Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
More so decades ago than is the case today, country clubs were de facto men’s clubs where gambling, drinking, and womanizing were prevalent. Some would even say “GOLF” stood for “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.” Needless to say, the Tuesday night “Women’s League” was not in existence. The country club was a place where “men could do men things”, i.e. drink, smoke, and gamble, without the judgment of a spouse or children. Habakkuk was a prophet with a burden and was greatly distressed by the open strife, contention, violent, and sinful behavior of men during his day. He had such a burden, he cried out to God asking “why do I have to be such a witness to these open and public actions of the wicked?” God has three main purposes in allowing the believer live among and around the sinful actions of others. First, it allows us to confirm the doctrine of grace. We see the impact of sin in the lives of others. Those who engage in these sinful behaviors invariably lose their spouse, families and/or careers because of their sinful behavior. The losses are inevitable. Sooner or later, the actions of the wicked are brought to light and judgment is begun. We see what we might have been, but for the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The second reason for us to be among inequity is to further teach us to admire His sovereignty. When we see the wickedness of society, it leads us to ask ourselves “Why are we different that we don’t cleave to these sinful vices?” The Holy Spirit confirms to us, it is grace – that saving, amazing grace. But for the leading and guiding Spirit dwelling within us, our lustful flesh would also succumb to these desires. The third reason God allows us to dwell and live among sin is for us to have an increased desire to be a faithful witness for Christ that they may see His saving grace by our steps. We should have that earnest desire to reflect the righteousness of Christ and bear witness to those living in sin. We should have that burden for the lost who are living an outward life of sin. The desire is not to be judgmental of their actions, but to show them love and convey the gospel to them that they too may come to a saving knowledge before loss comes to their life and household. Let us be thankful for our salvation and not take our relationship for granted.