Habakkuk is included in the lectionary only here, today. The book has three chapters, but, as with all of the books that remain in our canon, it is important, and we can learn a great deal about God’s desire toward us. What makes Habakkuk stand out as a prophet is the conveyance of the prophecy:
Instead of declaring the catastrophe that will occur if the people do not make things right among them and between the people and God, Habakkuk converses with God, laments the injustices all around him. That the corrupt and selfish seem to prosper while the kind and generous are exploited.
And God seems to just be watching.
And God replies.
It is a conversation.
God speaks to Habakkuk of God’s promises, God’s love and will for all to be made right. And this is where Habakkuk almost resembles the Palmists who lift up their grief and confusion to God, and in the same breath praise God for all the beauty and joy in experiencing God’s presence in faith. But in the case of this prophet, God responds, and declares, reiterates the promises – and for the people in exile, the promise that the Babylonian captivity will come to an end – even in this time.
And I love how Vinita Wright puts it,
“Everything in God’s universe is present-tense. Divine love transcends time and place.”Vinita Wight