Six Hundred Years or Yesterday?Six hundred years before Christ a man walked up and down the streets of his towns and from one farming area to another, marvelling at the criminals and their victims. The rich were getting richer by grinding the bones of the poor and the law of the land might as well have been written on the wind for all the good it did. It was read publicly and it was recorded in prominent places but what difference did it make? "And what does the law say about all this oppression and crookedness?" he would ask the leaders he came across. They knew what the law said of course but they were in the pay and/or under the thumb of the powerful in the land. Meanwhile the widows wept, the dazed orphans wondered, the fathers worked what used to be their own property and got miserly wages and they all went hungry while crooks stuffed themselves and their kids went to the best universities.
The man reached a limit and turned on the only one who had sworn to truly listen. "Why do you make me watch this day in and day out? It's your law! But what good is it? They read the words and spit. Loan sharks and crooked judges are eating your people alive. Never mind my watching it, how can you watch it? They despise you and they despise your law but you can take care of yourself and the law doesn't feel anything. It's these people whose bones are ground to dust--they feel it all and they're your people. Do you have any plans to do something about it?"
Habakkuk was speaking for his own people in his own day but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know he could be living around your corner or down my street. Was all this happening six hundred years ago or was it only yesterday we saw the same thing happening? It might even have been this morning when you saw the news that somewhere in the back of your mind you heard a Judean prophet curse the evil of the land and turn once more to heaven and spread out his hands in bewilderment.