Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.— Habakkuk 1:4
God’s Seeming Allowance of Injustice
The word translated “slacked” in the verse is a Hebrew word meaning “to turn cold.” The English word, “slacked,” means “to cause to be loose.”
Spoiling and violence were before Habakkuk. Strife and contention were everywhere. BECAUSE of all this, Habakkuk says, “the law is slacked.” The Law had become cold to the people of Judah. The people kept pushing the line further and further. The Law is now loose in the eyes of the people. It’s a shame to think that only 3 decades before this was written, a young 18-year-old man by the name of Josiah heard the words, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord” (2 Kings 22:8). Josiah’s heart burned within him as he heard God’s Word read aloud. He was filled with sorrow at the judgment pronounced upon Israel in the Law, and he was filled with rage at the false teachers and priests for leading the people away from the Lord. Josiah did more to cleanse Israel from its idolatry than any king before him ever attempted. How is it that the land returned right back to its sinful, idolatrous, violent state when Josiah died? The law did not burn in the hearts of the people of Judah like it did with Josiah. Externally, the people kept the law. The passover they kept in those days was unlike anything Israel had ever seen! The outward sorrow and reverence were unprecedented! However, the Law was not hot in their hearts. They knew the LAW, not the LORD.
I’m afraid our land is no better. Among the religious crowd, there are those who outwardly claim the name of Jesus but without any inward relationship with Him. Our country is filled with religious mouth-professors, not heart-possessors. Just as the law was slacked in Josiah’s time, the Word of God is slacked in our time. No longer do people care about what “thus saith the Lord.” Many professing believers desire to have a Bible that is written in THEIR style instead of studying and meditating on what the LORD says.
Does God’s Word BURN in your heart? I’m so tired of hearing people talk about wanting a Bible translation that suits how they speak. Is that what you look for in a Bible? When I read the Bible, I’m looking for what thus saith the Lord!” I’ve heard people say, “well, I just don’t understand it. I need an easier translation.” Do you know what the Bible says to that? “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). I’ve heard people say of the King James Bible, “But we don’t talk like that any more.” I’ve got news – English people have NEVER talked like that. The translators pulled from different periods of the English language to produce as accurate of a translation in the English language as it will ever get! Why did they do this? THEY wanted to know what “thus saith the Lord!”
Is God’s Word slacked in your heart? Have you read your Bible today? From Habakkuk’s earthly perspective, the Law was slacked because of the external sin around him. From a spiritual perspective, the Word of God is slacked today just as it was back then because of a lack of a personal, genuine, active relationship with the Lord.