Habakkuk is not the first person to challenge the Lord’s actions – or His plans. Abraham objected to such a lengthy wait for a child. Job objected to his suffering and blamed God. David and Jeremiah object a lot to God’s treatment of them. And of course Habakkuk objects to Israel’s punishment.
God doesn’t seem to mind the objections. They’re certainly not going to change His plan. God seldom objects to the complaints. But He does want the complainers to remember who they are talking to, and that is the purpose of chapter two.
Habakkuk, properly rebuked, spends chapter 3 of his book in prayer. He reviews God’s power, but also God’s faithfulness to his people. Habakkuk understands Judah must be punished for her sins. He knows the punishment will be inevitable. No matter who does it, however, God will not desert his people, and in that, Habakkuk can find hope. “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
God has no problem with His people questioning Him, or even disagreeing with Him. But he insists, that at the end of the day, His people trust Him. He is God. We are not God. Those who stand “right” in the sight of God are those who, in the end, trust God and demonstrate it with the life they live. Being “right” with God is supremely a matter of trusting that Lord, and His way, is right – and acting accordingly.