Habakkuk 1:1-7;2:1-4; 3:[3b-6], 17-19
To start with, prophets are generally not sent to places in good times. The times may be bad for the people the prophet is sent to, or the times may be bad from the perspective of the one sending the prophet. In this case, we get the indication that the people are not happy with the situation. It isn’t a protest of what is happening to the speaker, as much as it is what happens around the speaker. God’s response is that God is going to do something, but not what we might like or expect. God is going to bring war, terror, loss, a sea of Babylonians, not something anyone wants to see. Habakkuk then responds to God, and ends up saying that he (the prophet) will stand, watch and wait, to see God’s answer.
After God responds, Habakkuk prays. It isn’t a soft prayer. It’s a hard prayer. It isn’t easy to read. It’s hard. It’s harsh. It’s awesome. It is faithful. Ultimately Habakkuk prays that he will rejoice in God regardless of what else happens, because God is his savior, and he will wait patiently for God to be God and to deliver. Patiently, but not silently. Endurance, and a commitment to faith that says God cares. A prayer from the tough times, for the tough times, and with hope in the One who is over all.
Let this set the stage for our understand of Advent, and how the people of God can be engaged with our God and what our God is doing in the world.