The Habakkuk Year

How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. – Habakkuk 1:2-4

In my “2011 Review” I labeled 2012 my “Haggai year”. This was very much a personal reflection on things I needed to accomplish in 2012 – the trajectory the year needed to take vice 2011 (which was not a great year for me, personally). Haggai is a story of “do it my way”. God asks the Israelites a simple question (I’ll paraphrase): “since you’ve been doing things your way, has it worked out? [no] – why don’t you try things My way and see how it goes.”

When I look forward to 2013 it looks and smells different. If I had to take a shot at labeling the year allegorically with an old testament prophet (and there is absolutely no reason one would have to do such a thing) I’d choose Habakkuk.

It’s a short little book – 3 chapters, 56 verses – and well worth a read (or three). Habakkuk begins with a complaint (again, paraphrasing): “God, things are bad here. The wicked oppress and get away with it. Why are you letting this go on?” By verse five of chapter one God is responding to Habakkuk’s complaint … and not with the response Habakkuk was expecting. His response, in effect: “Oh, don’t worry Habakkuk, I see what’s going on. I’m about to deal with it … I’m about to wreck shop.”

Perhaps Habakkuk was hoping for more of a “scalpel” approach to dealing with the wicked amongst them – but God proposes a “broad sword” in the form of the Babylonians. Habakkuk then makes another complaint about the wicked ensnaring the righteous. In God’s response we find these verses (Hab 2:6-14):

Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?Will not your debtors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their victim.Because you have plundered many nations,  the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed man’s blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them. Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin! You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life. The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it. Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime!Has not the Lord Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

What a beautiful sentiment: some become wealthy by theft and extortion, then the debtors suddenly arise turn the tables; some plundered many nations, but the people who are left turn the tables.

I see a lot of similarities between Hab 2:6-14 and the world today. The central banking cabals have conspired together to siphon of the wealth of the poor and the working class. They’ve maintained a delicate balancing act between theft and keeping the masses subdued – but they’re running out of room to operate. Soon enough they will either have to pony up some losses themselves (not likely) or have the final blood-letting of the current Bretton Woods II system. Soon enough, the debtors will turn the tables, the oppressed will turn the tables.

Beyond that, the world has taken on a love of majority-rule slavery. The majority can impose anything they want on the minority. The majority can vote to confiscate the minority’s wealth and thereby avoid having to work for themselves. The majority can revoke the minority’s freedoms with near impunity – stepping on the rights and freedoms of people created in God’s image.

How long can this go on? How long can people of various political alignments continue to appropriate for themselves the lives of others? When things are going well, when there’s food to eat and televisions to watch, the people will tend to tolerate such things (or, at least, tolerate them in large enough numbers to not produce change). But when there’s a snag things change.

Will 2013 be the year of such change? I don’t know. I honestly am surprised that the system has stumbled along as far as it has. Greece, Spain, Italy, Japan! Sovereign defaults will be massive … someday. (And the resultant currency war will be a thing to behold. I know, we are already in a “currency war” of sorts – but it hasn’t gone nuclear yet.)

Please don’t take any of this as “perma bear” behavior. I am actually quite optimistic about the United States economically speaking – just not this year. Continued energy exploration and discovery, and the Bakken shale formation, imply that the U.S. could be doing quite well a decade from now. But in the short term, everybody has their hand on everybody else’s wallet, and it just can’t work out (here or abroad).

Habakkuk closes with a beautiful sentiment (one that throws most “prosperity gospel” folks into a tizzy):

I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. – Hab 3:16-19

Even if times are tough, I will rejoice in the Lord – I will be joyful in God my Savior. Even if the great unwinding of the fiat currency fraud comes like a Babylonian broad sword, I will rejoice in the Lord. Even if the promises made by the majority to the majority come crashing down (because there’s no money to pay with) – I will rejoice in the Lord.

I’ll try to expound on a number of these points in the near future. For now, take comfort in the fact that the Lord sees it all. He is longsuffering (which is a good thing for us), but injustice doesn’t run on forever.

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