Getting A Wider Perspective

The pronouncement that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

How long, Lord, must I call for help
and you do not listen
or cry out to you about violence
and you do not save?
Why do you force me to look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Oppression and violence are right in front of me.
Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.
This is why the law is ineffective
and justice never emerges.
For the wicked restrict the righteous;
therefore, justice comes out perverted.

Look at the nations and observe—
be utterly astounded!
For I am doing something in your days
that you will not believe
when you hear about it.
Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter, impetuous nation
that marches across the earth’s open spaces
to seize territories not its own.
They are fierce and terrifying;
their views of justice and sovereignty
stem from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards
and more fierce than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead;
their horsemen come from distant lands.
They fly like eagles, swooping to devour.
All of them come to do violence;
their faces are set in determination.
They gather prisoners like sand.
They mock kings,
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh at every fortress
and build siege ramps to capture it.
Then they sweep by like the wind
and pass through.
They are guilty; their strength is their god.

Habakkuk 1:1-11

We don’t know much about Habakkuk other than what we read in this prophecy. From what we see in the prophecy written by him, we can conclude that he wrote his prophecy sometime between the death of Josiah and the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon. He is concerned about the injustice he sees happening around him. His focus is on the injustice within Judah. He wonders why God is not acting. Why is God letting this injustice go on?

God answers Habakkuk by asking him to see the events of the wider world from His perspective. Babylon is rising as a world power and God is allowing it in order to eventually end the injustice in Judah. The answer seems unusual since Babylon seems to be a more evil nation. It begs the question, “How could God work through them?” Yet, God will use the Babylonians to address the injustice that Habakkuk sees happening around him in Judah.

As people who care about justice and God’s character, it can be disheartening to see injustice that appears to go unchecked. We may find ourselves wondering if God is real or if He even cares. It can be especially disheartening when the injustice appears to be happening among the people that are supposed to be representing God. Still, God sees the bigger picture and knows what is on the horizon for those who persist in injustice. In times like that, we need to ask God for His perspective on things.

  • Where do you need to have God’s perspective on things?

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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