“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.” (Habakkuk 3:10)
The book of Habakkuk is largely a conversation between Habakkuk and God. At the beginning, the prophet is almost angry with God, wondering how long God would go without the hearing the pleas of the righteous in Israel. God’s answer was surprising: He was about to bring the Babylonians against Israel, and they would overtake the land. He knew that this would amaze Habakkuk; in fact, He told him to “wonder and be astounded” (Habakkuk 15:5). God was getting ready to do something incredible, and it went far beyond what Habakkuk could comprehend.
The whole book is a back and forth discussion between God and Habakkuk, with the prophet asking honest questions and God answering them in incredible ways. By the end, Habakkuk understands that God truly is in control and will work all the things for His glory. By the time His master project would be finished, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD” (Habakkuk 2:14). The final chapter is Habakkuk’s acknowledgement of this, illustrating his willingness to submit to God’s will even though he didn’t fully understand. He saw God’s wrath and His splendor, and he was a bit terrified. But even though he couldn’t see the ending, he trusted that God would do exactly as He had promised. He was willing to trust even when it looked like nothing was going the way it should. God had promised to one day soon destroy the Babylonians, and Habakkuk was going to wait patiently for God to do just that.
There are many things in the world that we simply don’t understand. Like Habakkuk, we can sometimes become disillusioned with God, wondering what on earth He’s possibly doing with all of this. But like Habakkuk, we can come to understand that God is using everything for His glory. Even though everything may look like it’s falling apart around us, God is still working, doing a work that we would not believe even if He told it to us. It’s easy to become discouraged, but that doesn’t have to be the case. We can instead look to God, trusting that He will do exactly as He has promised—be with us in the dark times and one day bring us safely into His new earth.