August 19, 2011

When Good Folks Finish Last

Habakkuk 1:1-11

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Habakkuk 1:2


Does God notice what is going on in the world? Does he see when a bomb blows up a crowded marketplace? Is he aware of the AIDS epidemic sweeping across a continent? Does God take note of battered women and hungry children in our communities?

Habakkuk demanded answers to questions like these. Violent crime was on the rise in Judah, and those in power were paid to look the other way. Landlords threw a widow with young children out on the streets when she couldn’t pay her rent. The good suffered while evildoers prospered.

Where was God? Did God care? God’s answers to Habakkuk’s questions weren’t quite what Habakkuk expected. Yes, the evildoers of Judah would be punished. But it would happen as God sent the brutal Babylonians to destroy Judah. God would use Judah’s enemies to bring justice on his own people.

Habakkuk had to learn about the complexities of God’s work in the world. We often ponder the perplexing ways of God. But, like Habakkuk, we must learn that we are not first asked to figure out God’s mysteries. Instead, we are asked to be faithful (Habakkuk 2:4).

There are no simple answers to the troubles of our world. Yet we can trust that God is sovereign. In Jesus, he has defeated sin, and he will prevail! When we are troubled by what happens in our world, let us live by faith that God is in control.

Lord, we grieve over pain and suffering in the world around us. We don’t always understand, but help us to live by faith. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!