Habakkuk 2 vv 6 20
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Habakkuk 2 vv 6 20

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These are the slides that accompany the sermon on Habakkuk 2:6-20. ...

These are the slides that accompany the sermon on Habakkuk 2:6-20.
The video is to be found here: http://youtu.be/h8qSy-DNf5M
The audio file is to be found here: https://archive.org/details/Habakkuk2Vv620ATauntSongToKeepSinnersSpiritsUp

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  • A set of woes follows which seems to take the form of a taunt song … the sort of ANE’n taunt song to which defeated Judah is subject from the Babylonians.So vv. 6-19 contain a prophecy of what the content of that taunt song will be.You know what a taunt song is?מָשָׁל – mashal …It’s the word for a parable, a proverb … a taunt song!“Will not all of these take up a taunt song against him, even mockery and insinuations against him, and say ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his …’”And a taunt song is what the victors use to rub the noses of the vanquished in the dirt.So this is Habakkuk prophesying (in the certain terms described in vv. 2-3 … certain but not instant) the taunt song that is going at a future definite but not immediate point against the Babylonians who are first going to conquer, devastate and sing horrible taunts to the people of Judah.Now, that prophesied taunt song at some distant time after God steps into the situation consists of a series of five woes.A woe is a curse for a violation of God’s Law and brings with it the threat of the certainty of God’s judgement on that sin.So when the covenant is instituted in Israel after she enters the land in Deuteronomy 27, as instructed, half of the people stand on Mt Gerizim and half on MtEbal and they alternately read the blessings and the curses of the covenant …There were blessings for obedience and there were curses or woes for breaking the covenant.So here is a prophecy of future taunt songs calling down curses for their covenant violations on those who (in their sin) were nonetheless in God’s complicated providence the instruments and officers of God’s punishment of His own people (Judah) … A punishment which would pave the way for the ending of the Kingdom of Men in Israel and the inauguration of the Kingdom of God in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Now the actual woes themselves relate closely to the sins against Judah that will be committed by the invading Babylonians …It’s not a matter of tribalism.That’s usually the way with taunt songs …There’ve been some particularly bad ones in the news recently aimed at Manchester United on the theme of that dreadful Munich aircrash in 1958.They are usually tribal.This one is ethical … QUITE unusual …But there’s more to it than that.God had declared to Israel (Deuteronomy 28:37) that if they did not keep the commands of God they would become the object of taunts amongst the Nations.Now the Lord reveals through Habakkuk that whilst that bitter experience is coming upon them, the day is coming when all the nations that these Babylonians have conquered shall taunt their conquerors in song.
  • The first woe has to do with theft and extortion.It’s not actually the best translation to use: ’Woe!’Heb. הוֹיhoy!It is an onomatopoeic word of mockery … ‘Ha!’ or something similar.What is mocked?‘piling up stolen goods’, says NIV.It’s basically a violation of the eighth commandment: (Exodus 20:15) “‘You shall not steal.”If you steal, who is your creditor?You ARE a person in debt to others because you haven’t EARNED what you have …So, again, to WHOM (in that circumstance) are you in debt?Who have you had your wealth from?Who, then, are your creditors?The people you did not earn it off but nonetheless had it from!Your VICTIMS are your CREDITORS … that’s a new way to see things!Well, they will suddenly arise.Suddenly.The cry of ch. 1 against ungodly Judah was ‘how long, O Lord?’ and the answer was ‘suddenly’.The prophesied taunt of ch. 2 is against the thieves and extortioners who afflict defeated and humiliated Israel … ‘How long must this go on?’‘Will not your creditors SUDDENLY arise?’It’s all about reciprocity in God’s judgement on sin … it’s about retribution …. JUST DESSERTS are coming the way even of these executioners God has appointed to do God’s will, because they will do it to serve themselves and NOT for His Glory.
  • Carrying captives to Babylon to build those hanging gardens and hundreds of other self-glorifying edifices along with the wealth of the nations conquered to finance it all … it’s not GLORIFIED their own house but has SHAMED it.Ah yes … those hanging gardens of Babylon may well still be listed amongst the wonders of the world, but WHAT is it that we ought to be wondering at?Their place in the Scriptures appears to be a bit of a wonder, but we are to wonder that such an unjustly built and financed edifice stands as the monument to where building in defiance of God gets you … the edifice stands there today, elaborate but EMPTY.
  • The futility of human endeavours built on bloodshed is illustrated in these verses.How many great man-made empires built on human cruelty and endeavour need to rise and fall before this truth will come home to the people?It’s a vanity, because at the end of the day the glory that is Athens, Carthage, Rome, Constantinople or … Swansea? … will be brought down and shhown up for what it is, as God’s Kingdom is established on earth …“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord    as the waters cover the sea.”
  • Well WHAT do you make out of THIS one?Drunkenness, coarseness, … sexual exploitation with drink.Babylon mixes an irrational, exploitative wrath with the wine that it pours!Part of the depravity inherent in sin is that it insists on involving others in its debauchery … and God’s faithful people need to be strong to stand apart from this when depraved people behave this way.Babylon is not satisfied with getting drunk itself, it rests contented ONLY when it has forced its degradation onto others.Incidentally, have you noticed the intimate connection that does seem to exist between drunkenness and sexual impurity?Lot’s daughters got him drunk s that they could commit their shameful act of incest (Genesis 19:32-35)Noah became drunk but one of his sons mishandled the situation leading to the exposure of Noah’s nakedness (Gen. 9:21)This expression that NIV translates ‘gaze on their naked bodies’ is a circumlocution for more than looking … In Lev. 20 and elsewhere it clearly refers to having sexual relations.It appears very much from the context of the rest of Scripture that Babylon … like the pubs of Swansea and Llanelli … is well up for slipping someone a Micky Finn in order to exploit that person sexually … that is the idea Habakkuk is conveying here.It is going to be THEIR turn, and they will have to drink to the dregs the cup of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.As Babylon has treated others, so God will bring it back on them … a theme picked up in the NT …
  • This making thers drink t their shame will be turned back upon her, and drinkingdrinking herself will lead to Babylon’s own over-exposure and exploitation
  • Yes, the wicked do terrible things and WILL do dreadful things SHORTLY (but over a prolonged period) to Judah as God’s instruments of judgement, but those human beings who do this will nonetheless be held responsible and accountable for what they do and will face the just penalty for their offences.And then that in which they trusted will openly PROVE to be worthless … as again, the tables are turned.It is their idolatry – worshipping created things rather than the Creator God – that has led Babylon to the bad behaviour she embraced and therefore (in the hands of a just, personal God she denied) into the trouble she will find herself in.And all this is prophesied of Babylon before it happened.And all this rapidly, subsequently happened.So why do so many make the same error to this day?No … not SO many of them are dancing around statues or bushes … but their cars, caravans and kitchen units?That is utterly a different matter!In the light of the outworking in history of this prophecy from God, listen – here comes the clear voice of consummate wisdom:
  • Habakkuk has just described the idols of the nations as speechless nothings …But God is in His holy temple … at the centre of His appropriate worship and seated upon His symbolic throne.It’s time for the babblers and noisy chatterers to be silent, to be silent before their ACTUAL God.This day too, says Habakkuk, is definitely coming.It may seem to be a long time coming, but it will not delay … it awaits only its God-appointed time.It will come and it will not delay.So – conclusion …
  • Life is certainly going to be a bit of battle for the people of Judah … but God has a very firm grip on the alarming, apparently ‘out of control’ things that are going to happen, and He is controlling them NOT just in judgement but also in order (longer term) to bring about redemption for the people of God.This won’t, of course, be the sort of short term, this-worldly quick fix that humanity loves to hear about so very much … but the eternal salvation of the people of God – the justified shall live by faith.The people of Judah have brought so much brought all of this bad stuff on themselves, of course.But the battle they’ve brought upon themselves must be gone through, the consequences of sin must be borne … by faithfulness.And IN that battle, or struggle – as in any battle or struggle – morale needs to be attended to.Here in this taunt song prophecy, it is as if God is attending to and providing for the morale of the very people whose sins have brought down His righteous and utterly justified judgement against them … or at least for the morale of those who (chastened perhaps by the experience) will live by grace and faith through it.Now, of course (and this is helpful and encouraging, of course) God is going to make sure that nobody gets away with anything – people are accountable to God, whether they acknowledge Him or not.But if you look at this prophetic taunt song you will notice that it is completely unlike any battlefield or sporting taunt song that you ever really come across, because the taunts are not tribal but ethical.It almost fulfils the PASTORAL role of worship … worship is of course primarily about bringing glory to God – the private manifestation of God’s perfection is His holiness, the public manifestation of His perfection is His Glory … and that public manifestation of His Glory commands worship … but that worship performs a pastoral role in that it corrects our world view and reinforces that world view in a spiritually healthy and wholesome outlook and approach to the hard experience of daily life.THAT’s what I mean by the pastoral role of worship.It enables us to embrace and to take hold of the world-view that our Bible teaching informs us of.Worship is NOT a taunt song … but it performs a similar pastoral role to the taunt song here in Habakkuk 2 which is there to readjust the world-view of the people of Judah as they head into a period of hard and bitter experience which will either turn individuals away from their God or towards Him.It is there to guard morale and outlook in times of great suffering and difficulty.Here is where worship becomes pastorally important and makes us resilient, persevering in faith through difficult times … not rejoicing that the demons and THEIR allies are subject to us, but rejoicing that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.In all of this it is God Who delivers His people, it is God Who sets His people free from the effects of His righteous judgement and brings about the plan of salvation that leads through this vale of tears into the eternal and glorious presence of God.

Habakkuk 2 vv 6 20 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Habakkuk 2 • Introduction • Silence of the prophet, v. 1 • Commission, vv. 2-3 • Observation, vv. 4-5
  • 2. Habakkuk 2 • Introduction • Silence of the prophet, v. 1 • Commission, vv. 2-3 • Observation, vv. 4-5 • Prediction, vv. 6-19 – Taunt song
  • 3. Habakkuk 2 • Introduction • Silence of the prophet, v. 1 • Commission, vv. 2-3 • Observation, vv. 4-5 • Prediction, vv. 6-19 – Taunt song – Curses
  • 4. The Five Woes of Habakkuk 2 • Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?” 7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
  • 5. The Five Woes of Habakkuk 2 • ‘Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin! 10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life. 11 The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
  • 6. The Five Woes of Habakkuk 2 • ‘Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice! 13 Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labour is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
  • 7. The Five Woes of Habakkuk 2 • 15 ‘Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbours, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies! 16 You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed! The cup from the LORD’s right hand is coming round to you, and disgrace will cover your glory. 17 The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
  • 8. Drinking this cup • Revelation 14 6 Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’ 8 A second angel followed and said, ‘“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,”which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’ 9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.
  • 9. Drinking this cup • Revelation 17 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
  • 10. The Five Woes of Habakkuk 2 • 18 ‘Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. 19 Woe to him who says to wood, “Come to life!” Or to lifeless stone, “Wake up!” Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.’
  • 11. Habakkuk 2 • Introduction • Silence of the prophet, v. 1 • Commission, vv. 2-3 • Observation, vv. 4-5 • Prediction, vv. 6-19 • Silence of the land, v. 20 “The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.”
  • 12. Habakkuk 2 • Introduction • Silence of the prophet, v. 1 • Commission, vv. 2-3 • Observation, vv. 4-5 • Prediction, vv. 6-19 • Silence of the land, v. 20 • Conclusion