(May 3) Does God's Timing Seem Slow?
Habakkuk was a prophet living about six centuries before the birth of Christ. He despaired as he encountered the continual sin of his people and he wondered why the Lord did not intervene. When he asked God what He was doing (or, in Habakkuk's mind, NOT doing), the Lord responded by saying He was, in fact, active in the situation. Habakkuk was just not able to see all of the plan.
As God unveiled His plans -- which included raising up the wicked Chaldeans to bring judgment against Habakkuk's nation -- the prophet protested. God's ways just did not make sense to him. Ever been there?
After Habakkuk details his thoughts, the Lord again responded. He told Habakkuk to wait for the fulfillment of all God had promised to do. He told him to write it on tablets, meaning, this is a guarantee!
All of this brings us to Habakkuk 2:3 which says, "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." The Hebrew language uses a double verb saying, "Coming, it will come." In other words, what God has said, God will do!
The work God was doing was going to happen; it just wasn't going to be fulfilled...yet. It was going to happen in its appointed time. The word of the Lord was that all He had guaranteed to do would indeed come to fruition, but it will seem slow to the prophet. God will do it, in His timing, and it will not delay -- it will just feel that way to Habakkuk.
This is where we often find ourselves living. We trust in the promises and character of God, yet God's answers often seem slow to us. The timetable of the Lord appears to lag a bit behind our wants and desires. We would do well to remember the words spoken to Habakkuk that God is always on time and if His work seems slow, we can rest assured that it is not delayed.
Habakkuk did not understand why God wasn't doing more to punish sin. Then he could not fathom why God was going to do what He said He would. Then, he was unable to grasp why the coming judgment was delayed. Habakkuk had many questions, and before we are too critical of the prophet, we can learn from his example to take our doubts and fears to the Lord. Maybe Habakkuk didn't handle everything the best way, but he did cling to God through prayer.
So, we too must learn to trust not only the Lord's provision but also His timing. You may wish the Lord would move sooner, heal more quickly, bring the resolution expediently. But, you can trust that God is at work. And though His timing may seem slow to you, His deliverance is right on time. We wait, we trust, we hope, and we pray. As we do those things, we continue to walk in obedience because, as Habakkuk 2:4 teaches, the righteous will live by faith. Keep walking in faith!
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