Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—guilty people, whose own strength is their god. (Hab. 1:11)
Usain Bolt is considered the greatest sprinter of all time. He holds records in several competitions, including the Olympic Games. During his active years, the headlines would often read something like, “Usain Bolt goes like the wind!” A tribute on his Facebook page reads, “Run like the wind, run like Bolt.” Like the wind? Very quickly.
In the first two chapters of his eponymous book, Habakkuk the prophet complained about the violence, injustice, and wrongdoing in Judah. He even vehemently reprimanded God for his seeming indolence in the presence of so much destruction, strife, and wickedness (1:2–4). In the first oracle, God’s answer revealed his plan to discipline Judah through the Babylonians (v. 6), who usually swept past like the wind. The wind is negatively symbolic of devastation, temporality, and quickness. As swift as the people were to commit evil and to wade into it, so prompt was God to punish them. And Habakkuk found the answer to God’s prompt reaction to Judah’s sinful attitude: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (v. 13).
“Like the wind,” God will exercise his sound judgment against you when you sin. Even faster than the wind will his complete restoration be when you return back to the holiness track.
Sweep back into the holy life after stumbling.
Handy Calixte is an ordained pastor of L’Église Wesleyenne d’Haïti and likes writing about various biblical topics. He and his wife, Johane, have three children.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.