It is hard not to be overwhelmed with all the craziness happening in our world. If you are feeling that way, I am with you. It seems like each news cycle releases another tsunami of turmoil, tragedy or violence in our world. It is easy to question where is God when we need Him? The struggles of our time are not unique to us today. And God has answered this question in the Bible.
It is not a bad thing to be bothered by the violence, treachery, robbery, and lack of justice that floods our lives today. But it is natural when looking at all that is happening around the world internationally and nationally to ask God , “Why are you not doing something about these things?” I recently came across a passage in my daily Bible reading where God answers this exact question.
The context of the passage is a time of great international turmoil and national corruption. The southern nation of Israel was unraveling internally after the Godly reign of King Josiah. The nation was struggling with wide spread corruption. Three months after Josiah’s death, Israel was conquered by Egypt, who appointed an ungodly king. This new king was evil, ungodly and rebellious. The nation quickly slid into moral decay, violence, greed, fighting and perverted justice.
Internationally, the existing world power, Egypt, was in conflict with the new rising nation on the block, Babylon, who had just defeated Assyria. Israel would also become entwined in the conflict and unfortunately aligned with Egypt that would be defeated by the Babylonians. They would eventually be conquered by Babylon as God’s chastisement of a rebellious people.
The Godly prophet Habakkuk is the one asking, “God where are you?” in the midst of the turmoil of the times. Habakkuk’s complaint questions why God is not answering his cries for help? He laments the widespread sin, the unchecked destruction and violence, and the perversion of law and the perversion of justice.
The Lord’s response to the man of God is that He is working. He is working to carry our His will and follow through on His promises. It is just that God is not responding the way the prophet desires. ““Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” (Habakkuk 1:5) The Lord is working. His working would lead to the chastisement of rebellious Israel by the instrument of Babylon. This is not the outcome that Habakkuk desired but it was the way God would restore His people to himself and also would lead to the message of Jesus, the Messiah, being shared with all the nations of the world!
When tempted to ask God, “Where are you?” We need to be reminded that God is working. Jesus said it best, “But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (John 5:17) The Lord reminds Habakkuk that God’s people need to trust Him because He is in control!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson