Prophet Habakkuk presented a graphic portrayal of the sick and decadent society of his time. The crime rate was steadily increasing. Physical violence was rampant. Strife and contention were spreading like wild fire. The law was either being misapplied or not enforced at all. Nobody, not even God’s people, were concerned about the state of affairs. As Habakkuk looked around, he was concerned about the unchecked power of evil. Wickedness, oppression and injustice were spiralling out of control, as exploitation was left unchecked. The reality of his community caused him to question the law makers who permitted such evil to go unpunished.
At any given time in history, whenever lawmakers have preferred to focus on power and perks instead of serving the common good of humanity, the results have been disastrous. They have inevitably drowned the voice of conscience, and are blinded by self-interest. Such lawmakers worship their own power and strength, rather than promote neighbourly mutuality and respect. Today, abuse is rampant in society, proceeding from a pattern of coercive control through action or inaction. Such actions stem from a mentality of entitlement to power, whereby, through intimidation, manipulation and isolation, the abuser keeps his target subordinated and under control. The mentality of entitlement defines the very essence of the abuser. Abusers believe that they are justified in using evil tactics to obtain and maintain power and control.
Habakkuk affirmed God is holy and just, and never indifferent to sin. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (1:13). God will eventually punish the wicked and has in fact fixed an appointed time in history for revealing his justice and judgement on evil. There is no room for abuse under God’s reign.