By: Lou Yeboah
With our television screens filled with pictures of rioting, looting, killing and violence in various American cities — just as it wounded the spirit of Habakkuk who couldn’t take it any longer and threw up his hands in desperation, to let heaven know exactly how he was feeling. Heart broken, looking for an answer from God, so are many people today. Crying from their heart about the rampant injustice and brutally inflicted pain that characterizes so much of the world.
“Oh Lord, God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up Oh judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve! Oh Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult? They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast. They crush your people, Oh Lord, and afflict your heritage. They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless; and they say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.” [Psalm 94: 1-7].
We see man’s hatred and violence for his fellow man again and again as in Scripture. Think of Pharaoh who drowned the Hebrew boys in the River Nile. Think of Haman who plotted to kill all the Jews in the kingdom of Persia. Think of King Herod who killed the baby boys of Bethlehem. Think of David – a man after God’s own heart. Yet, what did he do? He killed one of his own soldiers – a loyal man – to cover up the sin of adultery. What did the Pharisees at the time of Jesus do? They hated Jesus and quickly sought His destruction. In the book of Acts we see that same hatred was transferred to the apostles and the church. Oh Lord, how long how long before you avenge your people? How long Oh, Lord?
Hard broken, looking for an answer as Habakkuk, who spirit was wounded, and who finally couldn’t take it any longer. I too threw up my hands to heaven looking for an answer from God.
As he said to Habakkuk, he said to me: You may not understand it, Lou. You may not see the full picture. You’ll have to trust Me on this one. As you shake your hands in bewilderment at the scope of injustice and atrocity that you witness far too regularly. Have faith that I am still in control. That My sovereignty remains intact. That the final word still belongs to Me. Evil and injustice will NOT have the final word over their lives!
For “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings. I WILL REPAY, says the Lord! I’m not going to just give them what they deserve, but I’m going to make the enemy pay. It may not happen overnight, but I will settle the case. Trust Me! I am a God of justice. I’ve seen it, now I’m going to do something about it. [Hebrew 10:30]. I’m going to send My angels, and they will gather out of My kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:41-49].
Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God. These are the words from the book of Deuteronomy that Paul references in Romans 12.
“See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer.” [Isaiah 26:21].
The wrath of God will be deserved — totally just and right.
Exhale with me!