Habakkuk and God have been having a conversation about God’s plan for the future of the world. We often quickly jump into the details of the conversation: the struggle between injustice and righteousness, the eternal plan of God and the fate of His people, and the coming judgment on Judah and Babylon. These details are gifts from God, and should be studied and treasured. But before we go any further, I want us to stop and think about the big picture. Habakkuk and God have been having a conversation about God’s plan for the future of the world. God, what is man that you are mindful of him? Why do you even pay attention to us at all? Think about who God is, and who you are. Marvel that He not only allows us to talk to Him, complain to Him, and ask Him our most difficult questions, but that He welcomes them. He wants to hear from us.
Many people complain that the God of the Old Testament seems far away, distant, and terrible, a “being”, and not really a person. How much different is the picture in Habakkuk! God and Habakkuk are meeting together, taking counsel together, and God is patiently answering Habakkuk’s questions. Notice what we can learn about God’s personality: This God is accessible, approachable, a good listener. He is patient, gentle, and kind. He cares about justice; He hates wrongdoing. Amazingly, it matters to Him whether or not we understand Him – if we don’t get it the first time, He is happy to explain it again, clarifying and filling out the message.
Don’t you want a relationship like that with someone who can actually do something about your problems? Doesn’t this God seem like a wonderful person to get to know? If you struggle to think of God like this; if God seems distant to you, then read Habakkuk with this in mind, and be amazed by His concern for His people. Fathers, especially, apply this to your relationship with your kids – is this the kind of father you are to them? Are you modeling the character of God for your wife and kids in the way in the way you listen to them? Moms, when you find yourself explaining, disciplining, and explaining the same simple lesson again, you should count it all joy – you are imitating God Himself!
Allow your frustration, annoyance, and pettiness to be rebuked: God doesn’t tire of listening to you and your slow-witted but earnest questions. The distance between the eternal and perfectly holy God of the universe and your feeble understanding is bridged by His patience and love. How far does your patience extend? Can it cover the comparatively small distance between you and your neighbor? If not, don’t despair: talk to God about it, learn from His interaction with Habakkuk, and go and do likewise.