Funny, then, that I should read this morning in Habakkuk what the prophet was doing when the Babylonian invaders were on their way. Knowing that Judah was about to be overrun by the enemy, he stationed himself on the rampart, stood at the guard post, and....screamed?
Well, not exactly. Habbakuk declares:
I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.
(Hab. 2:1 NASB)
I am struck by the humility here! God has told Habbakuk that his nation is about to be invaded, destroyed, and its inhabitants taken captive. And yet here we see this great prophet silent and still, waiting to see what God will say. And even more striking is that he is considering how he'll respond when he is reproved. He understands that he is not guiltless, that he is one member of a sinful nation who bears corporate responsibility for its rebellion against the living God.
We don't have the "advantage" that Habakkuk had of knowing what God was about to do. (I'm not sure I would want to know.) Until we know that God is ready to punish our nation with the invasion of the enemy, we must work, we must warn, we must resist the invasion with every weapon we possess.
But we must also learn from Habakkuk: let us acknowledge our guilt and consider that we have little with which to respond when we are reproved. We as a nation and I as an individual are without excuse when we consider that we have squandered the priceless gift of freedom by our laziness, our selfishness, and our greed.
Yes, let's shout from the towers and warn that the time is short before some of the evils here are locked in place for generations by the power we've given our courts. But let us not forget that it is also a time for self-examination and repentance. Let's "keep watch to see what He will speak to me."