“I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected.”
Even for those who have committed themselves and their ways to the Lord, life can be tricky. We face difficulties that create confusion in our lives, and even darken our view of God. Hymn writer Edward Mote wrote of times when darkness veils God’s lovely face. Habakkuk was experiencing one of those times. The conditions of life were causing him confusion, and he did not know how to reconcile what he was experiencing, with what he knew to be true of God. He writes this book to explain what he did in his trying times and what he learned from the Lord.
First, let’s notice how Habakkuk responded when life confused him. We read, he set himself in rampart to watch. This is a reference to the job of a watchman. In ancient times, cities were protected by high walls and guarded night and day by watchmen. Their job was to keep their eyes focused on the horizon for anyone who might be a threat to the well- being of the city. Habakkuk declared, he would set watch spiritually, and wait for instruction from the Lord. He expected to hear from God and to be corrected by Him. Learning to wait on the Lord is an important part of our relationship with God. We must understand that He wants to instruct us, but also wants to use the time to teach us to trust and listen. Waiting on the Lord is not a passive activity, but should include prayer, reading the Word, receiving counsel from godly friends, and keeping our eyes open for ways to be used by the Lord.
Second, notice that God answered Habakkuk. He instructed the prophet to write down the message he was about to receive. This message was not for the prophet alone, but for every generation that would follow him. His message was both simple and profound. God explained that in the midst of confusion, the just must live by faith.
There are two theologically-filled words in God’s statement. The word ‘just’ refers to the person who has had their sins forgiven and is a relationship with God. This happens today, when we trust Christ as our Savior and Lord. The second is the word ‘faith’. This word means to trust. Habakkuk is being told, the solution to his confusion will be found in trusting in the person, promises, and ways of God.
Whatever you might be facing, keep in mind, God is forever faithful. He may allow things into our lives we would never choose for ourselves, not because of a lack of love for us, but as an expression of His unending love. One day, our trying time will come to an end. Until then, let’s sets ourselves in ramparts and wait upon the Lord.