Frustrated and fearful, a man named Habakkuk brought his burdens to God in faith. Culture was against him, but he knew that giving in to sin wouldn’t pay off in the end. God tells Habakkuk in Habakkuk 2:2–5 (ESV),
And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
God reminds us that there is culture on earth that we do see, and a Kingdom in His presence that we do not yet see. Cultures upon the earth are marked by addiction, pride, anxiety, and greed. All cultures have an expiration date when they will come to an end. The Kingdom of King Jesus, however, will never come to an end. As we await the coming of our King and His Kingdom, opening God’s Word to get a vision of the great victory that God’s people will share in forever gives us hope to continue trusting the Lord and living for His Kingdom because Team Jesus wins in the end!
In Habakkuk 2:6–20, we are told of five woes that are promised for those who rebel against King Jesus and His Kingdom. We are told that the cultures of the earth are marked by the gathering of riches through stealing, obtaining safety by neglecting and abusing others, expanding empires through violence and crime, enjoying sexuality through getting people drunk and abusing them, and living to worship things that are made (e.g., possessions, prosperity, pleasure) rather than the Maker of all things.
One day, King Jesus is returning to establish His Kingdom. To help us grow in faith until we see Him, He taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” in Matthew 6:9–10 (ESV). We who are citizens of Jesus’ Kingdom should remain loyal to our King while we are advancing through enemy territory in culture amidst a great war for souls, including our own. Until that day comes, Habakkuk 2:20 (ESV) tells us that “the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Practically speaking, until Jesus leaves His heavenly home and returns, there is not much for us to say as He will ultimately get the last word.
What part of culture do you find most frustrating? What part of culture do you find most tempting?