Why Are You Silent?

Read: Habakkuk 1

Why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent . . . ? (v. 13)

One of the legacies passed down from American slavery is the musical tradition known as spirituals. Spirituals often lamented the conflict between Christianity and slavery. If God was a just liberator, why were the lives of slaves characterized by injustice and suffering? One can imagine slaves echoed words from Psalm 13. “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?” (v. 1). Though they cried out for more than two centuries to what seemed like a quiet God, eventually slavery was abolished.

Habakkuk also cried out to God about injustice. He was not questioning the laws God had established but was wrestling with God’s fairness. He asked why the Chaldeans, a wicked Babylonian nation, were allowed to commit unjust acts against Judah. Though Judah had sinned against God, Habakkuk argued that Judah was still more righteous than the Chaldeans and, therefore, did not deserve this abusive treatment—especially with no deliverance on the horizon. Regardless, Habakkuk resolved to trust that God was working to deliver his people even while silent.

God’s silence does not mean complicity. As difficult as it is to repeatedly witness unjust acts inflicted on others or ourselves, we can find solace in knowing that God hears our righteous cries and saves us from trouble (Ps. 34:17-18). We must continue holding fast to what we know is true. God is just, and he will right all wrongs in the end. —Ericka Loynes

As you pray, don’t be afraid to cry out to God. He hears you.

About the Author

Ericka Loynes is a senior instructional designer and facilitator. She enjoys encouraging others through career coaching, motivational speaking, and inspirational writing. Born and raised in Chicago, Ericka currently lives in Memphis with her husband, Duane, and teenage son, DJ.