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Daily Devotional: Wednesday 4th March

by William Moody

Habakkuk 1:1–4

1:1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk's Complaint

  O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
  Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
  Why do you make me see iniquity,
    and why do you idly look at wrong?
  Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
  So the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never goes forth.
  For the wicked surround the righteous;
    so justice goes forth perverted.

(ESV)

Habakkuk is surrounded by violence, iniquity, strife and contention (v2b-3). People hurting and attacking each other, tremendous cruelty is the mark of these times. People taking other people’s possessions by force and there is no peace. It is a society of bitterness and fear. Is it not just like today?

Habakkuk believes the law is powerless and corrupt (v4). In those days the law was exercised by both the priests and king working hand in hand. The lack of justice shows that in both the palace and in the religious life at the temple there was terrible sin and iniquity. Right to the very heart of the life of Judah sin ruled.

“Jehoiakim … exploited his subjects for his own aggrandisement and had no concern for justice and mercy. Those who held subordinate positions of power in the land – governors and judges – took their cue from him. The result was widespread oppression, injustice and violence. There was no hope of redress except in God: and God did not seem to be taking any action to vindicate his own law or indeed his own character.’”
(FF Bruce)

Are we burdened as we should be for the state of things in our land? We need to pray for godly and righteous leaders both in our land and in our church? Pray for God to raise up such leaders and to transform our current leaders in to godly examples. Pray for yourself to be such an example.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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