Habakkuk was a prophet who struggled with similar questions that we raise. It doesn’t take long for him to dive into the problem in his short work in the Old Testament. He laments, “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “violence!” and you will not save?” He concludes his raw-emotive rant with a poignant statement directed at God, “So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.” (Habbakuk 1).
Let’s be honest, we struggle with this, don’t we? And not in just one arena of life. We look around and wonder why the rich get richer. We look at people apart from the Lord and we cry, “Shenanigans!” when they excel and we repel. “It’s just not fair, i’m a good person” is a shout that is refrained time and again when comparing ourselves to others. It is enough to make someone wonder if God is really out there and if He really cares. There is a second avenue in which this sentiment works. People on the outside of the church look in at the church and conclude that God must be absent because evil has pervaded the very camp in which the Christians abide - the church. In fact, one great theologian, N.D. Elkins, has stated, “People often deny Christianity because of the hypocritical people that follow it. So someone who doesn’t even agree with Christianity says that its followers aren’t good enough, what merit could they possibly have?” Habakkuk lamented correctly. Mr. Elkins observes keenly. We have a problem. Why does evil persist and why do people allow sinful human behavior to obfuscate the bride of Christ?
May I submit that we are wrong in the foundation of our thinking? Mr. Elkins goes on to point out the folly in this base mentality, “The truth is no one is good enough. Except of course one man. His name is Jesus.” Habakkuk didn’t understand or see the bigger picture and he was told by God, “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” (Habakkuk 1:5). We think that we are or can be good enough, that injustice rules where it shouldn’t, and God gently reminds us that we are sinful, and we are in need of a Savior. And furthermore, He sent (for us), would send (for Habakkuk), His son to bring us God’s grace. God imputed Christ’s righteousness in us, not infused it. You see, had He infused it would be righteousness mixed with my sinfulness and the result would be lamenting as Habbakuk did. Rather God imputed, took my sin out and replaced it with Christ’s righteousness, the only one who is good enough. It was a complete blood transfusion if you will. May I encourage you today, believer, to stop looking at the world and crying “injustice”! Rather, trust that God is up to something you can’t understand, and join Him in that process. May I warn you, unbeliever, that to judge Christ and God based on a sinful humanity is folly. Christ is both just and justifier and you need him to stand before a just God, accept Him today.
Luke Harris is the pastor of Crossroads Community Church currently meeting in the cafeteria of Grand Avenue School located at 1415 Grand Avenue. We would love to have you join us this Sunday morning for Sunday School at 9:45 AM and Worship at 10:45 AM. Check out past sermons on the web at www.chickashacrossroads.com, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. You can also email email@example.com.