Passage: Habakkuk 2

In this passage we see why we have to wait and how we have to wait for God.

There are three reasons why we have to wait for God.

1. God is sovereign

We wait for God because he is sovereign and in control of all things.

20 But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”

Though Habakkuk does not understand God’s plans and purposes, he stands in reverence and awe of God’s presence and power. He may not understand the answers but he is assured of the Lordship of God. No matter what happens. God’s sovereign purposes will be accomplished.

You may think, what if I mess up? God still works through our mess, sins and weakness to bring about his purposes. We see this throughout the Bible. Jacob messed up. Though he was promised to carry the Messiah’s line, he cheated, lied, ran from home and almost gets killed. He faces the consequences of his actions but in the end God fulfills his purposes for him. We see this in the Book of Ruth. Elimelech and Naomi decide to leave the Promised Land to look for food in Moab. They face great tragedy in this place but God brings Ruth back who is in the genealogy of Christ. God is sovereign over our sin, foolishness, stupidity and disobedience. Yet we are responsible for our actions.

We wait for God because we understand he is sovereign over all things.

2. God’s justice is coming

We wait because God’s justice is coming. God tells Habakkuk about the coming judgment on Babylon through five woes. God says write it down for it will come to pass. God not only is bringing salvation to the remnant of Judah but also judge wicked nations. There is a day coming when all wrongs are made right, darkness turned to light, sin into righteousness, injustice gets justice, the broken made whole, shattered dreams and hopes fully realized and our sorrow turned to joy. This is why we wait for God.

3. Glorious future awaits us        

14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

God promises of a glorious future where the knowledge of God fills the earth. There will be no place without the glory of God. On that day, all your questions will be answered. God promised a beautiful picture of beauty, joy, dancing, peace, prosperity, harmony and justice. This is why wait and this is how those who belong to God live.

4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.

Those declared righteous by God live by faith. They wait for God to act to fulfill his purposes and plans. They delight in him and trust him. Waiting requires faith and we wait because God is sovereign, his justice is coming and he promises a glorious future.

How do you wait for God? Its not easy but we do it by faith. What is our posture when we wait?

1. Wait patiently

3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

God says at the appointed time, I will bring justice, punish the wicked, help you understand answers to your questions. But you have to wait and be patient. Don’t give up or lose hope.

Impatience with people and circumstances is ultimately impatience with God. It shows a lack of trust. Patience is a biblical virtue or ability to bear difficulty without growing bitter or giving up. It requires a kind of humility to accept that we don’t know everything.

Suffering does not automatically lead to patience. Suffering can make a person become worse with bitterness and anger. But if we allow God to work in us, suffering produces character like how a diamond is formed under intense pressure over a long period of time.

How are you waiting? Are you patient? Or are you growing bitter and angry? Are you giving up at the slightest discomfort, slightest trial and slightest delay? Living by faith is to wait on God  and when we wait, we wait patiently.

2. Wait obediently

1 I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out

This is an image of a guard on duty standing on a tower watching. He is alert and observing what is approaching. He is on duty and is obedient to his orders. He does not leave his post whether he is bored or whether there is no action. We are called to wait obediently at our post even when we feel nothing is happening. Most people disobey and walk away when they don’t feel like God is doing anything. But we are called to wait obediently.

When things don’t go our way, we are either impatient and take matters into our hands or we leave our post and disobey. We tend to stop serving, worshiping, seeking, reading scripture, praying etc. Waiting obediently is not leaving my post for any reason.

What’s suffering doing in your life? Is it driving you to God or away from God? Does it make you pray more or pray less? Do you delight in reading scripture or finding yourself neglecting God’s word?

Suffering not only keeps you from what you should do, but it also leads you to do things you should not do. Does suffering make you fall into temptations so you can feel good about yourself? We can feel good in the moment by eating food, binge watching, spending money or indulging in habits and lust.

CS Lewis in his book Problem of Pain says, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

What is God doing in your life through the megaphone of Corona virus? Are you waiting patiently and obediently or are you leaving your post?  

3. Wait lovingly

Habakkuk is waiting for the Lord, not just for answers. When you wait for God, you want God. You realize nothing satisfies apart from God. Satan tells God that Job worships and serves because of what God has given him. If Satan removes these things, then Job will curse God. What about us? Are we worshiping God for the things God gives us or are we worshiping God because he is God? To truly love God is to love him, not just for his things, to find God precious and not just useful.

Suffering is a great opportunity to show your true love for God. It is a great time to show that our love is not exploitative, self-seeking and self-promoting. When you wait, you don’t get anything but you still wait for God out of love for him.

Habakkuk’s context is going to get worse. When the Chaldeans invade Judah, his family is going to be torn apart, his loved ones will be separated and taken captive, his home will be destroyed, he will see unspeakable violence and life will be in disarray. Yet he waits for God.

Living by faith is to wait for God patiently, obediently and lovingly.

How is this possible? When you understand that Jesus was willing to wait for you in the past. He took the towel and served the disciples. He went to the cross patiently bearing insults and pain, he obediently went to the cross willing to do the Father’s will and he lovingly sacrificed himself even though he wont get anything from us in return.  

Jesus not only served us in the past but he will do so in the future as well. In the new heaven and new earth Jesus will pour his love, joy, honor on you and fill you with infinite happiness and cosmic joy. All of eternity he is going to focus his love and delight on you.

If you see Jesus wait for you in the past, and you see him wait on you in the future, it is only then you will be able to wait for him in the present.

Ranjit David

Ranjit has been in Pastoral Ministry for the last 10 years in various settings. Coming from an Engineering background, he is passionate about working with young professionals in Delhi, using their gifts, teaching from God’s word, and having an open home. His training from Dallas Theological Seminary and Redeemer City to City has equipped him to serve strategically in an urban context.

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