I watched the news with great interest when Japan had its major earthquake sometime back. I remember seeing the tidal waves break through the levies and sweep away everything in their path: cars, houses, buses, trucks, trains, and even huge buildings. It was incredible. Just a few years ago, we had bad floods in eight states. The news reads, “Police were going door to door in search of more possible victims and drawing up lists of the missing in the US north-east on Friday, as the death toll rose to 49 across eight states in the region after the catastrophic flooding set off by the remnants of Hurricane Ida after it roared up from Gulf coast.” Then, last year, 2023, over 400 people perished in the floods in Northern India. Water can become unstoppable. Nothing can escape! Genesis also tells of a flood in the days of Noah. During the deluge, the waters engulfed all life.

Habakkuk is using that image of the floods to give us, in powerful symbolic language, the picture of a coming spiritual deluge. Yes, there will come a time when no one will be able to escape the grandeur and glory of God Almighty. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Just as the waters overtook all life on earth, the knowledge of God will similarly overtake all life on earth. It will be catastrophic for those who have turned their back and rejected God. For those who embrace God, it will be a time of great rejoicing. Evil will be washed away from the face of the earth as the knowledge of the Lord seeps into every nook and cranny of the earth.

Injustice and suffering will be totally destroyed. When Isaiah uses this same language in 11:6-9, he says, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together, and a little child shall lead them.  The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” We live our lives in this world of evil, pain, and much suffering with the conviction that God will set it all right in the end. We trust God to do what he says he’s going to do, and that helps us live with an optimistic spirit, like Habakkuk did, no matter how dark the days may be. We trust God. Indeed, Habakkuk 2:4 says, “The just shall live by faith.”