All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand. Habakkuk 1:9
Habakkak saw the “horde of faces” moving forward as we’d view an approaching enemy in an epic movie in high definition, with images from all angles. Only this wasn’t some kind of big-screen fantasy, but very real. In a matter of time the Chaldeans would swoop down like eagles to devour them, all the while laughing in their faces.
These were people whose God was their strength, who prayed to their nets, and whose justice and authority originated with themselves. Sound familiar?
Habakkuk’s dismay was how God could allow this! But God is a just god, and his people had not “humbled themselves and prayed, sought his face, and turned from their wicked ways.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 and others) Many a preacher has incorrectly used these words to lecture the complacent Church. But it was his chosen people Israel, with whom this covenant was cut, who did not keep their side of the bargain. Justice was due, and he chose to use a people who were astonishingly pale in comparison to all past enemies (Egyptians, for example).
What can a Christian gain from all this? On a grand scale, what we know from prophecy (e.g. from Daniel, from the words of Jesus, and from Revelation), and witness in this age, we can envision the denouement, The Grand Finale, on the horizon.
As menacingly evil as the thundering hordes were in Habakkuk’s eyes, even more so will be the opposing armies in the Last Days.
For me, I’m glad my God is not my waning strength, or tattered net, or rickety chariot. And he’s shared the most tantalizing of all spoiler alerts: I don’t die in the end!