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The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
How long, O HASHEM, will I cry out and You not hear me; how long will I cry out to You regarding injustice and You not save? Why do You allow me to see iniquity and You look at evil deeds, with robbery and injustice before me, while the one who carries strife and contention still remains? That is why the Torah is weakened and justice never emerges. Since the wicked surround the righteous, therefore justice emerges distorted. Habakkuk 1:2-41
Habakkuk's opening cry to God could well be coming from our lips today. His basic question of God is, why? Why do You allow what is happening today? Why do you allow the distortion of justice and morality that surrounds us?
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We can relate
Habakkuk describes our condition today, indeed man's condition throughout the ages. Yet, today's condition seems extreme. Not simply, I believe, because we are living it in the moment but because it is extreme. God's answer to Habakkuk was to observe and see what He was establishing against the evil of the nation as judgment for its apostasy. Man's justice may become perverted, God's never is. It is justified and just when it comes.
God offers hope for the righteous
In 2:4-19, God shares a vision of Nebuchadnezzar on the rise. It portends a harsh, violent, and desolate experience for the oppressed nations he will subdue. It will not be a pleasant experience for those Nebuchadnezzar conquers, but in the very beginning of this passage God tells us what to do and why we are to have hope in such times:
But the righteous shall live through his faith. (2:4b)
In this, God is saying that although hard times abound and worse is coming, the righteous will be sustained through endurance and perseverance, which are proof of their faith in action.
God does not promise us a free pass when life's circumstances, trials, and hard times come. He does promise us His faithful provision of everything we need to endure and persevere as we live lives that honor, elevate, and edify Him.
Habakkuk ends his prayerful response to God (3:18-19) with a declaration of allegiance:
But as for me, in HASHEM will I rejoice; I will exult in the God of my salvation.
HASHEM/ELOHIM, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my legs as swift as harts; and He leads me upon my high places.
God is our shield, defender, protector, provider, strength, healer, and comforter. His faithfulness in all things is sure proof of our faith, regardless of what swirls around us. Our choice is to choose to live as captives in a lost world, struggling to overcome through our own power, or to live in His perfect peace and provision.
Choose peace and exult in the God of your salvation.
All scripture from The Stone Edition, Artscroll English Tanach