Today the news is out.
The Canadian government is buying the Kinder Morgan pipeline. As a result, a massive foreign corporation will walk away debt-free, while our own government spends billions of public dollars to ensure this pipeline’s construction. The Liberal government’s claims to be “re-setting” the relationship with Indigenous people and “back at the table” on climate negotiations appear like little more than vapid electoral rhetoric.
Today the ancient words of the prophet Habakkuk feel particularly appropriate:
How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch this misery?
Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.. 1:2-4
“Justice has become perverted” – today is heart-breaking, damning evidence of that.
Yet Habakkuk’s argument with the LORD doesn’t end there. Though prospects seem hopeless, the LORD gives Habbukuk a revelation of the end, and instructs Habakkuk to wait. God will arbitrate justice. Hear these astoundingly relevant words:
Suddenly, your debtors will take action.
They will turn on you and take all you have.
Because you have plundered many nations,
now all the survivors will plunder you.
You committed murder through the country side
and filled the towns with violence. 2:7-8
You cut down the forests of Lebanon.
Now you will be cut down.
You destroyed the wild animals,
so now their terror will be yours. 2:17
God is not silent. The LORD will act against injustice. But if so, how should God’s people respond?
Look at the proud
They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous live by their faithfulness to God. 2:4
Faithfulness means living according to the purposes God calls us to, individually and corporately. It includes everything involved in serving and keeping the earth in Genesis, to everything involved in loving our neighbors, including the many Indigenous nations that our government continually ignores. It means speaking the truth in love, regardless of who stands against us. It means acting with the courage to hope for a world more aligned with God’s future, where the earth, water, and all who live on them can flourish.
In the face of this gut-wrenching news, friends, let’s stand with Habakkuk. Let’s wait, take courage, and be faithful.
Holy God, in the face of this perversion of justice, help us be Your hands and feet of true justice. Keep us from despair; fill us instead with bold, tenacious love for neighbours near and far, for First Nations relatives, future generations, orca and salmon, land, water, and ultimately for You, the Creator of us all.