I have a business coach. Part of her job is to hold me accountable to my goals. Often that means making sure that I do something that I do not want to do. Her method is an interesting one. She will ask me to send her a check for $1,000 made out to my competitor. Now, if I perform, she will tear it up and we move on. If, however, I fail to do what I said I would do, she will mail it. Clever strategy, huh? We see a similar use of accountability today in Habakkuk 1.
Let’s start with verses 1-5, it’s a familiar story. The Israelites are acting up, again. The prophet, Habakkuk, lists several things in his lament to God. He complains of violence, evil deeds and misery everywhere. He is exhausted by people that love to argue and fight. It’s so bad and there are so many wicked people, he continues, that justice no longer exists. What, he laments, will you do about it God?
This is the ironic part. God answers Habakkuk’s prayer, just not in the way he expected. Instead, God says don’t worry, I’m on it. Then he proceeds to tell Habakkuk about how he will have Israel destroyed by the Babylonians, their worst enemy.
Habakkuk is stunned. How could God use such a horrible people to do his work?
His argument makes sense to me. But so does God’s. I mean, do we really expect God to look away forever? When I think of how many promises, I have made to him – and broke – I get it. At some point, there must be accountability, and beware, God is willing to use whatever means necessary to get it.