I've started reading Habbakuk. I've gotta say, I like this dude. He has no bones about telling God what he REALLy thinks! I love the 'all out there' comments he makes - it's like he says to God, "Hey, what you playing at? All this stuff is going on, what are you doing?"
Here are some examples of what I mean in the first chapter alone, (I've added my own interpretation of what I think he's saying below each verse);
V2: "O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?"
(hey I'm here, screaming at you for help, where are you? What are you doing? I need rescuing)
V3 "Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?"
(I can see all this bad stuff going on, why do I have to look at it? Why aren't you doing anything?)
V12 "Are you not from everlasting,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?"
(Aren't you the one who lives forever? The boss? The one who's completely pure?)
V13 "You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors
and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?"
(You can't even look at all the bad stuff because you're so perfect, so why do you look at people who stab each other in the back? You don't say anything when evil people come against your people, the wicked are treading down your followers, why are you quiet about it?)
Now, what do you think about how Habbakuk speaks to God?
Seems pretty outrageous doesn't it? Or does it seem normal to you? Is this the way you approach God? If so, good. Habbakuk is honest and upfront. He tells God exactly what he thinks, and he expects God to answer, check out the first verse in Chapter 2; "I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint."
Habbakuk expects a response, a conversation when he approaches God, do you?
He doesn't just present his complaints and lack of understanding and walk off, but he waits. He expects God to get back to him, and he waits and looks out for the answer - do you? Or do you kind of pray n run? Do your duty of telling God what you want and think and then whizz off to the next thing? Do you ask God to get back to you? Do you expect him to?
We can be good at what we consider prayer to be - pouring out our feelings, asking for what we want and think we need, even petitioning God about injustice and crime. However, do we expect God to get back to us? do we ask God for what we REALLY want, and what we REALLy don't understand?
As I read this book I am wondering if we all have the same expectation of a relationship with God as Habbakuk did. Do we expect to be able to pour out our frustrations, our understanding of who God is and our experiences? Do you ever tell God that although He is holy and pure and just, that you haven't a clue what he's doing? It's ok to do that, to tell God how you really think and feel, Habbakuk didn't hold back, but he knew he and God were tight. His expectation was to have a conversation. What's yours when you pray?