Habakkuk 2:1: Watch and See What He Will Sayby Mamdouh Riad on April 7, 2020
Habakkuk 2:1: Watch and See What He Will Say
By Mamdouh Riad
If we were living in Jerusalem at the time of Isaiah 37, when King Sennacherib’s army was surrounding it, the Word of the Lord for us at that time would have been that this was an attack from the enemy and that the Lord was going to deliver us from it. Our proper response then would have been to believe the Word of the Lord, rise up in faith, and wait for His deliverance.
However, if we were living in Jerusalem later, at the time of Jeremiah 25, when King Nebuchadnezzar’s army was surrounding it, the Word of the Lord for us then would be very different; not that this was an attack from the enemy, but this time it was chastisement from the Lord for Israel’s compromise. Our proper response back then would not be to just simply rise up in faith, but to heed the Word of the Lord through Jeremiah and repent, so the Lord would deliver us from that crisis.
It would not be enough or wise for us then, if we were living in Jeremiah's time, to quote Isaiah 37 from a few years earlier, misinterpreting what God what saying to us at the time. We would need to hear the Word of the Lord for us for that time, and understand God's dealings with us for that particular season.
Similarly, if we were living in Jerusalem at the time of Joel 2, it would not be the right response to that crisis to quote and pray the prayer of Jabez (1 Chron 4). The response that the Lord would require of us at that time, would be to hold a Solemn assembly and turn to Him in repentance, fasting and prayer. (Joel 2)
To not inquire of the Lord or seek to understand what He is saying to us through the current unprecedented global crisis, would be like a patient experiencing serious symptoms that he/she has never experienced before, but instead of going to the doctor to seek a diagnosis in order to pursue the right treatment, the patient just believes that he/she will be just fine. Those type of patients often suffer serious consequences and pay a high price for not responding appropriately to their symptoms.
Furthermore, when God was trying to say something to Pharaoh, He didn’t get his attention the first time. As Pharaoh responded in pride and hardened his heart, the Lord had to increase the intensity of His dealings with him, to get his attention.
In this crisis, the Lord is saying something to the world and something to His Church. If the World responded like Pharaoh, let us as His people respond with humility, crying out with Samuel, “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.”