TO CHEW ON: "But the Lord is in His holy temple,
Let all the earth keep silence before Him." Habakkuk 2:20
"The book of Habakkuk gives the account of a spiritual journey, telling of one man's pilgrimage from doubt to worship" - Sam Middlebrook, Introduction to Habakkuk, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1222.
Habakkuk sees his situation realistically. Not only have his countrymen fallen away from God, but the Babylonians are a constant threat. My Bible's commentary suggests that Habakkuk 2:6, 9, 12, 15, and 19 are a series of woes Habakkuk, pronounces on the Babylonian invaders.
Whether they were directed at foreign invaders or his countrymen, they show that the land of Judah had loads of problems:
- People were taking what wasn't rightfully theirs and keeping the needy in subjection with high interest rates ("loads himself with many pledges" - Habakkuk 2:6).
- People were running roughshod over others to enhance their own security - Habakkuk 2:9.
- People were establishing towns through force and violence - Habakkuk 2:12.
- People were influencing their neighbours to get drunk so they could take advantage of them - Habakkuk 2:15.
- People were worshiping wood and stone images and looking to them for insight and direction (Habakkuk 2:19).
That's enough to make anyone glum. But Habakkuk doesn't give in to despair. Instead, he reminds himself of his hope in the God of power and action he worships:
"For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord …" (Habakkuk 2:14).
"But the Lord is in His holy temple
Let all the earth keep silence before Him" (Habakkuk 2:20) (emphases added).
We too can easily become discouraged as we look at society around us and the seemingly hopeless tangle of world affairs. At such times of potential discouragement on our journey, let's follow Habakkuk's example and shift our focus from our problems to our God. And as we lift our eyes let's give voice to that shift by offering faith-filled praise. God is in His holy temple. Someday the earth will be filled with the knowledge of His glory!
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your faithfulness in the past that gives me confidence that I can trust You for now and the future. On my journey through life, help me to keep my focus on You. Amen.
New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.