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? Habakkuk 1:2-3
Psalmists weren’t the only ones who could lament. Old Testament prophets did a fair amount of crying out to God as well. Habakkuk asked God question after question. The prophet was allowed to complain, to vent, and to press God on His seeming lack of action.
Habakkuk had a reason to lament. Everywhere he looked, he saw injustice, evil and tragedy. His own people were in rebellion against God, ignoring the warnings of coming judgment. The prophet foresaw the terrors of being exiled in the intensely evil nation of Babylon.
Still, Habakkuk held to the literary form of lament. He made the turn.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
What complaint would you make to the Lord? What difficult situation or frustrating circumstance would you bring before God? Perhaps some practice in the art of lamenting is in order. Bring those questions and those complaints to God in prayer. But complete your lament by pushing through and making a statement of faith like Habakkuk did.