Dec. 5 – Habakkuk 1:1-4- Wayne Younger (CityView)
I really love Christmas music, but it is filled with so many tall tales and legends! No, I’m not talking about Jolly Old Saint Nicholas or Frosty the Snowman. I’m talking about some of our most sacred Christmas hymns. Silent night for example paints a bucolic scene of the perfect birth of an alien baby who doesn’t cry. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear speaks of the world laying in solemn stillness. (Don’t get me wrong, these songs are full of truth and I will be singing them loudly this year!) But Habakkuk 1:1-4 reminds us of the true world that Jesus was coming into and of the people that he would meet; they are the poor, the conquered, the faithful and the lonely.
It’s hard to be faithful when evil seems to win and it is also hard to exist righteously in a society where the biggest rewards seem to be reserved for those who contradict God’s ways. The author of Habakkuk lived in that world and asked God pointedly how long this will happen! How long will we have to put up with this? Why are you sitting idly? Why do you not hear my cry? These are hard questions but don’t think badly of the author, for here he echoes the cries of God’s people heard since Eden. Here, he sets forward the longing of the human heart that only God himself can fill. Here is described an experience that is filled with disappointment, longing and faltering faith.
Into this world, Jesus comes! Into a world not laying in solemn stillness but boiling with terror and oppression. To these people, Jesus comes! These people who are marked by pain living in an occupied land. He comes as God’s response to the cries of his people. The beauty of Advent is that Jesus continues to come into the lives of the broken. God’s people keep asking how long and he keeps sending Jesus?
Where in the world do you see, and hear people crying out to God, how long? Pray for those people.
Where else in scripture do you see God responding to the cries of His people?
Father, we confess that we have grown impatient in waiting. We long for the day that you will heal our land and bring peace to our people. We see iniquity growing, we see evil abounding, and violence has its sway here. Renew our trust in you, and send Jesus. Amen!