In its day, “The Music Man” musical was a broadway hit, winning many awards. From that musical we received the song “Ya Got Trouble”. The song showcases “Professor” and con man Harold Hill, who convinces the citizens of this small town the new recreation of pool will lead to nothing but degradation and immorality of the youth of the town. He thus cons them to allow him to teach them to play an instrument and form a marching band. His diabolical plan all along is only to bilk them of their money, then disappear. This whimsical look at a simpler time is pure lighthearted merriment. However, there is a strain of truth that seeps in to the current of our own day. Whether years or centuries past, we are tied to these same ills that plague our society as well. Truly, corruption, injustice and violence are with us permanently. They are the results of our old sin nature. That nature is pervasive, universal.
I’ve read and re-read the OT book of Habbakuk recently. There is an interesting parallel of the prophet’s day to our day, as I see it. The prophet was troubled by the same issues we face…injustice, violence and evil seemingly swallowing up righteousness. After Habbakuk complains twice, he then resolves to take his post of normal responsibility in daily life and wait for God’s response to his questions. “I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.” 2:1
Here are some observations I want to make, pointing us to applications for ourselves. There is a readiness in his waiting. He says, he will, from his post, “look out to see what he (God) will say to me.” What is not told us is how long he would wait to hear. That is usually my first question. Implicit in his resolve is a commitment to wait…(now here’s the hard part),… without end…if God should so choose. He is poised to respond to whatever God says, whenever he says it.
This is “active waiting!” It’s acceptance of God’s will and his will to be done. From the outset of his prayer and plea to God for answers, he is committed to wait to hear what God will say. This is anticipation and faith,But it’ not blind faith, It’s faith based in the nature and character of God. It shows us ultimate trust and confidence in the nature and purpose of God for our lives and for others as well. His decision to trust God is a reflection on his own character and level of maturity. It’s a willingness to place himself and his good in the hands of a sovereign God. He assumes the righteous God will balance the scales of justice and violence. His final prayer reveals this. …”I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.” 3:16
In the end he affirms his willingness to accept whatever God does because he is a good, benevolent and righteous God. He accepts the worst case scenario – should that be – as God’s sovereign will. God is his strength even making him run with the swiftness and dexterity of a deer. “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stall, yet I will rejoice in the Lord: I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength: he makes my feet like deer’s; he makes me tread on high places.” 3:17-19
There must be activity in the waiting process. I see it like a man in the ocean treading water, bobbing up and down, constantly moving his feet to stay afloat, yet never moving, accept by what movement happens because of the current. His waiting cannot be passive or he would drown.
What’s the lesson for us? Wait actively. Trusting God for the outcome and willingness to accept whatever that will be. Maybe I should also say, and whenever that might be!
Glenn, this is so excellent. We are in that “active waiting” mode. Thanks for your sensitivity in hearing a timely word from the Lord and sharing it.