What if Everything Fails?

    Have you ever wondered what you would do if everything fails? You might want to ask, well, what is everything? I am being general because the areas of life that challenge each of us can be different. Some might be worried about their financial situation. For others, it may be their health condition or that of a loved one. For other it might be the risk to our children or grandchildren. And for others it may be the cultural or political situation. My question is, no matter your area of concern, “What if everything fails?” What if the proverbial wheels fall off?

     My recent Bible readings have me in the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk is located in the last section of the Old Testament known as the Minor Prophets. These books are referred to as “Minor” prophets not because of their secondary importance, but because of the length of their works. These 12 short prophetic books provide incredible insights for students of the Bible. Habakkuk actually provides what should be the believers response when everything does fall apart!

     Most of the Old Testament Prophetic works are difficult to understand because we are unaware of the historical situations that they address as well as the different metaphors that are used to communicate God’s message. Habakkuk is no exception. But with a little help we can understand God’s message to and through the prophet. He was grieved by the deteriorating cultural situation. “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:2–4) Does this sound familiar? Oh, it gets better.

     What he was missing was that God was working. And the answer to the situation was not what the prophet desired., “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 rest of chapters 1-2 deal with the coming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by rising nation of Babylon (Chaldeans) under Nebuchadnezzar.

     Habakkuk then raises a second complaint that essentially states, Lord, you cannot let that happen! Of course the Lord reminds him that the coming destruction and captivity is a consequence for the sins of His people, Israel.

    There are several corollaries for believers today. We need to be reminded that God is in control and that He is working out His plan. The third chapter is the prophet’s prayer to the Lord. But what stands out is his perspective from seeing the situation from the Lord’s perspective. “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.” (Habakkuk 3:17–19)

     So, what about you? “What if everything does fail?” Let us be like this Godly man living during a difficult time who resolved to place his trust in the Lord! Let us be reminded of what a wonderful place it is to be in the hand of the Almighty!

 -Pastor Joe Parkinson

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