July 7 | Bible in a Year: Job 34-35; Acts 15:1-21
Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
READ HABAKKUK 2:1–3
Just outside my kitchen window, a robin built her nest under the eaves of our patio roof. I loved watching her tuck grasses into a safe spot and then hunker down to incubate the eggs. Each morning I checked her progress; but each morning, there was nothing. Robin eggs take two weeks to hatch.
Such impatience isn’t new for me. I’ve always strained against the work of waiting, especially in prayer. My husband and I waited nearly five years to adopt our first child. Decades ago, author Catherine Marshall wrote, “Prayers, like eggs, don’t hatch as soon as we lay them.”
The prophet Habakkuk wrestled with waiting in prayer. Frustrated at God’s silence with Babylon’s brutal mistreatment of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Habakkuk commits to “stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts,” to “look to see what he will say to me” (Habakkuk 2:1). God replies that Habakkuk is to wait for the “appointed time” (v. 3) and directs Habakkuk to “write down the revelation” so the word can be spread as soon as it’s given (v. 2).
What God doesn’t mention is that the “appointed time” when Babylon falls is six decades away, creating a long gap between promise and fulfillment. Like eggs, prayers often don’t hatch immediately but rather incubate in God’s overarching purposes for our world and our lives.
By Elisa Morgan
REFLECT & PRAY
Dear God, help me to trust You to work while I’m waiting. To learn more about the prophet Habakkuk, visit Jonah-Habakkuk: The God of Israel and the God of the Nations.
How difficult do you find it to wait while God works? While you wait, how can you obey God in what He has already given you to do?
We know very little about the prophet Habakkuk. Some have speculated he was the son of the Shunammite woman who Elisha raised from the dead (2 Kings 4:8-37). As to his prophecy, the only historical element we have is the reference to the Babylonians (or Chaldeans, see Habakkuk 1:6). Habakkuk’s prophecy is normally dated around the seventh century BC. The New Bible Commentary says that the purpose of the book “deals with the moral problem of God’s raising up of the Chaldeans to inflict his judgment upon Judah.” Perhaps the key feature of Habakkuk is found in 2:4: “but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.” This statement is quoted in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38, making it a core New Testament value, although it was first expressed in the minor prophets of the Old Testament. Bill Crowder