Difficult Answers

When I attended the University of Kentucky, parking was very inconvenient, to say the least. This resulted in numerous long walks that turned out to be very formative in my theological development. As a relatively new believer, I had numerous questions about God, the Bible, and theology. If you ask enough questions about these topics, eventually you will encounter difficult answers. These difficult answers require time to think through, discuss with God, read about, and process. These long walks were just what I needed.

As we read Habakkuk, we are quickly faced with a difficult answer from God. When Habakkuk questioned God’s silence in the face of Judah’s sin, he wasn’t expecting the answer God gave him. Read the first 2 verses of God’s response:

“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own.” (Habakkuk 1:5-6)

If you read all the way through verse 11, you learn about the Chaldeans without looking them up in a history book. We find out they are a “dreaded and fearsome” (v.7) people who “come for violence” (v.9). They were wicked people and yet God tells Habakkuk he is “raising them up.” That is a difficult answer.

This would have been hard for Habakkuk, and for us, to comprehend. Yes, the sin among God’s people deserved judgment but God using the Chaldeans for this judgment had not crossed Habakkuk’s mind. God even tells him up front, you will struggle to believe what I am about to tell you.

We will get to Habakkuk’s response tomorrow. For today, let’s ponder the fact that sometimes God gives hard answers or truth that is hard to understand. When faced with these difficulties, let’s resist the urge to find easy answers. Instead, we should humbly approach God and His word as we seek to rightly understand His truth. 

Also, remind yourself of what you know to be true. Be okay with not fully understanding everything about God; He is God, after all. As Charles Spurgeon said, “God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”

So what Christian truth or aspect of God do you struggle to understand or accept? Whatever it is, take some time to humbly seek what God says. Talk it through with another believer. Take a walk and talk to God. If needed, make it a long walk. 

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.

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