The prophet Habakkuk cries out to a righteous God, “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent?” (Habakkuk 1:13). The powerful Chaldeans are wicked people and they are attacking us. God, do you not see the evil in this world?
Mr. Dubose was the mean neighbor in the white house three houses down from my childhood home. One day, playing kickball in the street, the ball went astray and hit the rear tire of his corvette. Mr. Dubose held the ball out for me to retrieve, but as I approached, he reared back and fired it into my chest knocking me over. This was Goliath versus David, the Chaldeans versus Israel, Mr. Dubose versus 7-year-old me. Except I have a dad and my dad came out and had a “talk” with Mr. Dubose. My dad was a Marine in World War II and fought in the battle of Okinawa. I had never seen my dad fight (and never would), but as I watched him talk with our neighbor, I gained a sense of what he was capable.
God responds to Habakkuk in chapter 2, “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own” (v 6), “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house” (v 9), “Woe to him who builds a town with blood” (v 12), “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink” (v 15), “Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise!” (v 19). God may be unseen, but he sees all. He sees all the plunder, the pride, the warfare, the debauchery, the idolatry, so he has a “talk” with the Chaldeans, but these woes are more than a warning to an evil people, they are words of assurance to God’s children. Habakkuk can rest in God.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us. ~Habakkuk 3:16
Mr. Dubose did not change. He remained the mean old man in the white house, but he did not frighten me anymore because I knew my dad was here, he was capable, and he cares.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love. ~Zephaniah 3:16-17
My God, Yours is the Name above all names. There is authority in Your Name, and in Your Name I find life. Your Name is holy and good, righteous and powerful. I know this and I am learning to trust You. And as I learn to trust You, I find rest. If you are for me, who can be against me? I am glad You are here, You are almighty, and You love me.
What foe shall I fear when God is my friend.