Chances are, if you have attended church recently, the pastor probably didn’t tell you to turn to Nahum chapter 1. And yes, there is a book of Nahum (you don’t have to Google it).
I’m guessing ole’ preacher man didn’t tell you to thumb through to land on the pages of Habakkuk either. And why not? Both books are in the Bible. The pastor is like a shepherd; guiding us through these ancient documents compiled together…right?
Why is it that pastors tend to stay within the bounds of Paul, the Gospels, David, and Solomon?
Well, for starters, Jesus is more fun to talk about. Often times, the Old Testament can become cumbersome and confusing to new Christians.
But here I am; I am not a pastor, and I’ve decided to start a series on Obscure Books of the Bible (you down with OBB, yeah you know me!..omg. Teenage Bekah just did a face palm).
Let me make a few contentions before I dive into Habbakuk:
1. I am not a Biblical scholar.
2. I am only marginally intelligent. If that. Some days I am lucky to be competent.
3. My theology is scattered, but solid (if that makes any sense whatsoever).
4. I freakin’ love the Old Testament. There is something really comforting about knowing God uses the most unworthy vessels to be a part of his plan.
Having admitted my shortcomings, I am going to attempt to wade through these ancient words preserved for our study.
Here’s what I love about Habakuk: according to bible.org, his name means to “embrace or wrestle.” As in, wrestle with God. You know how little boys settle issues with each other? They wrestle. They fight. When it’s over, it is over. The two resume their friendship without even a whisper of awkward tension in the room.
I never understood this dynamic as a little girl, but as a young woman, I began to envy this little-boy-punch-and-hug-problem-solved strategy. I knew that punching my roommate in the face was out of the question, and yet we often lived in awkward tension because I was too hesitant to tackle an issue head on. I digress. (By the way, that is simply a metaphor…not anything I actually thought about doing).
Similarly, I was often too scared to wrestle with God. I worried that if I seriously sat and questioned God’s motives, I wouldn’t like the answer, or worse, God would smite me for questioning his purpose in my life and the lives of others. I lived in a way that avoided intimacy with God; I was careful to say I believed in God (and I did), but was unwilling to put in the work to build trust in the God I believed in. I could’ve cut that tension with a knife and had it for lunch, but I was complacent with the fact that I would never see the way God saw. I would put my blinders on and live my life the way I wanted to live it. I went hungry as I didn’t realize I could never have a satisfying relationship with the God of the universe if I let our relationship become authentic.
That was until I had nothing left. The only thing I could do was wrestle.