The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.— Habakkuk 1:1
Yesterday we looked at Habakkuk’s burden. Today we will see that Habakkuk’s burden should be our own.
We are living in unusual times. The world is faced with what has been termed the “coronavirus,” a virus which we really don’t know much about. Many of us are praying for things to return back to normal. We want this virus to be eliminated. We want our countries to be preserved. Many are crying out to the Lord for their jobs to be restored and for the economy to gain back its health. These are burdens. But of what kind are these burdens? These are burdens which revolve around our own aspirations and desires. These are burdens which exalt ourselves. Why in John 8:1-11 did the scribes and Pharisees bring to Jesus the woman taken in adultery? Was it because they had a burden for the sin of Israel? Nope. They said the woman was taken “in the very act.” If this was the case, then they knew WHO the woman was committing adultery with, and the law said to stone BOTH adulterers, the woman AND the man. If the scribes and Pharisees were concerned about the sin, the man would have been brought as well. Instead, they brought only the woman. This was done in front of all the people in the temple. THEY wanted the people to see their religious piety and righteousness. They asked the Lord what should be done. How did Jesus respond? “. . . Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” We can speculate as to WHAT our Lord wrote, but we can be certain that in whatever he wrote, He wrote as though He heard them not.
What’s the point of bringing all of this up? Well, there’s a difference between Habakkuk’s complaint of sin and the complaint of sin from the scribes and Pharisees. Habakkuk is disgusted at the sin of his people. He hates it. He wants it judged! The scribes and Pharisees wanted to be exalted. In one case, the Lord responded. In the other, He was silent.
When you pray for your country, how do you pray? Are you praying only for prosperity or peace? Those prayers are prayed out of the lusts of our own hearts (James 4:3). Don’t expect the Lord to hear those prayers. Habakkuk on the other hand got an answer from the Lord.
Though I’m a citizen of America, the country I truly belong to is the Kingdom of our Lord. I don’t know yet when it will be fully set up, but THAT’S my country. The country of America I live in right now is saturated in bold, unashamed sin. Drunkenness and violence are everywhere. The mother’s womb, something which God created to be the safest place on earth for an infant, has now become a murder house for many. The sins which the Bible calls abominations are now being strongly defended in churches. Alcohol, which is the cause of about 88,000 deaths each year, is cherished while the Bible is hated. America is ripe for punishment. Why pray for prosperity when prosperity will only provide more funding for sin? Pray that America repents from sin and turns to God. Pray that churches are cleansed. Pray that souls are saved and Born-Again Believers heed God’s call to service. These are prayers God wants to answer.
Habakkuk had burdens for the sin of his people, the judgment of wickedness, and spiritual sight for the Redeemed. These should be OUR burdens as well. We must have a burden for the sin of our country and its lost condition. We must have a burden for the spiritual sight of Born-Again Believers. Just as Habakkuk’s name suggests, the burdens he embraced are ours to embrace as well.