The Sky Is Not Falling

Contrary to popular opinion, the sky is not falling. And even if it was, that would still be no cause for worry or alarm. If you find yourself caught up in the relentless cycle (or cyclone) of news headlines and social opinion, you may easily forget that God is in control. Yes, God continues to work out all things together for the ultimate good, even in a wicked world that appears to be spinning out of control sometimes.

Have you read the Old Testament book of Habakkuk recently? If not, I highly recommend that you do. It’s not long (only three chapters), and it captures well the questions of a godly man grappling with a horrible worldwide mess, similar to what we see unraveling before us today. One man says this about the world that Habakkuk experienced:

The “catastrophic events of the last decades of the seventh century B.C. and the first decades of the sixth century B.C. left many people reeling and disillusioned. It was an agitated time, characterized by rapid political change, international turmoil, bloody military encounters, and a growing rebellion against the demands of the covenant by the great majority in Judah.” [1]

Sound familiar? Welcome to our world! It’s always been this way, or almost always.

So how did Habakkuk respond? He engaged in a prayerful conversation with God. In Hab. 1:2-4 he asked God, “How long do I need to call out to you for help?” God’s answered this sincere question by saying, “Habakkuk, just keep on watching and be astonished” (Hab. 1:5-11).

But when Habakkuk looked out into the world, he was astonished with the wrong thing. Rather than become astonished at the incredible thing that God was working out, he was astonished at the avalanche of wickedness he witnessed. So in Hab. 1:12-17, he asked God, “Why do you tolerate wicked people?” So God answered him by saying, “Habakkuk, I don’t tolerate them; and in the end, you’ll see exactly what I mean. In fact, we’re all wicked, aren’t we (Hab. 2:6-20)? But what matters most is that you live by faith” (Hab. 2:1-5).

What is the result of this soul-searching dialogue? I love this. It’s a poetic song!

Is this your response to the news stories of the day? Do you wring your hands, sulk in your heart and hand your head in disgust at the latest political revelation, the trending national headline or the most recent international turmoil?

If you understand that no wickedness will go unpunished, and that God triumphs over all wicked choices by wicked people and wicked regimes to accomplish all that is in His heart, then rejoice. Let God place a song of praise in your heart, not a dirge of despair.

And most importantly, live by faith. Remember that you are wicked also, as wicked as any other man. But you have trusted in Jesus Christ to deliver you from your wickedness, and God has granted you His undeserved mercy. And if this is the case, then keep on living by faith. Trust God that in all that happens in this wicked world, He will strengthen you and He will win.

Don’t believe me? Then read Habakkuk!

Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
Neither shall fruit be in the vines;
The labour of the olive shall fail,
And the fields shall yield no meat;
The flock shall be cut off from the fold,
And there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength,
And he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
And he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

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[1] J. N. B. Heflin, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Haggai, BSC (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), 67.

 

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