One of the most repeated sentences by young children is, “it’s not fair…” As in,
- It’s not fair that my brother can stay up later than me.
- It’s not fair that dad’s piece of pie is bigger than mine.
- It’s not fair that I can’t watch that movie.
- It’s not fair that he broke my toy.
- It’s not fair that I have to clean my room.
- It’s not fair that I have to do homework.
And if adults are sincere in examining their own motives and complaints, the complaint continues as they get older. Children aren’t the only ones with the lament that life has not been fair to them. Even grown-ups say the same things, though perhaps they shield the complaints so they are not quite so obvious. But in their hearts, they too like to grumble, “it’s not fair.”
This common complaint serves as the backdrop for the book of Habakkuk. The eponymous prophet sees the wickedness of the people Israel and complains to God, “it’s not fair that they do what they do without experiencing your judgment.” And when God affirms to Habakkuk that He’s about to send the Chaldeans to overrun Israel as His judgment on His nation, Habakkuk complains, “but that’s not fair either — they’re even more wicked than Israel.”
And while, like the common cold, there are few cures for the common complaint, this brief book offers a biblical resolution to the declaration, “it’s not fair.”
For more information about this book, download “Reading Habakkuk.”