Terry J. Hallock
Habakkuk 1:2-4; 2:4

At moments of crisis one question often becomes dominant. That question is ''Why?'' and the One of whom it is asked is God. We are now in such a time and we are asking The Lord that question, ''Why?'' Why did He allow such tragedy to occur on Tuesday, September 11, 2001? Why did He permit people whose hearts are filled with hate to cause such death and destruction? Why were innocent men, women and children the victims that day? ''Why, Lord? Why?''

The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk faced such a time and asked such a question. ''How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, 'Violence!' but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted'' (Habakkuk 1:2-4).

Habakkuk shouted that question to God in tears and mourning because his nation was being torn in two. The Israel of David and Solomon was no more. Habakkuk had seen the once proud and powerful people of God literally divided in two. Ten of the founding tribes had separated from the remaining two and formed a new nation in the north whose capital was Samaria. The other two tribes had become the southern nation of Judah whose capital was Jerusalem. Habakkuk had then watched in utter horror as the nation of Assyria had conquered the people of Israel, carrying them off into captivity. To this day there is little knowledge of what happened to those people who made up ten of the original twelve tribes. They simply vanished without a trace.

Then Habakkuk turned his eyes upon Judah, the only remnant remaining of those who had crossed over Jordan into the Promised Land. What did he see? He saw a weak and pitiful nation ruled by a endless series of weak and pitiful kings whose only goal was self-pr ...

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