Fair and There?


Is God Fair and is God there in the midst of trouble?

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree should not blossom
17 And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.

There is a civil war in Syria, There is fighting between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza and fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It seems no matter where you look there is a war happening.
That was the same situation for Habakkuk in 609 B.C.  Habakkuk prophesied during the last days of the Assyrian Empire and the start of the Babylonian Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar.
Egypt under King Necho tried to travel through Judah to help the Assyrians being attacked by Babylon. King Josiah of Judah tried to prevent the Egyptians doing that and was killed at the battle of Megiddo.
Upon his death Judah reverted back to her idolatrous practices. The prophet Habakkuk decries the injustice, violence and evil the existed in his day.  He cried out for God’s judgment and the answer he received both shocked and stunned him.  God would send the Babylonians to punish Israel!  Habakkuk then must deal with two thoughts that come to his mind. God is not fair and God is not here when you need Him. Habakkuk asks “How can you use the Babylonians to judge your people? Why, they are even worse than the people of Judah! How can you use a more wicked nation to judge a less wicked nation? God, that is not fair!” God explains to Habakkuk that Babylon will also be judged for their sin, but all in God’s timing.  Habakkuk, like Job, then must come to grips with the second issue God is not there when you need Him.  In chapter 3 versus 17-19 Habakkuk after prayer and reflection, comes to a place of hope and confidence in God that allows him to praise God with rejoicing even as he anticipates the most difficult of circumstances.

In a world that seems out of control, where it seems that God does not care, is not fair, and sometimes not here, we might want to reflect like Habakkuk did. In prayer ask God "why is all this happening? What’s it all for? Perhaps we should let God help us they way He did with Habakkuk so we come to the realization of God’s sovereign character and come to a firmer faith in Him.

I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving!
Greetings from your Bavarian Missionary.

Matt Schneider

Some photos of Tyrolean mountain masks...to frighten evil away
on All Saints day, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

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