Read Habakkuk 2:1-5.
The online Bible website that I frequently use gives this passage in Habakkuk the title, “God’s Reply to the Prophet’s Complaint.” I love this title, even if I tend to read it in a bit of a snarky tone. I love it because it speaks to the fact that God hears our complaints…which also speaks to the fact that we can call on God — to complain! What a gift! A God who listens! And responds! I’m not saying that we should necessarily make it a habit to call on God whenever things don’t go our way — when we can’t find a parking space at the mall or when our football team loses or when a professor won’t give us an extension on an assignment (even though we, like, totally deserve it). But I do think that this text reminds us of our God who is a personal God, who desires to be in relationship with us. And because relationships are a two-way street, God not only listens, but responds to our cries.
In this text, God tells Habakkuk, “I hear you.” God doesn’t exactly go through every one of Habakkuk’s complaints from the previous chapter and respond to every single one of them, but God does try to respond to Habakkuk and say some words that might bring him comfort and assurance. Those words are, “I hear you, and I know things are not going exactly as you have expected, but I’m still here, and I still have a covenant with you, and I still have a plan for you and my people.”
Six hundred years after this exchange between God and Habakkuk, God said, “I hear you” once again by coming to earth as the Christ child. God said, “I hear you” by choosing to live among the people, walking with them and teaching them about God’s unconditional love for all of humanity. And I think God continues to say, “I hear you” by giving us UKirk communities with whom we can walk our journeys of faith together. What a blessing, and what a gift!
Pray: Gracious God, thank you for hearing and responding to the prophets of the Old Testament, to the early Church of the New Testament, and to your people today. Thank you for hearing us. Amen.
Sarah Wolf, UKirk Memphis & UKirk Rhodes