Habakkuk’s struggle is a classic one: where is God when wicked people and evil nations flaunt his ways through oppression, violence, and arrogance?
God answers with a series of “Woes” that he puts into the mouths of the nations Babylon was oppressing. He says a lot, but his message could be distilled to this: Evil will not have the last say (if you have time, read the whole passage: Habakkuk 2:4-20).
We’ll talk about that some tomorrow, but because that was part of the message from Habakkuk 1 that we studied a few weeks ago, we’ll focus more on the nature of evil that God describes.
This text is a vivid description of the kinds of evil that affect every worldly system–from Egypt to Assyria to Babylon to Rome to . . . America and the UK and North Korea and Sudan. It manifests differently, of course, and it’s held in check to different extents and in different ways, but worldly systems are inherently corrupt.
Tomorrow we’ll focus on those characteristics that infect every earthly system: violence, extortion, lust for power, drunkenness, shamelessness, ecological abuse, idolatry. And we’ll spend a little time reflecting on how the corporate/national evil “out there” can sometimes become individual evil “in here” (i.e., in us).
In the midst of it all, though, the most important word will be this: “But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.