The book of Habakkuk is a record of the messages of the prophet Habakkuk. As with most prophets, Habakkuk’s message focused on current events for the people of Israel, but it also had a secondary meaning, anticipating the life of Jesus.
Habakkuk begins with questions about Israel’s foreign oppressors, including two revelations from God. Habakkuk then pronounces judgment against these oppressors and concludes with a confident prayer for God’s deliverance of Israel.
Habakkuk is sometimes called a minor prophet. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t important, but merely that the book named after him is shorter. (Compare this to the major prophets, whose books are much longer.)
For the past several months, most of the A Bible A Day posts have been about the minor prophets. Recall that they are called “minor” not because their prophecy is insignificant, but because their books are short!
Do you worship your work? Of course you would say “no.” But consider that what you make sacrifices for is that which is important to you. Do you make sacrifices for work? Do you sacrifice family time to complete work projects? Do you sacrifice personal health and well-being to climb the corporate ladder? Do you sacrifice relationships or needed rest to earn a promotion or get a raise? If so, then perhaps you worship your work; perhaps you have elevated your vocation to the status of god.
Consider what Habakkuk had to say on the subject:
“Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
and enjoys the choicest food.”
Worshiping work sounds quite ridiculous when viewed this way, but is it any different from the types of sacrifices people make for their jobs today?
To be self-sufficient is to not require outside aid, support, or interaction for survival. It is a primary intent of much of today’s Western culture. A Google search for “self-sufficient” produced 13.7 million matches. Self-sufficiency is truly a big deal — and unfortunately, a prideful goal that produces a false sense of security.
Consider what the prophet Habakkuk said in referencing the Babylonians. He said that their “own strength is their god.”
Although we are far removed from the Babylonians in both time and culture, I suspect that our desire to be self-sufficient is not much different from this ancient empire’s self-reliance.
As we become more self-sufficient, we rely more and more on ourselves and less and less on others — including God. We begin to take pride in our own skills, abilities, and independence. These become our strengths…and effectively, our god.
As for the Babylonians, their “god” of strength was insufficient to save them. Habakkuk later prophesizes Babylonia’s destruction, which history confirms.
Should we expect a different outcome, that our self-sufficiency will save us?
A reoccurring gag in sitcoms is what I call the “wait for it” bit.
It goes like this: Something that is expected to occur doesn’t. With a knowing look, one character confidently states, “Wait for it.” There is a suitable pause, and then it occurs just as predicted — the audience expresses their relief and delight with a predictable laugh.
Modern television, however, is not the first time the “wait for it” tactic was employed. God said it to the prophet Habakkuk a few millennia ago. Yep, God may have been the first one to say, “Wait for it.”
After Habakkuk whines to God about God’s seemingly inaction and lack of response, God tells Habakkuk what he will do, but not when he will do it. God merely says to “wait for it,” as in:
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it; will certainly come and will not delay.”
God doesn’t reckon time the way we do. Even though he’s got things figured out and his plans will come to pass, sometimes, we just need to “wait for it.”