In the book of Habakkuk, the prophet spoke to God and God spoke back to him. Habakkuk cried out to God, “Lord, why is this happening? How long is this going to continue?” It looked to him as if the wicked were winning. Then there was a moment of silence, and the silence was broken as God spoke to Habakkuk in chapter one, verses five through eleven, saying,
Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not their’s. They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.
Did the Lord ever tell you anything you did not want to hear? Did you ever find anything in the Bible that you did not want to read? Did you ever discover anything about the Lord’s work in the world that you wished you had not discovered, at least for that moment? We can be assured that when God spoke these words to Habakkuk, his heart was deeply troubled. It was one of those situations where he would have said, “I wish I’d never asked the question.”
The nation of Judah was spiritually bankrupt. They had turned from God. Habakkuk was troubled about his own people and their sin. Then the Lord said to him, “I’m going to bring the heathen nation of Babylon down upon Judah and I’m going to use them to bring judgment upon my people.”
To Habakkuk this must have looked like a bad situation that just got worse. In the midst of this perplexing problem, God declared to the prophet, “I will work a work.” This is a promise God made to Habakkuk, a promise that God is always at work.
When we are faced with what seems to be an impossible situation, we need to remember that God is at work. It may be that God is working in the most unlikely place and in the most unlikely way, but He is at work. The Lord said in the fifth verse, “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously.” Can you imagine this? Habakkuk said, “Lord, it’s Your people, these Jews, who have a need. How are You going to bring these people back to Yourself?”
The Lord answered, “Behold ye among the heathen.”
Habakkuk thought, “What? You don’t understand, Lord; I’m talking about Judah. I’m praying that You will work in Judah. I’m asking You to work in the lives of Your people.”
But the Lord said, “Behold ye among the heathen.” The Lord declared to Habakkuk that He was going to begin His work in the most unlikely place to accomplish what needed to be accomplished in the lives of His people.
Remember that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts; nevertheless, God is at work!
There is a precious promise in the Bible that we need to remember. God’s Word says in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Paul declared his confidence in the fact that God will finish what He has started. This brings great comfort to my heart.
If you get in the middle of someone’s troubles, you may wonder how anything good could ever come out of that seemingly impossible situation. Remember, God is at work and He is not finished yet.