Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 (NRSV)
Chapter 1The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw. Verse 2O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save? Verse 3Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. Verse 4So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous- therefore judgment comes forth perverted.
Chapter 2I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint. Verse 2Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. Verse 3For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Verse 4Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.
What to do when trouble comes at us from everywhere and it seems like we are left alone to handle it?
Habakkuk, a prophet in Jerusalem before it was overrun by Babylon, sees danger looming on the horizon. There’s trouble at home. He sees Babylon stirring its armies. Believing that he alone must contend with all this, that God is unaware or refuses to help, he complains, “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?”
That’s a pretty prideful view, that only we can fix a troubled world—and God tells him so! Such pride will be humbled, says the Lord, “but the righteous live by their faith.”
We live by faith, not in self alone, but we trust in God who says, “I’ve got this!” Or as God tells the frustrated prophet, “There is still a vision—My vision! Wait for it. It will surely come.”
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be THY name. O God, when it seems that we alone remain in our universe of troubles, turn us we pray to trust and wait for you. Amen.