doing?
Habakkuk was also greatly troubled by the ecclesiastical trajectory and cultural depravity surrounding him. His church was heading in the wrong direction and his nation was suffering the consequences. It almost seemed like the world was leading the church instead of the church leading the world. Isn’t this your fear?
Yet, in the midst of it all, Habakkuk was a man of great faith and hope. Listen to his prayer:
O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)
The preacher understood the wrath and justice of God. He knew his church deserved to have its lampstand removed. His nation had sown devilish seed and deserved to reap a harvest of hellish judgment. Yes, this is what his church and nation deserved.
However, he also knew about the undeserved, sovereign, and effective mercy and grace of God. The holy God was also the reviving God who had a compassionate heart for His church and nation.
Therefore, this week, I want you to be filled with faith and hope. Though our church and our nation are full of sin, and though we deserve nothing but the just wrath of the holy God, his longsuffering, merciful, and gracious character has not changed. He still has a glorious tendency to work revival in the midst of discipline. In wrath, our great Savior remembers mercy.
This week, let this truth burn in our individual minds.
This week, let us express this truth to one another as we gather in his church.
Then next week, we will be more inclined to leave the church doors and address the neighborhoods and nation we love with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For in his wrath, our great Savior still remembers mercy.