Wait For It
Day: 5 | Plan: Return to Refuge
Today's Reading: Habakkuk 2
Habakkuk 2:1 (ESV) "I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint."
"Wait for it … " This catchphrase is often used to create suspense or direct our attention to what's coming up. As we open our Bibles to Habakkuk 2, we find Habakkuk is strategically positioning himself to "wait for it."
From Habakkuk 1, we know Habakkuk is honest with God about his struggle, and he's dialoguing with God about his problem. He's weary of the violence, sin and wickedness surrounding him in Israel. And yet, when God reveals that He's raising up the Chaldeans (the Babylonians) to discipline Israel, God's answer leaves Habakkuk more confused. (Habakkuk 1:2-3, 5-6)
Habakkuk is well aware that Israel is far from righteous, but there is no doubt that Babylon is far less righteous. It makes no sense to Habakkuk that God, the Holy One, would use such a wicked nation for His purposes. (Habakkuk 1:12-13, 1:17) So Habakkuk is standing on the top of a watchtower giving God his full attention while waiting for a response.
It can be challenging to fully trust God when His answers aren't what we expect. Or when we, like Habakkuk, are faithfully serving and seeking God but our life takes a confusing twist. It's complicated when God allows the winds of wickedness or adversity to blow like a tornado in our direction. (Habakkuk 1:11)
The way Habakkuk handles his burden can offer us some practical instruction as we navigate through these challenging moments ourselves. So often, the moment we get up off our knees in prayer, we begin pacing with worry or rehearsing our problems again. Not Habakkuk; he waits for God to speak. (Habakkuk 2:1; Psalm 46:10)
One acronym for the word WAIT is: Why Am I Talking? This resonates with me because sometimes we can talk so much about our problem but never take the time to stop and wait prayerfully before the Lord. Habakkuk is positioning himself to listen to God. Our God still speaks … and the primary tool He uses is His Word. Often the best way to hear God speak is to open our Bibles and consistently read His Word!
What if we started replacing the habit of rehearsing our problem with the practice of reading God's Word? And instead of pacing with worry, what if we began to praise God for His character and started memorizing His promises?
Another thing Habakkuk does is stand on the watchtower. (Habakkuk 2:1a) He has been down in the valley with the problem, but now he moves to the watchtower. The watchtower is a strategic observation post on the highest point of the wall. It provides a broad view of the landscape and is set apart or detached from the crowds.
Like Habakkuk, sometimes it's necessary for us to detach ourselves from the problem or reposition ourselves in God's presence, so we have a wide-angle view that provides a godly perspective.
Habakkuk's attitude and actions reveal he anticipates God will answer. (Habakkuk 2:1b) By watching and waiting for God to act, Habakkuk is demonstrating his trust in God's character even when he can't see or make sense of the situation. He is choosing to live by conviction and not by the circumstances. This is a sure sign of faith. (Hebrews 11:1, 6) Habakkuk also remains steady and is persistent in his expectation. God honors this kind of tenacity in a persevering attitude. (Genesis 32:26b)
"And the LORD answered me" (Habakkuk 2:2a). While Habakkuk didn't have to wait long for God to answer, he will have to wait a long time for the fulfillment of God's answer.
Watching and waiting for an answer that lingers is a sure test of our faithfulness to God. But to see the end from God's perspective is to have confidence for the present.
Prayer: Father, fill me today with an eager faith that turns to You in life's challenging situations. Grant me the wisdom and patient endurance to follow Habakkuk's example of living by faith. Strengthen my resolve to seek You in prayer and follow through by posturing myself with an expectant, listening ear to hear and receive what You will say. In Jesus' name, amen.
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