Throughout Israel’s history God demonstrated continued patience over and over with His chosen people. However, Israel continued to disobey God and suffer the consequences.
Habakkuk was a prophet in Judah around 600 B.C. whom God raised up to warn Israel of their waywardness and, if they continued in it, the Babylonians would overthrow them. Like all the prophets before him, Habakkuk’s heart broke over the possibility of Israel’s destruction.
Near the end of this short Old Testament book, the prophet pours out his trust in the Lord when he writes:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
This expression of love and devotion to God, in spite of the circumstances around Habakkuk, gives us, today, a wonderful model of how we are to respond to God in equally dire situations. Figs, grapes, olives and livestock were all evidences of wealth in ancient Israel. Here in 21st century America it may look something like this…
“Though the bank account is down to nothing and there are no jobs on the horizon, though the government isn’t helping me and I have no ideas left; even though I don’t know what to do and I feel all alone, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Who are you depending on day-after-day to feel safe and secure? Are you trusting in your job? Do you expect the government to take care of and provide for you? God loves you so much that He may be using difficult circumstances in your life to draw you near to where true life and peace are found – in God alone.
If you are feeling like you are the only one with problems and do not know where to turn, why not get on your knees right now and cry out to God? There is no right or wrong way – God knows your heart and longs for you to come to Him when times are good and when they can be tough. Rejoice in the Lord and see what the Lord will do for you!
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.