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HABAKKUK: A MESSAGE OF FAITH     Habakkuk 1-3   JANUARY 13, 2013FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI         USA
Next week,     Doug Gunn       Attorneywill teach the lesson:   OBADIAH – A MESSAGE OF      JUSTICE
Reference material:        LifeWay        Christian        Resources        of the SBC
Stedman, Ray.“Habakkuk: History Is inGods Hands.”August 28, 1966Discovery Publishing.Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996. 
Have you ever finishedwatching the eveningnews with all the violenceand injustice in the worldand in frustration asked,“Wh...
*“Why do the wicked andthe dishonest peopleprosper?”*Well, that is not a newfeeling.
The prophet Habakkukalso felt that way around620 B.C. and he wrote abook about it.
*Habakkuk’s name meansto “embrace” orto “wrestle.”*As is usually the case, hisname has something to dowith the message of ...
*His name relates to thefact that he was wrestlingwith difficult issues.*If God is good, then whyis there evil in the worl...
*What is God doing inthis messed up world?*Habakkuk fears God andhe does what is right, butit seems that it is gettinghim ...
Since Habakkuk’s namemeans “embrace” or“wrestle” we’ll see himwrestle with the toughquestions, but what willbe his final r...
By the end of the book wewill indeed see Habakkukmove from wrestling withGod to embracing Godand trusting in Him.
*History of Habakkuk’sname (“to embrace”):*Some of the ancientrabbis declare thatHabakkuk was the son ofthe Shunammite wom...
to her in 2 Kings 4:16:“Thou shalt embrace ason.”
2 Kings 4:16-1716 “Then Elisha said, ‘Atthis season next year youwill embrace a son.’ Andshe said, ‘No, my lord, Oman of G...
17 The woman conceivedand bore a son at thatseason the next year, asElisha had said to her.”         2 Kings 4:16-17
Because the nameHabakkuk means"embracer" (not in theromantic sense) but in acomforting sense, this is agreat book of comfo...
Discomfort is probablyone of the mostdistressing problems thathuman beings have toface: the great question ofwhy God allow...
*That is an up-to-date andrelevant question.*The problem Habakkukwrestled with andeventually learned theanswer to – enable...
and embracer of hispeople in their distress.
The God of All Comfort2 Corinthians 1:3-73 “Praise the God andFather of our Lord JesusChrist, the Father ofmercies and the...
4 He comforts us in all ouraffliction, so that we maybe able to comfort thosewho are in any kind ofaffliction, through the...
5 For as the sufferings ofChrist overflow to us, sothrough Christ ourcomfort also overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it isf...
If we are comforted, it isfor your comfort, which isexperienced in yourendurance of the samesufferings that we suffer. 
7 And our hope for you isfirm, because we knowthat as you share in thesufferings, so you willshare in the comfort.”      2...
*Warren Wiersbe entitleshis book on Habakkukas From Worry to Worship.*Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jonescalls his book,From Fear to Fa...
What these two authorsare trying to capture inthe titles of their books isthe progressionHabakkuk makes fromquestioning Go...
While Habakkuk beginsby wondering orworrying about the worldaround him and God’sseeming indifference, heends by worshippin...
*How does Habakkukprogress from questioningGod to trusting God?*How can we make thatsame progression fromquestioning God, ...
Habakkuk lived in a timevery similar to our day –a time when everythingseemed to be goingwrong.
He lived when there wasgreat national corruptionand distress, when thenation and land was filledwith violence, withhatred,...
His distress is reflected inthe opening phrases of thebook(chapter 1, verses 1-4):
Habakkuk 1Holman ChristianStandard Bible (HCSB)1 “The oracle thatHabakkuk the prophetsaw.
Habakkuk’s First Prayer2 How long, Lord, must Icall for help and You donot listen or cry out toYou about violenceand You d...
3 Why do You force me tolook at injustice?Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?Oppression and violenceare right in front of me.
Strife is ongoing, andconflict escalates.4 This is why the law isineffective and justicenever emerges.For the wicked restr...
justice comes outperverted.”         Habakkuk 1:1-4
*Doesnt that sound verysimilar to our worldtoday?*Why, Habakkuk says,does he have to cry"Violence!" and hear noanswer?
*Here is the great problemof unanswered prayer.*Here is a man who isdisturbed about hisnation.*He sees everything goingwro...
The people are living inwickedness; there isunrest, violence, injusticeand oppressionthroughout the land.
*Those who have theresponsibility to correctthis do nothing about it.*When the whole matteris brought before thecourts, th...
*He is a man of God andhe knows that the thing todo with a problem is totake it to God - and he hasbeen doing that.*He has...
*But he does not get anyanswer.*So his perplexed heart inbewilderment cries out,"Lord, how long do I haveto keep this up, ...
You do nothing about it.I have been watching for achange, watching for anoutbreak of revival,watching for something tohapp...
How long must Icontinue?” asksHabakkuk.*Have you ever felt thatway?
Look around at our nationand you can see manythings breaking up, theshaking of long-standingfoundations, peopleturning awa...
things they neverquestioned before.*People are expressingdoubts, even outrightunbelief, in circles wheredoubts have never ...
*Have you been prayingfor loved ones, wanting tosee God change them andreach their lives, andnothing happens?*This is the ...
*It is a great problem andit perplexes the prophet.*But now God answersHabakkuk. The amazingthing about this prophecyis th...
*Rather, this is a dialoguebetween a man and hisGod.*As a prophet Habakkukwas unique.
Rather than speaking forGod to the people ofJudah, he spoke to God inregard to His people.
*That is why it is so up-to-date.*Every one of us is namedHabakkuk and each of usfaces this problem fromtime to time.*God ...
God’s First Answer5 “Look at the nations andobserve—be utterlyastounded!For something is takingplace in your daysthat you ...
when you hear about it.”          Habakkuk 1:5
In other words, God says,"I have been answeringyour prayer, Habakkuk.You accuse me of silence,but I have not been silent.Y...
I have been answering butthe answer is so differentfrom what you expect thatyou will not evenrecognize it or believe itwhe...
God goes on (verses 6-11)6 “Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter, impetuous nation thatmarches across the eart...
7 They are fierce andterrifying; their views ofjustice and sovereigntystem from themselves.8 Their horses are swifter than...
night.Their horsemen chargeahead; their horsemencome from distant lands.They fly like an eagle,swooping to devour.
9 All of them come to doviolence; their faces areset in determination.They gather prisoners likesand.10 They mock kings, a...
They laugh at everyfortress and build siegeramps to capture it.11 Then they sweep bylike the wind and passthrough.They are...
strength is their god.”        Habakkuk 1:6-11
*Here is Gods answer tothe prophets problem:God says that He ispreparing to raise up thisnation of the Chaldeans.*At the t...
were not a super-power onthe world stage yet.*Another name forChaldeans is theBabylonians because thosenames are usedinter...
The great nation thatfrightened all the othernations and ruled as thegreat tyrant of the worldof that day was theAssyrian ...
God was saying toHabakkuk that here is alittle nation that isbeginning to rise up inworld history and, "I ambehind this. T...
They are bitter, hostile,ruthless and cold-blooded. They are goingto be as powerful as anynation on earth has everbeen and...
everything, and it willlook as though nothingcan stop them. Thesepeople will not have anygod at the center of theirlife. T...
god, and they trust intheir own strength. I ambehind the rise of thispeople, and this is theanswer to your prayer."
*Now that is astounding,isnt it?*Evidently Habakkuk didnot know what to make ofthis.
*There is a moment ofsilence here and then hebegins to reflect.*If he thought he had aproblem to start with, hereally has ...
Now he is batting in themajor leagues when itcomes to problems, forhow will God solve theoriginal one by creatingsuch a ma...
This is what bothers manypeople as they look atwhat is happening in theworld. The thing that hasthreatened the faith ofman...
*Why does God allowthings to happen the waythey do?*Why does He permitsuch terrible events tooccur in human history?
*"How can a just or lovingGod allow men to suffer?”*“Why would God createus and then allow diseaseand starvation and allth...
*The reason people askthese questions is becauseof the “seeming”inactivity of God.*That is one of themysterious things abo...
*The poet, WilliamCowper, said,"God moves in a mysterious wayHis wonders to perform."*And the ways of God arefull of myste...
*We have to recognize thatthere are times when wejust cannot understandhow God is moving.*It does not seem to makesense, a...
so out of the ordinary.*God is so unorthodox.*He is always doingthings in different ways,and picking up the mostunexpected...
surprising fashion.*One of the things thatyou learn about God afteryou live with Him for awhile is that He is alwaysdoing ...
It is not because Hedelights to puzzle us, butbecause the variety of Hisworkings are so infinitethat our feeble humanminds...
*Now that was theproblem that afflictedHabakkuk.*He was puzzled by thisstrange silence and thenwhen he heard how Godwas mo...
understand that either.*But now he does a verywise thing and the nextsection of this book tellsus how to handle thiskind o...
*What do you do whenyou are confronted withthis sort of a threat toyour faith?*When you see what lookslike inaction on God...
that He is acting, but in away that seems utterlyunbelievable, what doyou do?*One of the great needs inour Christian life ...
approaching problemslike this.*And the method can beoutlined very simply.
There are four verysimple steps and as we goon we will see how theprophet follows themthrough.
*First, stop and think.*Do not react emotionallyto the problem.*Do not let panic grip you,or some terrible fear comeover y...
*Second, restate toyourself the basic thingsyou know about God.*Do not try to solve theproblem immediately.*Back away from...
Go back to what youknow about God and Hischaracter as it has beenrevealed to you inrevelation and byexperience.
*Then, take what youknow about the characterof God and bring it tobear on the problem.*That is the third step.
And finally, if you havenot come to an answer,leave the rest with faith inGod and ask Him to showit to you. That is the wa...
First, he starts thinkingabout God (verse 12):Habakkuk’s SecondPrayer12 “Are You not frometernity, Yahweh my God?My Holy O...
not die. Lord, Youappointed them to executejudgment; my Rock, Youdestined them to punishus.”         Habakkuk 1:12
Habakkuk has remindedhimself of some greatthings in that statement,12a “Are You not frometernity?”
*The first thing that hethinks about is that theGod he knows is aneverlasting God.*God sits above historyHe is greater tha...
*He created His-story.*He is from the beginningand He is at the end.*He preceded thebeginning; He lastsbeyond the end.*He ...
*That is the first thing theprophet reminds himselfof.*When these Chaldeanscome, they will trust intheir own might as thei...
"Oh, yes," Habakkuk says,"but my God is not likethat. My God is not one ofthese localized tribaldeities. He is the GodWho ...
events, the everlastingGod."*Second, the prophetreminds himself that Godis the self-existent Onebecause he uses a veryspec...
He says,12a “Are You not frometernity, Yahweh myGod?”
*When the word "LORD"is all in capital letters as itis here, it is a translationof the Hebrew word forYahweh or Jehovah.*Y...
*Yahweh is the greatname that God revealedto Moses when he was inEgypt.*At that time he said tohim, "Go down to Egyptand t...
that I am sent you." (Ex.3:14)*Do you know whyHabakkuk remindedhimself of this?
*Because there werepeople in his day goingaround saying that Godwas dead.*There always are.*There is absolutelynothing new...
*Let us get rid of thisegotistical idea that weare the first generationthat has had anytheological problems.*They have hap...
*There is nothing new.*While people wentaround saying that Godwas dead, Habakkuk wentright back to what he hadlearned abou...
*God is self-existent andcannot die.*It is impossible for a self-existent Person to die.12 ”My Holy One, Youwill not die.”...
*Third, Habakkukreminds himself of theholiness of God.12 ”My Holy One, Youwill not die.”*Now what does holinessmean?
*Holiness is wholeness,completeness; it is being awhole person.*It means essentially thatGod is consistent withHimself.*He...
*He is never anythingdifferent, never a phony.*He never pretends orputs on.*That is holiness.
You can find this reflectedall through the Scriptures-the unchangeability ofGod.
In chapter 1:10-12, thewriter of Hebrews says,10 “And: In the beginning,Lord, You established theearth, and the heavens ar...
11 they will perish, butYou remain. They will allwear out like clothing;12 You will roll them uplike a cloak, and they wil...
and Your years will neverend.”         Hebrews 1:10-12
8 “Jesus Christ is the sameyesterday, today, andforever.”    Hebrews 13:8
17 “Every generous act andevery perfect gift is fromabove, coming down fromthe Father of lights; withHim there is no varia...
*No changeability at all.*So the prophet comesnow to a conclusion thatsettles at least the firstpart of his problem.*He sa...
12b “Lord, You appointedthem to execute judgment;my Rock, You destinedthem to punish us.”        Habakkuk 1:12b
Habakkuk begins tounderstand,"Now I understand whyYou are raising up theChaldeans; it is Your wayof waking my people upto ...
awful stupidity in turningaway from You. Theythink they can livewithout You, and yet howmany times have You sentprophets t...
reminding them of YourWord? You have pouredout blessing after blessingupon them, and still theygo on in their senselessfol...
go on living without You.Now I see what You aredoing. You are raising upa people to shock theminto reality, to awakenand c...
*Is there any question thatGod does this in history?*Doubtless this is why theNazis (led by AdolfHitler) were allowed toco...
and then be suddenlystruck down again.*Or with the 9/11/01attack on the Towers ofthe World Trade Centerled by Osama bin La...
*It was to awaken theWestern world to itsgreediness, itscovetousness, itswickedness, and to itsdeparture from the thingsof...
*God is saying somethingthrough this.*He is shaking thenations.
Then God goes on to statea principle that is quotedthree times in the NewTestament and forms thebasis for the greatestmove...
He says these words (verse4):4 “Look, his ego is inflated;he is without integrity.But the righteous one willlive by his fa...
*These words are quotedin the New Testament inRomans, Galatians, andHebrews.*This is the word that lit afire in the heart ...
"The righteous shall liveby faith."*Not by circumstances orby observations or byreasoning, but by faith inwhat God has sai...
Then, in verse 2:20, we seeone of the most reverentverses in the whole Bible:20 “But the Lord is in Hisholy temple; let ev...
Man’s problems can besolved only by therelationship of man toGod.
Habakkuk 3:17-1917 “Though the fig treedoes not bud and there isno fruit on the vines,though the olive crop failsand the f...
sheep in the pen and nocattle in the stalls,18 yet I will triumph inYahweh; I will rejoice inthe God of my salvation!19 Ya...
feet like those of a deerand enables me to walkon mountain heights!”       Habakkuk 3:17-19
*Have you discoveredthat?*That though the problemremains and the pressureis still there, there can be astrengthening of th...
rejoice and be glad evenin the midst of thedifficulty.*That is what Habakkukdiscovered."The Lord Himself," hesays, "is my ...
*Hinds feet on highplaces.*That is NT truth.*That is the great secret ofa Christian.*Not that God takes theproblem away.
*The world is desperatelytrying to find a way to getrid of the problem.*But God’s way is that theproblems shall remain.
"In the world you willhave tribulation," Jesussaid, "but be of goodcheer, I have overcomethe world." (John 16:33)
Dr. Edman, formerpresident of WheatonCollege, wrote a bookentitled:"Not Somehow, ButTriumphantly."
That title so gloriouslysums up what aChristians attitude shouldbe in the midst of difficulttimes. Not just gettingthrough...
Romans 8:31-39 NASB31 “What then shall we sayto these things? If God isfor us, who is against us? 32 He Who did not spareH...
all, how will He not alsowith Him freely give usall things? 33 Who will bring acharge against God’select? God is the One W...
34 who is the one whocondemns? Christ Jesus isHe Who died, yes, ratherWho was raised, Who is atthe right hand of God,Who a...
35 Who will separate usfrom the love of Christ?Will tribulation, ordistress, or persecution,or famine, or nakedness,or per...
36 Just as it is written,“For Your sake we arebeing put to death all daylong;We were considered assheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these thingswe overwhelmingly conquer through HimWho loved us. 38 For I am convinced thatneither death, nor ...
nor things present, northings to come, norpowers, 39 nor height, nor depth,nor any other createdthing, will be able tosepa...
of God, which is in ChristJesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:31-39 NASB
Stedman, Ray.“Habakkuk: History Is inGods Hands.”August 28, 1966Discovery Publishing.Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996. 
Biblical Truths• When we’re tempted toquestion God, we need topour out our hearts toHim; in the end we needto resolve to b...
• Accept that life is filledwith mysteries, but trustthat God is just and willact fairly and faithfully.
• Often we want a quickresponse and don’t like towait, but we need to bepatient and wait for Godto act according to Histim...
• Rejoice in the promisethat God will be ourstrength and oursalvation.
If you are presentlydealing with an answer toprayer that you didn’texpect or want, reaffirmyour faith and confidencein God...
If you do not findyourself in such asituation right now,reaffirm your intentionto trust God wheneveryou find yourself in s...
to develop in you astronger trust and rest inHim.
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith
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01 January 13, 2012, Habakkuk 1-3 A Message Of Faith

  1. 1. HABAKKUK: A MESSAGE OF FAITH Habakkuk 1-3 JANUARY 13, 2013FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI USA
  2. 2. Next week, Doug Gunn Attorneywill teach the lesson: OBADIAH – A MESSAGE OF JUSTICE
  3. 3. Reference material: LifeWay Christian Resources of the SBC
  4. 4. Stedman, Ray.“Habakkuk: History Is inGods Hands.”August 28, 1966Discovery Publishing.Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996. 
  5. 5. Have you ever finishedwatching the eveningnews with all the violenceand injustice in the worldand in frustration asked,“Why isn’t God doingsomething?”
  6. 6. *“Why do the wicked andthe dishonest peopleprosper?”*Well, that is not a newfeeling.
  7. 7. The prophet Habakkukalso felt that way around620 B.C. and he wrote abook about it.
  8. 8. *Habakkuk’s name meansto “embrace” orto “wrestle.”*As is usually the case, hisname has something to dowith the message of thebook.
  9. 9. *His name relates to thefact that he was wrestlingwith difficult issues.*If God is good, then whyis there evil in the world?*And why do the evilprosper?
  10. 10. *What is God doing inthis messed up world?*Habakkuk fears God andhe does what is right, butit seems that it is gettinghim no where.
  11. 11. Since Habakkuk’s namemeans “embrace” or“wrestle” we’ll see himwrestle with the toughquestions, but what willbe his final response?(to embrace God’s will?)
  12. 12. By the end of the book wewill indeed see Habakkukmove from wrestling withGod to embracing Godand trusting in Him.
  13. 13. *History of Habakkuk’sname (“to embrace”):*Some of the ancientrabbis declare thatHabakkuk was the son ofthe Shunammite woman,based on Elisha’s promise
  14. 14. to her in 2 Kings 4:16:“Thou shalt embrace ason.”
  15. 15. 2 Kings 4:16-1716 “Then Elisha said, ‘Atthis season next year youwill embrace a son.’ Andshe said, ‘No, my lord, Oman of God, do not lie toyour maidservant.’
  16. 16. 17 The woman conceivedand bore a son at thatseason the next year, asElisha had said to her.” 2 Kings 4:16-17
  17. 17. Because the nameHabakkuk means"embracer" (not in theromantic sense) but in acomforting sense, this is agreat book of comfort.
  18. 18. Discomfort is probablyone of the mostdistressing problems thathuman beings have toface: the great question ofwhy God allows certainthings to happen.
  19. 19. *That is an up-to-date andrelevant question.*The problem Habakkukwrestled with andeventually learned theanswer to – enabled himto become a comforter
  20. 20. and embracer of hispeople in their distress.
  21. 21. The God of All Comfort2 Corinthians 1:3-73 “Praise the God andFather of our Lord JesusChrist, the Father ofmercies and the God of allcomfort.
  22. 22. 4 He comforts us in all ouraffliction, so that we maybe able to comfort thosewho are in any kind ofaffliction, through thecomfort we ourselvesreceive from God.
  23. 23. 5 For as the sufferings ofChrist overflow to us, sothrough Christ ourcomfort also overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it isfor your comfort andsalvation.
  24. 24. If we are comforted, it isfor your comfort, which isexperienced in yourendurance of the samesufferings that we suffer. 
  25. 25. 7 And our hope for you isfirm, because we knowthat as you share in thesufferings, so you willshare in the comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
  26. 26. *Warren Wiersbe entitleshis book on Habakkukas From Worry to Worship.*Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jonescalls his book,From Fear to Faith. 
  27. 27. What these two authorsare trying to capture inthe titles of their books isthe progressionHabakkuk makes fromquestioning God totrusting God.
  28. 28. While Habakkuk beginsby wondering orworrying about the worldaround him and God’sseeming indifference, heends by worshippingGod. 
  29. 29. *How does Habakkukprogress from questioningGod to trusting God?*How can we make thatsame progression fromquestioning God, to beingcomforted, to comforting?
  30. 30. Habakkuk lived in a timevery similar to our day –a time when everythingseemed to be goingwrong.
  31. 31. He lived when there wasgreat national corruptionand distress, when thenation and land was filledwith violence, withhatred, and withoutbreaks of evil.
  32. 32. His distress is reflected inthe opening phrases of thebook(chapter 1, verses 1-4):
  33. 33. Habakkuk 1Holman ChristianStandard Bible (HCSB)1 “The oracle thatHabakkuk the prophetsaw.
  34. 34. Habakkuk’s First Prayer2 How long, Lord, must Icall for help and You donot listen or cry out toYou about violenceand You do not save?
  35. 35. 3 Why do You force me tolook at injustice?Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?Oppression and violenceare right in front of me.
  36. 36. Strife is ongoing, andconflict escalates.4 This is why the law isineffective and justicenever emerges.For the wicked restrict therighteous; therefore,
  37. 37. justice comes outperverted.” Habakkuk 1:1-4
  38. 38. *Doesnt that sound verysimilar to our worldtoday?*Why, Habakkuk says,does he have to cry"Violence!" and hear noanswer?
  39. 39. *Here is the great problemof unanswered prayer.*Here is a man who isdisturbed about hisnation.*He sees everything goingwrong.
  40. 40. The people are living inwickedness; there isunrest, violence, injusticeand oppressionthroughout the land.
  41. 41. *Those who have theresponsibility to correctthis do nothing about it.*When the whole matteris brought before thecourts, the courtsthemselves are corrupt.
  42. 42. *He is a man of God andhe knows that the thing todo with a problem is totake it to God - and he hasbeen doing that.*He has been prayingabout his problem.
  43. 43. *But he does not get anyanswer.*So his perplexed heart inbewilderment cries out,"Lord, how long do I haveto keep this up, crying outto You like this?
  44. 44. You do nothing about it.I have been watching for achange, watching for anoutbreak of revival,watching for something tohappen, yet nothinghappens.
  45. 45. How long must Icontinue?” asksHabakkuk.*Have you ever felt thatway?
  46. 46. Look around at our nationand you can see manythings breaking up, theshaking of long-standingfoundations, peopleturning away from thefaith and questioning
  47. 47. things they neverquestioned before.*People are expressingdoubts, even outrightunbelief, in circles wheredoubts have never beenexpressed before.
  48. 48. *Have you been prayingfor loved ones, wanting tosee God change them andreach their lives, andnothing happens?*This is the problem ofunanswered prayer.
  49. 49. *It is a great problem andit perplexes the prophet.*But now God answersHabakkuk. The amazingthing about this prophecyis that it is not addressedto the people at all.
  50. 50. *Rather, this is a dialoguebetween a man and hisGod.*As a prophet Habakkukwas unique.
  51. 51. Rather than speaking forGod to the people ofJudah, he spoke to God inregard to His people.
  52. 52. *That is why it is so up-to-date.*Every one of us is namedHabakkuk and each of usfaces this problem fromtime to time.*God answers (verse 5):
  53. 53. God’s First Answer5 “Look at the nations andobserve—be utterlyastounded!For something is takingplace in your daysthat you will not believe
  54. 54. when you hear about it.” Habakkuk 1:5
  55. 55. In other words, God says,"I have been answeringyour prayer, Habakkuk.You accuse me of silence,but I have not been silent.You just do not know howto recognize My answer.
  56. 56. I have been answering butthe answer is so differentfrom what you expect thatyou will not evenrecognize it or believe itwhen I tell you. But let metell you what it is."
  57. 57. God goes on (verses 6-11)6 “Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter, impetuous nation thatmarches across the earth’sopen spaces to seizeterritories not its own.
  58. 58. 7 They are fierce andterrifying; their views ofjustice and sovereigntystem from themselves.8 Their horses are swifter than leopards and morefierce than wolves of the
  59. 59. night.Their horsemen chargeahead; their horsemencome from distant lands.They fly like an eagle,swooping to devour.
  60. 60. 9 All of them come to doviolence; their faces areset in determination.They gather prisoners likesand.10 They mock kings, andrulers are a joke to them.
  61. 61. They laugh at everyfortress and build siegeramps to capture it.11 Then they sweep bylike the wind and passthrough.They are guilty; their
  62. 62. strength is their god.” Habakkuk 1:6-11
  63. 63. *Here is Gods answer tothe prophets problem:God says that He ispreparing to raise up thisnation of the Chaldeans.*At the time Habakkukwrote this, the Chaldeans
  64. 64. were not a super-power onthe world stage yet.*Another name forChaldeans is theBabylonians because thosenames are usedinterchangeably in the OT.
  65. 65. The great nation thatfrightened all the othernations and ruled as thegreat tyrant of the worldof that day was theAssyrian nation as wesaw last week in Nahum.
  66. 66. God was saying toHabakkuk that here is alittle nation that isbeginning to rise up inworld history and, "I ambehind this. These peopleare a very strange people.
  67. 67. They are bitter, hostile,ruthless and cold-blooded. They are goingto be as powerful as anynation on earth has everbeen and they will sweepthrough lands conquering
  68. 68. everything, and it willlook as though nothingcan stop them. Thesepeople will not have anygod at the center of theirlife. They believe thattheir own might is their
  69. 69. god, and they trust intheir own strength. I ambehind the rise of thispeople, and this is theanswer to your prayer."
  70. 70. *Now that is astounding,isnt it?*Evidently Habakkuk didnot know what to make ofthis.
  71. 71. *There is a moment ofsilence here and then hebegins to reflect.*If he thought he had aproblem to start with, hereally has one now.
  72. 72. Now he is batting in themajor leagues when itcomes to problems, forhow will God solve theoriginal one by creatingsuch a major problem asthis?
  73. 73. This is what bothers manypeople as they look atwhat is happening in theworld. The thing that hasthreatened the faith ofmany has been theproblem of history.
  74. 74. *Why does God allowthings to happen the waythey do?*Why does He permitsuch terrible events tooccur in human history?
  75. 75. *"How can a just or lovingGod allow men to suffer?”*“Why would God createus and then allow diseaseand starvation and allthose other terriblethings?"
  76. 76. *The reason people askthese questions is becauseof the “seeming”inactivity of God.*That is one of themysterious things aboutGod.
  77. 77. *The poet, WilliamCowper, said,"God moves in a mysterious wayHis wonders to perform."*And the ways of God arefull of mystery to us.
  78. 78. *We have to recognize thatthere are times when wejust cannot understandhow God is moving.*It does not seem to makesense, and the instrumentsHe chooses are sometimes
  79. 79. so out of the ordinary.*God is so unorthodox.*He is always doingthings in different ways,and picking up the mostunexpected people andoperating in the most
  80. 80. surprising fashion.*One of the things thatyou learn about God afteryou live with Him for awhile is that He is alwaysdoing the unexpected.
  81. 81. It is not because Hedelights to puzzle us, butbecause the variety of Hisworkings are so infinitethat our feeble humanminds cannot grasp them.
  82. 82. *Now that was theproblem that afflictedHabakkuk.*He was puzzled by thisstrange silence and thenwhen he heard how Godwas moving, he could not
  83. 83. understand that either.*But now he does a verywise thing and the nextsection of this book tellsus how to handle thiskind of a problem.
  84. 84. *What do you do whenyou are confronted withthis sort of a threat toyour faith?*When you see what lookslike inaction on Gods partand then maybe you see
  85. 85. that He is acting, but in away that seems utterlyunbelievable, what doyou do?*One of the great needs inour Christian life is tounderstand the method of
  86. 86. approaching problemslike this.*And the method can beoutlined very simply.
  87. 87. There are four verysimple steps and as we goon we will see how theprophet follows themthrough.
  88. 88. *First, stop and think.*Do not react emotionallyto the problem.*Do not let panic grip you,or some terrible fear comeover you.*Remember Philippians 4.
  89. 89. *Second, restate toyourself the basic thingsyou know about God.*Do not try to solve theproblem immediately.*Back away from it andbegin with God.
  90. 90. Go back to what youknow about God and Hischaracter as it has beenrevealed to you inrevelation and byexperience.
  91. 91. *Then, take what youknow about the characterof God and bring it tobear on the problem.*That is the third step.
  92. 92. And finally, if you havenot come to an answer,leave the rest with faith inGod and ask Him to showit to you. That is the way.Notice how the prophetdoes this.
  93. 93. First, he starts thinkingabout God (verse 12):Habakkuk’s SecondPrayer12 “Are You not frometernity, Yahweh my God?My Holy One, You will
  94. 94. not die. Lord, Youappointed them to executejudgment; my Rock, Youdestined them to punishus.” Habakkuk 1:12
  95. 95. Habakkuk has remindedhimself of some greatthings in that statement,12a “Are You not frometernity?”
  96. 96. *The first thing that hethinks about is that theGod he knows is aneverlasting God.*God sits above historyHe is greater than anyspan of human events.
  97. 97. *He created His-story.*He is from the beginningand He is at the end.*He preceded thebeginning; He lastsbeyond the end.*He is the God of eternity.
  98. 98. *That is the first thing theprophet reminds himselfof.*When these Chaldeanscome, they will trust intheir own might as theirgod.
  99. 99. "Oh, yes," Habakkuk says,"but my God is not likethat. My God is not one ofthese localized tribaldeities. He is the GodWho covers history, WhoHimself governs these
  100. 100. events, the everlastingGod."*Second, the prophetreminds himself that Godis the self-existent Onebecause he uses a veryspecial name for God.
  101. 101. He says,12a “Are You not frometernity, Yahweh myGod?”
  102. 102. *When the word "LORD"is all in capital letters as itis here, it is a translationof the Hebrew word forYahweh or Jehovah.*Yahweh (Jehovah) means"I am that I am."
  103. 103. *Yahweh is the greatname that God revealedto Moses when he was inEgypt.*At that time he said tohim, "Go down to Egyptand tell Pharaoh that I am
  104. 104. that I am sent you." (Ex.3:14)*Do you know whyHabakkuk remindedhimself of this?
  105. 105. *Because there werepeople in his day goingaround saying that Godwas dead.*There always are.*There is absolutelynothing new in this.
  106. 106. *Let us get rid of thisegotistical idea that weare the first generationthat has had anytheological problems.*They have happened toall the people before us.
  107. 107. *There is nothing new.*While people wentaround saying that Godwas dead, Habakkuk wentright back to what he hadlearned about God.
  108. 108. *God is self-existent andcannot die.*It is impossible for a self-existent Person to die.12 ”My Holy One, Youwill not die.”"I am that I am." (not was)
  109. 109. *Third, Habakkukreminds himself of theholiness of God.12 ”My Holy One, Youwill not die.”*Now what does holinessmean?
  110. 110. *Holiness is wholeness,completeness; it is being awhole person.*It means essentially thatGod is consistent withHimself.*He is always what He is.
  111. 111. *He is never anythingdifferent, never a phony.*He never pretends orputs on.*That is holiness.
  112. 112. You can find this reflectedall through the Scriptures-the unchangeability ofGod.
  113. 113. In chapter 1:10-12, thewriter of Hebrews says,10 “And: In the beginning,Lord, You established theearth, and the heavens arethe works of Your hands;
  114. 114. 11 they will perish, butYou remain. They will allwear out like clothing;12 You will roll them uplike a cloak, and they willbe changed like a robe.But You are the same,
  115. 115. and Your years will neverend.” Hebrews 1:10-12
  116. 116. 8 “Jesus Christ is the sameyesterday, today, andforever.” Hebrews 13:8
  117. 117. 17 “Every generous act andevery perfect gift is fromabove, coming down fromthe Father of lights; withHim there is no variationor shadow cast byturning.” James 1:17
  118. 118. *No changeability at all.*So the prophet comesnow to a conclusion thatsettles at least the firstpart of his problem.*He says (verse 12):
  119. 119. 12b “Lord, You appointedthem to execute judgment;my Rock, You destinedthem to punish us.” Habakkuk 1:12b
  120. 120. Habakkuk begins tounderstand,"Now I understand whyYou are raising up theChaldeans; it is Your wayof waking my people upto their folly, to their
  121. 121. awful stupidity in turningaway from You. Theythink they can livewithout You, and yet howmany times have You sentprophets to them,pleading, begging and
  122. 122. reminding them of YourWord? You have pouredout blessing after blessingupon them, and still theygo on in their senselessfolly, taking it all forgranted, thinking they can
  123. 123. go on living without You.Now I see what You aredoing. You are raising upa people to shock theminto reality, to awakenand chastise them.I understand this now."
  124. 124. *Is there any question thatGod does this in history?*Doubtless this is why theNazis (led by AdolfHitler) were allowed tocome so suddenly topower, to ravish Europe
  125. 125. and then be suddenlystruck down again.*Or with the 9/11/01attack on the Towers ofthe World Trade Centerled by Osama bin Laden?
  126. 126. *It was to awaken theWestern world to itsgreediness, itscovetousness, itswickedness, and to itsdeparture from the thingsof truth and of God.
  127. 127. *God is saying somethingthrough this.*He is shaking thenations.
  128. 128. Then God goes on to statea principle that is quotedthree times in the NewTestament and forms thebasis for the greatestmovements that God hasever had among humans.
  129. 129. He says these words (verse4):4 “Look, his ego is inflated;he is without integrity.But the righteous one willlive by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4
  130. 130. *These words are quotedin the New Testament inRomans, Galatians, andHebrews.*This is the word that lit afire in the heart of MartinLuther.
  131. 131. "The righteous shall liveby faith."*Not by circumstances orby observations or byreasoning, but by faith inwhat God has said willhappen.
  132. 132. Then, in verse 2:20, we seeone of the most reverentverses in the whole Bible:20 “But the Lord is in Hisholy temple; let everyoneon earth be silent in Hispresence.” Habakkuk 2:20
  133. 133. Man’s problems can besolved only by therelationship of man toGod.
  134. 134. Habakkuk 3:17-1917 “Though the fig treedoes not bud and there isno fruit on the vines,though the olive crop failsand the fields produce nofood, though there are no
  135. 135. sheep in the pen and nocattle in the stalls,18 yet I will triumph inYahweh; I will rejoice inthe God of my salvation!19 Yahweh my Lord is mystrength; He makes my
  136. 136. feet like those of a deerand enables me to walkon mountain heights!” Habakkuk 3:17-19
  137. 137. *Have you discoveredthat?*That though the problemremains and the pressureis still there, there can be astrengthening of the innerman that makes the heart
  138. 138. rejoice and be glad evenin the midst of thedifficulty.*That is what Habakkukdiscovered."The Lord Himself," hesays, "is my strength."
  139. 139. *Hinds feet on highplaces.*That is NT truth.*That is the great secret ofa Christian.*Not that God takes theproblem away.
  140. 140. *The world is desperatelytrying to find a way to getrid of the problem.*But God’s way is that theproblems shall remain.
  141. 141. "In the world you willhave tribulation," Jesussaid, "but be of goodcheer, I have overcomethe world." (John 16:33)
  142. 142. Dr. Edman, formerpresident of WheatonCollege, wrote a bookentitled:"Not Somehow, ButTriumphantly."
  143. 143. That title so gloriouslysums up what aChristians attitude shouldbe in the midst of difficulttimes. Not just gettingthrough it somehow, buttriumphantly!
  144. 144. Romans 8:31-39 NASB31 “What then shall we sayto these things? If God isfor us, who is against us? 32 He Who did not spareHis own Son, but deliveredHim over for us
  145. 145. all, how will He not alsowith Him freely give usall things? 33 Who will bring acharge against God’select? God is the One Whojustifies;
  146. 146. 34 who is the one whocondemns? Christ Jesus isHe Who died, yes, ratherWho was raised, Who is atthe right hand of God,Who also intercedes forus. 
  147. 147. 35 Who will separate usfrom the love of Christ?Will tribulation, ordistress, or persecution,or famine, or nakedness,or peril, or sword? 
  148. 148. 36 Just as it is written,“For Your sake we arebeing put to death all daylong;We were considered assheep to be slaughtered.”
  149. 149. 37 But in all these thingswe overwhelmingly conquer through HimWho loved us. 38 For I am convinced thatneither death, nor life, norangels, nor principalities,
  150. 150. nor things present, northings to come, norpowers, 39 nor height, nor depth,nor any other createdthing, will be able toseparate us from the love
  151. 151. of God, which is in ChristJesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39 NASB
  152. 152. Stedman, Ray.“Habakkuk: History Is inGods Hands.”August 28, 1966Discovery Publishing.Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996. 
  153. 153. Biblical Truths• When we’re tempted toquestion God, we need topour out our hearts toHim; in the end we needto resolve to be patientand live by faith.
  154. 154. • Accept that life is filledwith mysteries, but trustthat God is just and willact fairly and faithfully.
  155. 155. • Often we want a quickresponse and don’t like towait, but we need to bepatient and wait for Godto act according to Histimetable and His plan.
  156. 156. • Rejoice in the promisethat God will be ourstrength and oursalvation.
  157. 157. If you are presentlydealing with an answer toprayer that you didn’texpect or want, reaffirmyour faith and confidencein God, resting in Hissufficiency.
  158. 158. If you do not findyourself in such asituation right now,reaffirm your intentionto trust God wheneveryou find yourself in sucha situation, and ask Him
  159. 159. to develop in you astronger trust and rest inHim.

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