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A Prophet’s Complaint

A Prophet’s Complaint
By Jonathan C. Brentner

My fingers raced to the book of Habakkuk early this morning.

Why would I seek the wisdom of an ancient prophet to ease my troubled mind? His opening complaint, written 2,650 years ago, captures the cry of my heart.

Notice Habakkuk’s words in verse 2 of chapter 1 as he pleas for the Lord to intervene in response to the wickedness of his day:

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?

I so often cry out to the Lord to stop the senseless murder of children as well as the killing of those precious little ones who survive the horrific evil of abortion. Yet, I see people celebrating the slaughter of our young and an entire political party marching in lock step with these vile pro-abortion forces from the pit of hell.

I sometimes ask, “Does the Lord really see the blood flowing on the streets from our abortion mills or the screams of so many children imprisoned by sex traffickers?”

The prophet again catches my attention in verse 3:

Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.

Does this not describe our world today? In less than 12 years we have gone from the Democratic presidential nominee claiming he supports the traditional biblical view of marriage to a candidate of the same party saying he will take away the tax exemptions of churches who oppose same sex marriages. The rapid descent into evil of many in America stuns me.

Habakkuk finishes his grievance in verse 4:

So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.

Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced there will not be a vote in the House of Representatives regarding the impeachment of President Trump. This is not good news; it’s precisely the perversion of justice Habakkuk mentions in his complaint. What this means is that the Democrats can continue to hold secret, closed door impeachment hearings without allowing Republicans to call witnesses in defense of the President and in some cases barring their attendance at these proceedings.

The above is just one of numerous examples of the subverting of justice.

The Lord responded to Habakkuk’s complaint in verses 5-11. In short, the Lord let the ancient prophet know He saw the violence and wickedness in Judah at the time and His judgment was on the way. God would bring the Babylonians against Jerusalem and they would eventually destroy the city.

The Lord’s opening words in this section raise questions in my mind, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astonished.” For the people of Judah, it meant that destruction was on its way to them. What does this mean for the United States?

What does this mean for the world? What signs do we see of impending disaster?

If the Lord were answering my complaint today, He would tell me to look to His Word and see what lies ahead for America as well as for the world. Long ago, God told the prophets of a coming day of the Lord that would begin with the judgment of sinful humanity (Isa. 13:9-13; Joel 2:1-11; Zeph. 1:14-18). We recognize this time of wrath as the tribulation, which the apostle John further described in Revelation 6-16.

God will have the final say in this world. He will destroy the evil world system empowered by Satan and His justice and righteousness will reign supreme over the nations.

Even though the wrong appears to hold the upper hand in this world, it’s quite temporary. Just as Babylon was on its way to Jerusalem in the time of Habakkuk, so now we can almost hear the hoof beats of the horses that will mark the beginning of the tribulation (Rev. 6:1-7).

I do not know what lies ahead for believers ahead of the rapture (although it may happen today). Those of us in the United States may yet face intense and even violent persecution. It’s not difficult to envision this happening if the Lord does not come for us soon.In fact, it seems increasingly likely…

But I know my Savior and at just the right time He will come for us, give us immortal and imperishable bodies, and take us to the place He’s now preparing for us in His Father’s house.

In the meantime, we wait. And we walk by faith and not by what we see in the troubled world around us.

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