The book of Habakkuk gave us the answer. Habakkuk complained twice and the Lord answered him twice. He complained initially on why God had allowed sin to be so rampant in Judah and did not act. Later when God answered him that he would judge very soon and he complained again on why God would send the Chaldeans, a god-less people who was the epitome of all who opposed Him, to deliver the judgment of Judah. God answered again that He would also judge the Chaldeans.
Despite all these judgments, God assured Habakkuk that the just would be justified and preserved by faith; and that He will be in complete control.
When Habakkuk caught a glimpse of God’s holiness, his subsequent godly responses gave us a paradigm on how believers should respond when bad things happen to them.
An article by Irv Busenitz summarized the response well.
- Relate the matter to God.
- Recognize our own weakness.
- Review the greatness of God.
- Reaffirm our faith in God.
- Rest in the strength of God.
Habakkuk’s prayer in Hab 3 is the most appropriate response towards calamitous judgment such as the current pandemic. One striking part of the prayer is that Habakkuk would still rejoice even if severe famine hit.
“I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy… PESTILENCE marches before him; PLAGUE follows close behind. When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One!.. You marched across the land in anger and trampled the nations in your fury. You went out to rescue your chosen people, to save your anointed ones. You crushed the heads of the wicked and stripped their bones from head to toe. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”