We see most clearly that Habakkuk complains to the God most high in two different sections in chapter 1. His first complaint centers around the evil he sees in the world. All iniquity, pain and sorrow. He asks why? And how long? His Lord answers him that He is a just God, raising forth the Chaldeans to bring justice to the slothful of Israel. Habakkuk then responds in a different tone, accepting the Lord’s ordained judgment, but still wonders how long God must “mercilessly kill [the] nations forever?”
Habakkuk then speaks these words in midst of his complaints:
“I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint” (2:1)
In the midst of all of Habakkuk’s groans and complaints toward his God, he finds the strength to pull back and wait attentively for the Lord’s answer. At the end of the complaint Habakkuk in turn responds not my will be done, but “thy will be done.” This tower and watch post are not literal, but a metaphor that separates Habakkuk from his own worldly wisdom, his innate reason if you will. The tower is in fact the place where Habakkuk pulls back from his own reason, and relies solely on the Lord’s guidance. Is not a watch post or tower a place above all else? A place where one can look out from a profoundly different angle and see things in a new light? When one hikes from the lowest of valley’s to the highest of mountains, does not his view of the landscape and world change? He goes from thick forests that block his vision to a peak where limitless view encompasses him on all sides and the forest in which he was once in becomes but a green blanket on the footstool of the mountain.
Habakkuk acknowledges by “station[ing] himself on the tower” he is acknowledging that his ways are not God’s ways, that God is doing a work in his days that he “would not believe if told.” So he removes himself from the wisdom of the world, from his reason that is so utterly fallen and captive to satan’s fleeting enticements, and sets himself on high, seeking truth from his Lord and God, seeing that his reason may not be his own, but that it may be that of the “everlasting…[his] Holy One.” Where is this reason of God’s found? Why in his scripture, his written Word that Habakkuk would have possessed.
For it is when we seek God’s truth and God’s reason that we see clearly and the veil of fog from our miry nature is lifted. Is not Christ the Word of God from which this blanket of iniquity is raised from us and torn asunder? Indeed the cloth in the Holy of Holies was torn in two with what Christ accomplished upon the cross. Christ is our Word, our truth bringer. The Lord’s scripture is testament to the work of His hands, both to the bringing of His son in glory and to the life we are called to live in the wake of his death and resurrection. Our wisdom is not our own, nor should it be. If we are son’s and daughters of the Lord most high, we must fixate ourselves upon his holy writ with which all confidence and wisdom derive. Set your eyes upon the words our Lord has uttered and ordained for us to hear! We must recess to our tower and seek the Lord’s wisdom over our own fallen minds. For we can will only evil and sloth apart from our Lord. Let us take our stand at our watch post and see this world from the eyes that God has commanded us to look upon it with, eyes of truth.
(ORIGINALLY POSTED: June 11th, 2008)