Does Alexa answer all your questions? Does Google find everything you’re looking for? Have you found all the answers you’re looking for? Are you someone who believes that there will be a time when human beings will understand everything there is to know? How does not knowing all the answers sit with you? When people say, “Oh, just Google it?” That never seems to work for me. More often than not, I don’t get the answer(s) I’m looking for or need. But I’ve got used to that. I must be doing it wrong! But it is very frustrating.
One of the things I love about the different books of the Bible is they very often don’t give simple answers to issues they are discussing and dealing with.
Habakkuk, in our first reading today, wants answers from God! He wants God to do something about all the violence, conflict and social injustice that he’s witnessing. The army invades a conquered people. Habakkuk is blunt with God: “How can a righteous God do nothing about wrongdoing, treachery, and wickedness?” God’s answer is brief and quite cryptic. He just says keep going, keep persevering and your waiting will not be in vain (v.3). And the reading ends with the line: “The upright person shall live by their faithfulness.” Divine reassurance (2:4). God assures him that life is possible in the meantime and that they should live by ‘faithfulness’. Faith needs faithfulness. God’s answer to Habakkuk doesn’t offer any explanation for the success of the violence in a world supposedly ruled by a just God. He just puts the responsibility on the shoulders of the righteous, to live by their faithfulness.
It’s a tall order in the face of so much violence and injustice. Not much has changed. But it shows us just how in tune and connected the issues that prophets and other books in the Bible are with the world of today, not just two, three thousand years ago.
Let us pray for such faith and faithfulness.