The conclusion to the Book of Habakkuk focuses on the mindset that God’s people must have when feeling overwhelmed with the seeming success and exaltation of wickedness in our world and culture.
Habakkuk: “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).
The LORD: “If you think it is bad now in your country, you have no idea how much worse it is going to get for you once I send the terrorists of Babylon to bring merciless judgment on your people and on your land because of your consistent sinfulness against Me. You can not even imagine how bad it is going to get in the near future.” (Habakkuk 1:5-11 paraphrased).
Habakkuk: “But, LORD, how can You still be righteous while allowing the obedient in our country to go through times of judgement and oppression while letting the overtly wicked–even the terrorizing enemies of Babylon–to prosper and grow in strength? How can you do this to us, God?!” (Habakkuk 1:12-2:1 paraphrased)
The LORD: “The righteous must live (and will live) by faith. Just as sure as I will raise up Babylon to judge your country for your idolatry, I will surely annihilate the Babylonians one day for their idolatry and wickedness. I am still in absolute control–I haven’t moved any although your country has moved away from Me. Keep trusting Me, obeying Me and worshiping Me” (Habakkuk 2:2-20 paraphrased).
Habakkuk: “Our God has not changed any throughout history. He is still our Creator, He is the One Who sustains us, He is our Protector, our Warrior-Deliverer and the Righteous Judge” (Habakkuk 3:1-15 paraphrased).
“I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. 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” (Habakkuk 3:16-19).
One of the overwhelming messages of Habakkuk’s interaction with Jehovah is for God’s people to learn to let worship drown out fear. This requires us to think correctly about God and to live correctly in this world. Correct theology (“right thinking”) produces correct worship (“right living”) that is seen through correctly trusting and obeying God, even when evil appears to be rejoicing and triumphing over righteousness.
Jesus Christ did not promise that the world would get better but He did say that our Light must shine brighter as the world grows darker (Matthew 5:16). He will give us the grace to let our worship of our eternally sovereign Lord drown out the very real yet temporary fears we face as His children who have been commissioned to share Light in a dark and dangerous world that is gladly not our final home.