Today you should read: Habakkuk 2
Steve Sawyer was a hemophiliac. He frequently required blood transfusions throughout his life. As a child, he acquired HIV through a blood transfusion. This resulted in a bitter anger towards God. Steve eventually surrendered his life to Christ and, as a 19-year old college student, began to travel all over the U.S. to tell his story and share the message of Christ.
I had the opportunity to hear Steve speak when I was a junior at Marshall University. I remember him going backstage twice to throw-up in a bucket. After both occurrences, he came back to the microphone and made a joke, then continued speaking. Eighty-four students gave their lives to Christ that night!
Steve said something that really stuck with me. He said that a lot of people saw his sickness as a reason to be mad at God, but he saw his sickness as his medicine. He said that if it weren’t for his sickness, he would never have surrendered his life to God. Steve’s sickness resulted in him finding spiritual healing. (You can read Steve’s powerful story here (http://www.everystudent.com/features/sawyer.html ) His story came to mind as I read Habakkuk.
Habakkuk and God are in quite a dialogue. It started with Habakkuk asking, “God, how long?” and “God, why?” (1:1-4). Then God responded by saying, “Look, I am doing something great, but you wouldn’t believe it if you were told.” (1:5-11). Habakkuk then responded by saying, “God, you are God, but I still don’t understand what you are doing. Why are you using the evil Chaldeans as tools of judgment?” (1:12-2:1). The rest of chapter 2 is God’s response to Habakkuk.
In 2:2-3, God told Habakkuk to write out the vision He is about to reveal, so that those who read it will run and proclaim it. The vision was something that would happen at an appointed time, and it would not fail. The vision He is about to give is contained in 2:4-20.
The vision is about how He is going to judge the Chaldeans (synonymous with Babylonians) and eventually free Israel from their captivity. Look for the “5 Woes” in this chapter. Woe to the Chaldeans because they are about to be smashed by God. God is telling Habakkuk some good news. The good news is that God used the evil Chaldeans as a tool to purify Israel, and now He is going to punish the Chaldeans, and free Israel.
Are you confused? If so, you aren’t alone. Habakkuk was confused as well. Here’s the general summary of the book so far: God was using something that seemed overtly negative in order to bring about a positive. God was using the Chaldeans to judge Israel so that they would turn back to Him. The Chaldeans were the medicine that God used to spiritually heal Israel.
That leads me to a couple of simple, but deep questions to ponder:
- What medicines (difficult situations) has God used in my life to draw me to Himself?
- What overtly negative situations are happening in my life right now that God is using to refine me, heal me, and draw me closer to Himself?
Posted by: Rich Duffield