Habakkuk had been puzzled by the silence of God to his prayers. He desired the Lord to come and establish righteousness on the earth. His heart's desire was for the people of God to turn from sin and follow the way of the Lord.
However, his prayers had not been answered. It did not matter, it seemed, that he had sought the Lord earnestly and patiently for this blessing. He had prayed in the manner he knew best, yet silence was all that he received for his efforts.
Then when the Lord spoke it was a startling message to His faithful servant. The message was not what the holy man desired to hear. In fact he was confused by the response of the Lord to his prayers.
What the Lord said to Habakkuk in response to his petitions was the worst possible answer. Habakkuk was told that the situation was to become mu ch worse before it got better.
That was not all. God said that He was going to use a wicked nation called the Babylonians to swoop down on His sinful people in punishment for perverting His moral law.
So things would get even more difficult—at least for a time. Such is the strange providence of the Lord. Like Habakkuk we come to the Lord crying out to Him to intervene for good in a time of evil. We pray for righteousness to reign in our land.
But what happens as we point out to the Lord just how evil western society has become? We look around and things get worse instead of better. The last two generations in the western world have been spiraling downward to more and more sin.
Criminals in our prisons can receive a university education while they receive free room and board and health care behind bars. Many law abiding citizens cannot afford higher education or else go far into debt to get what prisoners receive free. The taxes of hard working people pay for the privileges of prisoners. Is there not something wrong with this picture?
However, even in these times when we do not understand what the Lord is doing, we ought to press forward obeying what the Lord has commanded. We are to live as though life makes sense when life appears to be senseless.
As a child of God you may have no understanding of the mysterious providence of your God. Yet you may learn to say with Job, "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10 (NIV)
If the Lord knows your situation it is enough. Trust in Him and at last you will understand the way of the Lord and you shall give full approval to His providence.