Just imagine once you’re in heaven and meet all the men and women you read about in the Bible… with whom would you like to chat? Of course, we will spend eternity there, so I assume we can speak to many. I have some favorites, but there is an Old Testament prophet I would like to meet in person especially and that is Habakkuk.
Do you sometimes wonder how it will be in heaven? I often do. Imagine eternity… there is no time anymore. Would it be possible then to kind of ‘travel back’ and see for yourself in real time how it was when God created the earth or to see biblical history unfold in real time? To meet people we know from the Bible? They were just like you and me, people of flesh and blood who experienced life the same way as we do now. If it were possible to chat with one of them… who would you choose? Don’t get me wrong… I am not starting a theology on these musings. It is just my vivid imagination that in heaven, we will meet many interesting people.
Habakkuk does his name justice
As far as I’m concerned, I would love to have a chat with the prophet Habakkuk. His name is derived from the Hebrew root word chavaq, which means ‘wrestler,’ and also ‘one who ardently, passionately embraces.’ Very little is known about him. Some scholars say he was a Levite and part of the worship team in the Temple. Apart from that, it was certain that he lived in turbulent times. His book only contains three chapters, but straight from the beginning, we get to know his heart. He cries out to the Lord about all the injustice he sees around him. He truly does his name justice: ‘Habakkuk’: wrestler. He wrestles with God and is not afraid to ask questions:
‘How long LORD, must I call for help but You do not listen? Or cry out VIOLENCE!, but You do not save?’ (Hab. 1:2-3)
Habakkuk is quite direct to God, almost blunt – why do You tolerate wrongdoings? – he pours out his heart about all the wickedness he sees and God is in no way offended by the complaints of Habakkuk. God does not ‘fall from the throne’ when we ask questions. God answers Habakkuk and suggests he takes a close look at what He will do to the nations in the near future. But Habakkuk is not satisfied yet. He continues: LORD, are You not from everlasting?… Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, You cannot tolerate wrongdoings, why then do You tolerate the treacherous?
Habakkuk is determined to get some answers
Habakkuk wrestles with God but at the same time – as his name says – he embraces God as well, for he calls God: My God, my Holy One… My Rock… (1:12). There must be a tremendous confidence in his heart that God will answer: I will stand on my watch… and I will look to see what He says to me. Habakkuk is determined to get some answers, not because he is angry or doubting God, on the contrary: it is because he knows God and trusts Him.
A heart at rest
And then God answers. He even tells Habakkuk to write it down. It takes too long to tell the whole story and I recommend you read those three chapters in one go… such an amazing relationship between the Holy One and His servant, because after God has explained to Habakkuk all He intends to do and also encourages him that a righteous person should live by his faithfulness (2:4), Habakkuk’s heart comes at rest. God did not keep silent. He hears the cries of His people and then Habakkuk breaks out in prayerful worship the Lord. Again Habakkuk does his name justice: one who embraces passionately.
Maybe you wrestle with questions. Don’t turn away from the Holy One, who has all the answers. He has not changed! Embrace Him, like Habakkuk did and break out in song with him. God is worthy of our praise… you probably know the words already:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
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