O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. Hab 1:2-4
Who among God’s people has not cried out to God these past few years something akin to the above? Who hasn’t wondered why God doesn’t change things, why He doesn’t make Himself known in such an obvious way that this nation will once again become God-fearing and moral, a nation of strength and integrity and compassion? Who hasn’t stood with Habakkuk and dared to ask why?
If you have studied the prophets, you understand without a doubt that God has a hand in this world, absolute control of the nations and their politics. And that hand has its own purposes, its own way of dealing with the wicked and their ways. Sometimes those ways are indecipherable to us.
“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves… They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand. At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” Hab 1:5-11.
God was sending a nation even more wicked than His own people to punish them. How did that make sense, Habakkuk wanted to know.
And now, as mystified as Habakkuk, we are looking at the choices God has put in front of us this election eve, two different people who are ultimately alike: “their own might is their god.” Neither is a good choice. Neither will lead this country back to God. So what do we do? This is what God told Habakkuk:
And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Hab 2:2-4.
Have faith in me, He says. I have made up my mind so accept it. If you are arrogant, thinking you can handle this better than I can, if your motives are not upright, you will perish. But the righteous man, the man who trusts me and obeys me with a pure heart, who doesn’t give up on me, he shall survive this. It may not be easy, life may become difficult and even dangerous, but you show who you are when you stand and wait and trust me to know what I am doing.
Do you know who will win this election? I do, absolutely. The one God wants in office will win. Late tomorrow night His decision will be revealed. It isn’t my business whether she or he deserves it. My business is to trust God—He has a plan. He does not need my opinion or my help. He just wants me to be faithful no matter what because this world is not the one that matters anyway. And more than that, no matter how bad things may get, and I do believe they will no matter who wins, he wants me to stand with his servant Habakkuk and say:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Hab 3:17, 18.