Advent: How Long, Lord?

“How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, …
but you do not save?” Habakkuk 1:2,

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil…” Habakkuk 1:13

Fighting, suffering, sickness, tears—all the things God hates most—are everywhere in our world. They’re in our own hearts, too.

God is so holy and pure, the Bible tells us, that he cannot even look on evil. And yet God can look on us. And love us.

How is that possible?

Because of the kind of God we have.

We don’t have a God who turns away from us, who just looks down at the mess we’ve made and condemns us from afar.

We have a God who draws near to us, can’t stop loving us, moves Heaven and Earth to be close to us—comes down to rescue us!

Advent celebrates the coming of the one who came to destroy evil—whose whole reason for coming was to die.

The baby born in the manger is born to die.

The eyes that were too pure to even look on evil would take the evil of the whole world upon himself, into himself—become the thing God could not look on. The thing God has to turn his eyes away from.

We have a God who listens to us and saves us—because Jesus becomes the punishment. He takes the evil on and into himself, and destroys it by dying.

It is Jesus who calls for help—and no one listens.
It is Jesus who cries out—and no ones saves him.
So that now we, his children, need never again wonder how long.

“How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, …
but you do not save?”

How long? No longer!
Call for help and no answer? Never!
Cry out and not be saved? No! Not ever!


(Illustrations by Allison Jay)

(Illustrations by Allison Jay)



Thank you that you are a God who listens to us.
Thank you that you are a God who saves us.
Thank you that though you cannot look on evil,
you can look on us—because of Jesus.

We call for help to you today.
We cry out to you, Lord.
Rescue us from all that imprisons and binds us
so that we may be glad
and sing to you all of our days.


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2 Responses to “Advent: How Long, Lord?”

  1. Josh Wainright

    A beautiful message, beautifully written. I am forwarding it to a young man struggling with addiction to heroin. I know it will help him continue to step towards our Merciful Savior.


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