When I was in college (which was just a couple of years ago—or so), I did an exposition on Habakkuk 2:1-4. At twenty years of age (I told you it was just a couple of years ago—or so), I really didn’t know much about this “minor” prophet but was excited to learn. Well, it seems that Habakkuk was complaining to God about the injustice of the leaders of Judah and desperately wanted Him to do something about it. So, God gave Habakkuk His answer: He was going to bring the Chaldeans to conquer and destroy the nation. Well as you might guess, Habakkuk was none too pleased with the Lord’s solution to all this “social injustice.” He cried out: “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look on wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he (1:13 ESV)?” In other words, “Well, yes, the rulers of Judah are wicked, but what is solved by punishing them by the hands of a people even more wicked than they? Where is the justice in that?”
I never entertained any illusions about Donald Trump. He was nowhere near the top of my list of choices in 2016. I was first for Ben Carson, the anti-Trump if there ever was one in temperament. When He fell out, I was for Carly Fiorina. My male persuasion salivated at the prospect of a good ole fashion cat fight between Carly and Hilary. I knew Carly would eat her lunch. Then she dropped out, so I went with Ted Cruz. Finally, I had to settle for Trump and pull the lever. Of course, I knew of his shady past, and I was uncomfortable voting for him at that time, but what else could I do? Vote for those who condone the wholesale slaughter of unborn children with impunity? (How fitting and noxious is that word “wholesale” when one is reminded of Planned Parenthood’s business ventures.) Vote for prostituting marriage in exchange for justifying unnatural sexual liaisons? Vote for exalting self-mutilation in the vain attempt to change one’s nature? And all this while blatantly promulgating threats to religious liberty? I have become a thoroughgoing pragmatist when it comes to politics. I don’t like it, but it’s the hand I am constantly dealt.
And I freely admit, his swagger bothered me. And I so wished he would be more Presidential in his demeanor. Even Rush Limbaugh of all people told him that he need not answer every loon who attacked him. But that wasn’t Trump’s way. He is the quintessential fighter. I wish I had more of that kind of spirit in me, though not to his extent.
Well, I have to admit that the day after the election was a huge let down for me. Though I prayed for God’s will to be done, I honestly thought Trump would win. When I considered the booming economy before Covid (I believe Ronald Reagan said, “The best form of welfare is a job”), the shameless weaponizing of the virus by certain politicians to the point of destroying the economy and our lives which depend upon it—so desperately blinded by hate were they to defeat him—and then the violence in our cities that has cost numerous lives, billions of dollars in damage, livelihoods destroyed, the attacks on our police—and on top of all of this to see politicians either turn a blind eye or even act as apologists for this barbaric activity—well, how many evenings did Americans sit around their dinner tables shaking their heads in disbelief saying, “I never thought I’d see the day when….” It seemed that God had sent the Chaldeans on us again. So yes, I was surprised, though not completely—as a Christian, I never underestimate the brokenness of the world nor the sinfulness of man.
But this is where the Prophet Habakkuk makes his appearance. Having complained to God about both the predicament of Judah and His “solution” to the problem, the Prophet climbs a watchtower to see what God will answer next. And again, God’s answer probably was not what Habakkuk wished to hear, but it is the answer that rings through the corridors of eternity which the faithful hear and treasure in their hearts: “The righteous shall live by his faith” (2:4).
This is the message that I need to hear. Believe me: I’m worried; very worried. “Progressives” (what a misnomer that is) have made it clear that they want to remake society, and they have no respect for the convictions of evangelicals which are to them hopelessly retrograde. They have also placed our schools in their crosshairs. As a teacher in a Christian school, will I even have a job in a few years? I don’t know. But worse than that, what kind of nation will my grandchildren inherit? Will their Christian faith be for them a pox and justification for persecution? But even if it were, should I not rejoice that my posterity should take their place in the roll call of martyrs, joining millions under the altar who have gone before them (Revelation 6:9-11)? And should I not wish the same for myself? I am so weak, but I’ve only myself to blame; it is my sin that has crippled me.
As this post grows too long, I shall end with Habakkuk’s immortal words of faith: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places” (3:17-19). Amen.