Hope in the midst of political turmoil

By Andrew McDonald - Posted at The Protestant Standard:

In the book of Habakkuk the prophet wrestles with the great question of 'Why?' when considering the things are happening, and are to happen in his land. In personal anguish he first cries to the Lord over the idolatry of the people around him, burdened by the wickedness which he sees, and his sense of how the wicked seem to prevail over the righteous. When the Lord reveals to him his intention to use the Chaldeans as the means of judgement Habakkuk is equally perplexed; why does God permit such a wicked people to overcome God's people and to devour 'the man that is more righteous than he'. Habakkuk's concerns at the prophecy of the Chaldeans' advance are not unfounded, for the events which the Lord revealed to him are such as will bring untold political turmoil to the land of Judah, to the extent that the whole country will be annexed by the Babylonians and the great city of Jerusalem razed to the ground.

These same concerns can be shared by many of God's people in our own day when political upheavals occur in the land. Regardless of our political views there are few of God's people who cannot look around them and see an increasing rejection of God and his law. Like Habakkuk our cry is 'how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save'. Yet political anxieties can also be tied in with the spiritual concerns which we have; no doubt Habakkuk feared for the very future of the people of Israel, that they would be subsumed into the Babylonian kingdom which did 'not spare continually to slay the nations', and would exist no more. When political events seem to turn against us, and our very political and national identity seems in peril, where do we find our hope?