What should one do when disaster strikes? When one’s own nation is sinking and enemies are about to invade, when total crop failure are imminent and the financial system collapses? No, this is not about the present day (though it very much applies!). It’s about the situation in the Jewish nation of Judea 2600 years ago, shortly before it was overthrown by Babylon. Habakkuk, God’s prophet, complained first about the corruption in his own nation and then about the drastic measures (foreign invasion) God was going to use to address it.
At the end of this short book of the Old Testament, Habakkuk acknowledges God’s power and wisdom, and he prays a beautiful prayer. I want to adopt for myself his threefold response to impending disaster:
1) Wait patiently for God to set things right.
2) Rejoice in the Lord.
3) Find my strength in God no matter what the circumstances.
(Notice how God is the focus in all of these!)
I will wait quietly for the coming day
when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights. (Habakkuk 3:16b-19)