The introduction to the book of Habakkuk is simple -- "The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see" Habakkuk 1:1. Rather than containing a specific message for Habakkuk to deliver, the whole book is a dialogue between the prophet and the LORD. Habakkuk had a burden. What he observed of God's dealings seemed out of character. He felt that God was not acting justly.
"The wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth" verse 4.
God's reply did not satisfy the concerned prophet. The Chaldeans, a more degraded nation than Judah, would be used to punish God's people. Habakkuk questioned God's fairness, then stated, "I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved" Habakkuk 2:1. He realized he would be reproved and seemed to welcome it. We have here a man who was intimate enough with his God to enter into dialogue. He was not afraid to question, but seemed to sense that he was the one who would need to learn.
As in the case of Job, Habakkuk's questions were not directly answered; however, there was a response that met his need. "The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. . . the just shall live by his faith" Habakkuk 2:3, 4. He understood that the apparent injustices he observed were going to be resolved. In faith he must wait to see that day. So clearly did he now choose to trust God's love and justice, that he could say that no matter what terrible things might happen, "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." Habakkuk 3:18, 19.
It is in adversity that our faith is tested. Will you and I rejoice and joy in the LORD even when life is turned upside down and doesn't make sense to us? I pray we learn from Habakkuk so the answer will be "Yes!"
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.