A Meditation on Disappointment

Wednesday morning I looked at the election results and felt the sorrow of knowing a majority of voting Michiganders chose to legalize the murder of children. As I wrestled with the deep disappointment of unanswered prayers, deranged voters and ruinous wickedness my mind went to the book of Habakkuk. The prophet Habakkuk saw wicked men growing in strength and threatening to overrun the people of God. He cried out to God in his confusion and doubt.

In the wake of Michigan’s choice to legalize the slaughter of unborn children you may feel like Habakkuk. “O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, Violence! And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.” (Hab. 1:1-4) Habakkuk contrasted the holiness of God with the wickedness surrounding him. “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?” (Hab. 1:13)

Habakkuk struggled to reconcile the empowerment of wickedness with the holiness of God. As you consider what the future may hold for the state of Michigan, as you wrestle with the fact that your prayer for righteousness to rule was unanswered consider the character of God. If you feel like Habakkuk did, consider how God answered the doubting prophet.

“But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” (Hab. 2:20) The most important thing to remember is that God still reigns. He is still Sovereign. The earth and all its people are still subject to Him. The governor’s rule is secondary to the rule of God. The will of the people is always subject the will of God. The Supreme Court is subservient to the Judge of the whole earth. Though we cannot identify God’s purposes in allowing Michigan to continue down this path of destruction we can be certain He still rules.

God rules and He declares that He will not fail to judge evil. Not one evil government will ever escape God’s judgment. Not one destructive deed will go unpunished. Though we grieve now to see wickedness run rampant with little to check it’s heedless rush to perdition, we will one day rejoice to see God’s justice and judgment. (Revelation 19:1-6) Habakkuk saw the coming judgment of God and was comforted. “God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise. His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden, before Him went pestilence, And fever followed at His feet. He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.” (Hab. 3:3-6) God’s judgment of the wicked is salvation for His people. “You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled the nations in anger. You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah.” (Hab 3:12-13)

We are deeply disappointed that millions in America stubbornly pursue evil, yet we do not despair. We have a hope that transcends politics. We have a King who is always righteous. We have a God who reigns, who saves, who sustains and who conquers. “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” (Hab. 3:16-19)

While we wait for the return of our King we must live by faith. “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4) We live by faith that trusts God’s holiness, wisdom, goodness and love. We live by faith that lives for the coming of Jesus. We live by faith that remembers this world and all its wickedness is temporary. We live by faith that believes Heaven matters more than Earth and eternity matters more than time.

How do we respond when we are appalled by the selections made in state or federal elections? Pray earnestly for our leaders. Pray for Governor Whitmer, for Lt. Governor Gilchrist, for our justices and for our representatives. Spme may be tempted to pray imprecatory prayers, but we should be cautious in doing so. Instead of praying for the destruction of those who seek to destroy our children, pray for their repentance and submission to God. If we pray for God’s judgment let us pray it will be judgment to spiritual awakening, not judgment to destruction. Remember, our elected officials are eternal beings who will reside forever in heaven or hell. If God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11), neither should we. If God patiently calls the obstinately ungodly to repentance (Ezekiel 33:11), so should we.

Also, remember our elected officials are appointed by God. If He controls the roll of the dice (Proverbs 16:33), the actions of men (Proverbs 16:9), the hearts of kings (Proverbs 21:1) and the establishment of nations (Acts 17:26), then He absolutely controls the voting of Americans. God appointed every one who wields authority. He establishes rulers for His glory and our good. (Romans 13:1-4) Submit to all our leaders with grace and graciousness. Abandon the words of scorn, the insulting nicknames and the semi-profane slogans. Speak with honor of the rulers God has ordained because you believe God really does know what He is doing when He appoints leaders and directs elections.

When you feel like evil is overwhelming the righteous or you begin to doubt the wise rule of God over the world, go read Habakkuk. You will find revealed in it the heart of a man who loves his country and struggles to trust God’s plan for the nations. You will find revealed in it the God who rules all nations with wisdom and goodness.