Kids have questions, but so do adults. I just recently studied the Old Testament book, Habakkuk, and I love his honest question.
“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Habakkuk 1:2).
He had been waiting and watching for God to put a stop to the outright evil going on around him. God’s people, from the very beginning, had a sin problem. It was no surprise to God that they strayed repeatedly. They embraced the evil ways of their neighbors, and while given chances to repent, they turned to false idols and rejected God. Slowly, the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel were defeated and God’s people were captured and enslaved. Judah, in all its wickedness, remained, and Habakkuk wondered for how long God would tolerate the wickedness.
Sometimes we ask questions, though, and we don’t love the answer.
“Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told.” (Habakkuk 1:5-6).
Boy did God do something! While Habakkuk felt like God was doing nothing, God was busy building up the evil Babylonian empire to enact His justice on Israel. Habakkuk then felt a very normal human reaction: fear. His heart pounded, his lips quivered, and his legs trembled.
Judah fell in a horrific way. God’s people, including Habakkuk, suffered greatly from the violence, as well as from starvation. Yet, despite his fear, he wrote that he would rejoice in the Lord, his Savior, and protector.
God reigns forever on the throne, and in everything that happens, God is sovereign. Nothing surprises Him. He knows everything, and nothing happens that He does not allow for His purposes. God enacted judgment on Judah, but He also promised to one day restore His people and rescue them from their sin problem forever.
As foretold, Babylon eventually fell, and Israel eventually became a nation once more, though nothing compared to the perfect restored new Jerusalem that is to come. Many prophets foretold that God would enact judgment both then, and much later in the last days
For now, evil still wreaks havoc and bad things happen to good people. We too wonder, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”
Rest assured, God is listening. Because God is good, and because God always does what He says He will do, a day of judgment is coming and people will be held accountable. God is just. God is also gracious. For those who place their trust in Jesus, He promises forgiveness and salvation. One day, when we spend our forever with God, there will be no more pain and no more tears. God always keeps His promises. Meanwhile, keep asking God your questions. It’s amazing how many He has already answered in His word. For others, He will answer them in His timing.
“But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)
“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Habakkuk 3:2)