Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Habakkuk 2:5-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Moreover, wealth is treacherous;
the arrogant do not endure.
They open their throats wide as Sheol;
like Death they never have enough.
They gather all nations for themselves,
and collect all peoples as their own.
Shall not everyone taunt such people and, with mocking riddles, say about them,
“Alas for you who heap up what is not your own!”
How long will you load yourselves with goods taken in pledge?
Will not your own creditors suddenly rise,
and those who make you tremble wake up?
Then you will be booty for them.
Because you have plundered many nations,
all that survive of the peoples shall plunder you—
because of human bloodshed, and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who live in them.
“Alas for you who get evil gain for your house,
setting your nest on high
to be safe from the reach of harm!”
You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
The very stones will cry out from the wall,
and the plaster will respond from the woodwork.
I thought I might try to meditate on Habakkuk because it is not read or quoted from very much. Having read it—it’s only a few pages—I can certainly see why it isn’t. It seems to be made up of only about four words—sin, wickedness, destruction and violence. This passage talks about people living beyond their means—credit card debt—and your house telling you how shameful you are—the stones and the woodwork even tell you so.
In my mind, it feels like Habakkuk has risen from the dead and taken a snapshot of our world today. Everyday in the news is a story of someone being arrested for their corruption fed by their greed. They want to collect whatever it is—the most land, the most power, the most firearms, the most money, and the most of whatever means that they are the best.
God through Habakkuk doesn’t really say credit card debt is wrong. God says that the race for having the most stuff without counting the cost will be taunted by others and have their creditors forever knocking at their doors. You are as good as owned by them.
In the same way, using those goods for ill-gotten gain will leave you with a regret that it even feels like the house is taunting you.
It’s clear that living the life Habakkuk talks about will come back to haunt you. Maybe not today, but as we also see in the news, those living lives of corruption and greed very often find themselves in prison without those things and perhaps asking themselves what went wrong.
The good news in all of this is that God says that the righteous live by their faithfulness and this makes all the difference in the world.
O Lord hear our prayer to always live by our faith in you knowing that doing is living in the right way. We pray for those who are paying for their corruption and their families. May they see Christ as your example of how we should live. And give us the courage to confront those who have not yet strayed and encourage their righteousness. Amen.
Go with God!