Don’t Let An Election Steal Your Song
The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see: ‘O Lord, how long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto Thee of violence, and Thou wilt not save! Why dost Thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? For spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.’” Habakkuk 1:1-3
Like thousands around this nation, you may be discouraged about our elections. The book of Habakkuk is only three chapters, but we find it is a song to comfort and inspire us to keep singing despite these difficult times.
The prophet Habakkuk wrote in a time of national calamity. Everything not nailed down was coming loose, and the devil was pulling nails as fast as he could.
We live in a day just like it: anarchy in the nations, apostasy in the churches, apathy in many hearts, and we wonder “why?” Like many of us, Habakkuk was intensely patriotic. He loved God. He loved God’s people. He loved his land. He wanted God’s glory, and it seemed like nothing he wanted had worked out.
This election season is not a referendum on any one person’s character, but a referendum on the character of this nation. The condition of Habakkuk’s day was deplorable, and not only Habakkuk noted it; the prophet Jeremiah did as well and spoke this from the Lord:
“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jeremiah 5:30-31
We have a generation of preachers today who have told people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear—preachers who teach falsely, who serve for gain, and some people love it that way.
Habakkuk faced the same question we face. We stain Heaven with our prayers, we fast and pray, but things don’t get better. As a matter of fact, they seem to get worse. Some folks are losing their faith, not on the problem of how the world began but on how the world is ending. They say, “Why doesn’t God do something? Why doesn’t He answer prayer? Where is God?”
Under divine inspiration, Habakkuk wrote out his frustration in chapter 1 of this short three-chapter book. Listen to what Habakkuk asks God in 1:13—
“Wherefore lookest Thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest Thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?”
Good question, Habakkuk. Doesn’t that sound like our day! How can God look upon all this, whether it be politics or business, and let it happen? It’s interesting that God allowed him to pour out his frustration about God Himself! What an encouragement to you and me today. Habakkuk was frustrated and God listened.
What every child of God needs to do in these desperate days is to get quiet in God’s presence, get centered on Him and Him alone, and listen to what He has to say. This is exactly what Habakkuk did. He goes up to a tower, sits down, and waits for a word from God (Hab. 2:1). He didn’t have to wait long. God answered him.
“And the Lord answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:2-4
This last part of verse 4 is one of the foundation pillars of the Christian faith! Paul quoted it in what many hold as the greatest book in the New Testament, Romans. In the first chapter, Paul says,
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).
It’s quoted again in Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. This is a foundational doctrine of Christianity: the just will live by faith. Not by sight, not by what we see going on around us!
Just think, if Habakkuk had not expressed his frustration to the Lord, then pulled away from the crowd and gone to listen quietly to the Lord, he would have missed out on conveying one of the foundational truths of the Gospel: in a day such as ours, the just are going to live by faith.
Put your faith in God’s facts—that He is king evermore. That’s the way you’re going to live in this day and this age. Why? Because faith is that quality that keeps us going in dark days. Faith sees beyond the physical to the spiritual. Faith sees beyond the present to the future. Faith sees beyond the temporary to the eternal. Faith does not judge by the appearances of the hour.
Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose your faith. Listen to me. Faith cannot fail. Sin cannot win. Faith is the only message that will see us through, and it’s the only force that can change anything. Let me say that again. Faith is the only message that will see us through. It’s the only force that can change anything.
As we walk by faith in this time in our nation, what will help us walk by faith?
First, be assured of Habakkuk 2:14:
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as waters that cover the sea.”
Believe it! One day, God is going to put His Son upon His holy hill of Zion. That day of reckoning is coming.
Second, Habakkuk says, “But the Lord is in His holy temple” (v. 20). Remember, God is in control, and He isn’t turning loose of the reins. When Habakkuk asked, “God, where are You?” He answered, “I’m right up here in My holy temple. There’s no panic. The Holy Trinity is not meeting in emergency session. I know precisely what I’m doing. Listen to the reliability of the Scriptures. Listen to the reign of the Savior. I am in control!” Remember that.
Habakkuk then can say,
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
If you’re saved, if you know the Lord, it doesn’t matter if gasoline goes to three dollars a gallon or if Wall Street hits bottom. If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, it doesn’t matter if they take away your fine house. The Bible says: “You can rejoice in the Lord your God!” Remember God’s greatness. Rejoice in God’s goodness. And rely on God’s grace.
If we want a better land, we must live by faith. We must walk by faith. The only thing that can save us is the Gospel. Government cannot make us better; only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can.
Habakkuk began as we so often do, expressing his frustration and dismay at the way things were going in his beloved land. Truly, it was God’s land, for He had called the Hebrews to Himself centuries ago. But now in his conversation with the Lord, Habakkuk comes to this conclusion. Read it again:
“I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength.”
And this is where we must arrive and anchor our souls:
I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet. He will make me to walk upon my high places.”
Habakkuk began by asking, “Why? Why, Lord, why?” God never did answer why. He just said, “I’m going reveal Who. Me. I am your strength! I will make you like a sure-footed gazelle, and you can live on your high places.”
When Habakkuk wrote his book, he said, “It’s for an appointed time.” I believe it was for today. He says at the very end, “Tell the minister of music not to stop singing.”
Don’t let an election steal your song! Keep on singing! Keep on praising! Keep on believing! Keep on loving! Our God reigns! “And the just will live by his faith.”
In this hectic, demanding life, we are all looking for a heart-contentment that fulfills our yearning for love and protection. For a quiet place to rest. For guidance and comfort and deliverance from fear. The secret lies in the gentle words of Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want..." This beloved psalm's beautiful lines feed and comfort our souls. But its greatest gift is that it offers what we all need—the secret to satisfaction in this life and in the one to come—and promises what we can all experience—an intimate relationship with the loving Shepherd who fulfills the very longings of our souls.