Are We Just Ants?
You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. Habakkuk 1:14
When I read of a tsunami killing 240,000 people, or when I read in the Bible about God killing thousands of Israel’s enemies, I have to wonder at God. Is life cheap to you God? Are we just ants? The Bible and our present reality are full of examples of countless people being wiped out in ways that seem preventable by an all-powerful God.
This question of our significance to God, has deeply personal implications. Does God care about me? In my addiction, I sought divine assistance. God, take away my destructive appetite. When I didn’t get the answer I wanted, I blamed God. Are you apathetic or impotent? Don’t you want me to find recovery?
Habakkuk, in today’s passage, had similar questions of God. When he complained to God about the destructive behavior of his people, God explained that he was going to send the vicious Chaldeans to discipline his children. Habakkuk objected to the coming carnage. Don’t you care God? Are we just fish or ants to you?
I can’t explain the death of thousands in a tsunami or of millions in a war, and I don’t know that God asks me to try. What God does ask of me, is to walk with him in faith. The Bible, from beginning to end, paints a picture of a God who desperately desires to live in an intimate relationship with the people he created. God came to Earth as a man, to live and die as one of us, just so we could know him.
In my addiction, I had to realize that God’s refusal to magically take away my appetite was not apathy, but rather love. Had he simply removed my appetite one day, I would not have need him the next. God wanted me to learn to daily turn from myself to walk with him. What I saw as indifference was actually profound love.
Like Habakkuk, God allows us to question him. Also, like Habakkuk though, God asks us to trust him and his plan. This is hard, but God does not leave us alone. He loves us desperately and longs for each of us to follow him, finding faith, recovery, and life. We are not simply ants to him.