"O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?"
The prophet laments that he sees destruction and violence all around him. The law is not protecting the righteous from the wicked. And he wants to know why the Lord isn't fixing things right now.
We continue to see injustice. We turn to God both because we think that God would not approve of anyone causing injustice and because we think that God has the power and the willingness to change the situation.
So, we have this reading from Habakkuk that gives us permission to complain, to cry out, and to question God, that gives us words that were said long ago for a specific situation but fit our own specific troubles in our lives.
Habakkuk was willing to wait for an answer and did receive one. The Lord told him to tell others that they, too, would have a vision, but that they too should be prepared to wait.
Good news or hard message? The proud do not see the need for God's help. The righteous, however, live their lives faithfully.
The lectionary this week chooses a portion of Psalm 119 as a respond to the reading from Habukkuk. It assumes that we religious people are going to have a reason to complain, "Trouble and anguish have come upon me." But, the main thrust is our trust that the Lord is in charge and will make things right for us. And, because we believe this, we will act the way the Lord intended for us to act, "Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth."