Confidence in God
Open Your Bible
Habakkuk 3:1-19, Psalm 17:1-15, John 1:14-18, Galatians 3:11
BY Guest Writer
Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 3:1-19, Psalm 17:1-15, John 1:14-18, Galatians 3:11
The Broadway show, Mean Girls, is a spectacle. Hot pink and glitter, blonde hair and high-pitched voices—I saw them everywhere under the stage’s bright spotlight. As the play began, my eyes landed on Regina’s mother (played by Amy Poehler in the movie version). When her “Queen Bee” daughter arrives home with friends, the mother says: “There are no rules in this house! I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom.” Then she winks.
Regina’s mother is a laughing stock. Out all of the kids in the movie, Regina needs a strong parent the most. And in trying to be the “cool” mom, she’s actually no mother at all. Her well-timed wink is proof of her weakness.
I say this because we live in a time that would very much like for God to be a “cool” God. If He is all-forgiving, we suppose He is all-accommodating too. But we don’t have a God who winks at evil. In this passage in Habakkuk, we’re given explosive imagery, like a fresh pair of glasses with which to see God. Take the time to read the passage out loud and really envision the scene.
As I read this chapter, I imagine God standing in the midst of a city, turning His head back and forth, searching for something. He stomps through the earth, on the hunt. His brilliance is like light. Rays are flashing from His hand. Pestilence surrounds His feet. As I read Habakkuk 3 with this image in mind, a picture of God, I wonder, Should I fall in love with Him, or should I be afraid of Him?
I think the author of Habakkuk wants us to feel that tension. Because God is attractive, He draws us to Him. But He is also terrifying. Whether we’re about to be saved or destroyed, the same thing is true: God is worthy of our awe (Habakkuk 3:2). In His presence, our mouths should drop open; He is worthy of our rapt attention.
But what is He doing in this passage? What is He after? Our answer can be found right in the middle of the chapter where the prophet tells us why God is on a rampage: “You come out to save Your people, to save Your anointed” (v.13).
In this book of poetry, I see God as a fierce fighter trampling wickedness, turning His head to the left and right, all in order to find and save me. This is such great news! God is not angry with me; He is angry with evil. God is not on a mission to destroy me; He is on a mission to destroy His enemies. That is why the last few verses of this chapter are so very powerful. Can I write my own version? Can you?
Even if cancer takes the ones I love away
Even if my marriage falters and fails
Even if the house is empty of children forever
Even if my career is cut short
Even if my bank account is nearing zero
Even if all I see is sorrow and pain and destruction—
Even then I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will trust Him.
I will wait quietly for God to do His work, confident in His goodness and His timing.
No, God does not wink at our sin. But He loves His children, and He holds us in His arms, even as His feet stomp out the worst of the evil in this world.
Claire Gibson is a writer whose work has been featured in publications including The Washington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine among many others. An Army kid who grew up at West Point, New York, Claire is currently growing roots in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Patrick, their son, Sam, and their dog, Winnie. Her debut novel, Beyond the Point, will be published next year.