Habakkuk: Five Woes, Part 3.

“Woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity! Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations weary themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:12-14)

The LORD revealed to Habakkuk a series of woes which the prophet was not only to receive but also prophesy to the people. The “five woes” is structured in five stanzas with three verses contained in each stanza. This structural form is reminiscent of the Fourth Servant Song of Yahweh (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) which we have previously studied.

Today’s text contains the third stanza, which was God’s third announcement of woe upon the Babylonians. Each woe contained a particular sin for which God judged the Chaldeans as guilty. The first sin was extortion. The second sin was exploitation. The third sin condemned Babylon for being bloodthirsty killers and despots.

I recently watched for the umpteenth time the television documentary on Nazi Germany, based upon William Shirer’s magnum opus The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The film presentation chronicles the rise of National Socialism in Germany from the birth of Adolf Hitler to the conclusion of World War II in 1945. The viewer witnesses the heights of the Nazi’s nationalistic glory which eventually gave way to the devastating destruction of not only World War II, but also the Holocaust.

Habakkuk 2:12-14 parallels in the 7th century B.C. what many witnessed firsthand in the mid-20th century A.D. Both nations founded themselves on an insatiable thirst for power based upon the destruction of all enemies: real and perceived. Ultimately, the prophet declares that such violence and bloodshed is not glorifying to God. This truth applies to even today’s violent despots.

Habakkuk 2:13 declares “nations weary themselves for nothing.”  This is comparable to Jeremiah 51:58 which says, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground, and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for nothing, and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”\

Habakkuk was pronouncing that nations and political philosophies come and go and eventually result in ruin. However, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” What the fallen world presently runs from, namely the LORD, it will eventually become devoted in worship to regarding the knowledge and glory belonging only to the LORD. Isaiah 11:9 which says, “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

Dr. John Walvoord writes, God’s everlasting glory will fill the entire earth! This verse is based on the declaration in Isaiah 11:9 with only minor alterations. (The earth filled with God’s glory is also spoken of in Num. 14:21; Ps. 72:19; and Isa. 6:3.) Isaiah closed his description of the messianic kingdom (Isa. 11:1–9) by stating that the earth would be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Habakkuk stated that the earth would be filled with the knowledge of His glory. Isaiah dealt with the essence of the kingdom, Habakkuk with the establishment of the kingdom. Isaiah presented the fact, Habakkuk the act. God will overthrow and judge future Babylon (Rev. 17–18) and all ungodly powers (Rev. 19:19) represented by Babylon. The Lord’s glory (Matt. 24:30) and majesty (2 Thess. 1:9) will be made evident in the Millennium and thereby acknowledged throughout the earth.”

Do not be dismayed at the rise and fall of violent nations. The LORD is sovereign and in control. His kingdom will last forever. Are you a member of His kingdom?  

May the LORD’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

Habakkuk: Five Woes, Part 2.

“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm! You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life. For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.” (Habakkuk 2:9-11)

The LORD revealed to Habakkuk a series of woes which the prophet was not only to receive but also prophesy to the people. The “five woes” is structured in five stanzas with three verses contained in each stanza. This structural form is reminiscent of the Fourth Servant Song of Yahweh (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) which we have previously studied.

Today’s text contains the second stanza, which was God’s second announcement of woe upon the Babylonians. Each woe contained a particular sin for which God judged the Chaldeans as guilty. The first sin was extortion. The second sin was exploitation.

Exploitation is taking advantage of other people’s misfortunes. Synonyms include misuse, abuse, mistreatment, manipulation and corruption. This was the sin by the Babylonians toward their victims. They abused conquered nations by stripping them of their natural resources and also relocating other nation’s children for indoctrination into Babylonian culture and religion.

The Babylonians would not be safe from God’s judgment. His wrath would come upon them: swift and true.

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The second charge, of premeditated exploitation borne out of covetousness, was a continuation of vv. 6–8. The walls of their houses, built with stones and timbers taken from others, testified against them (v. 11). Wanting to protect themselves from any recriminations their enemies might seek to shower upon them, the Chaldeans had sought to make their cities impregnable and inaccessible to the enemy (cf. Isa. 14:13–14).” However, all this resulted in the Babylonians shaming their own souls.

Dr. John Walvoord writes, A house built of tortured bodies and stark skeletons is not too habitable. In the fray to erect a monument, they constructed their own shameful (cf. “shame” in v. 16) mausoleum. Death became their due.”

One of the most masterful accounts of 20th century Nazi Germany, and its leader Adolf Hitler, was written by William Shirer and entitled The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.  Shirer chronicles the movement from the birth of Hitler to the end of World War II in 1945. Shirer’s account parallels the biblical recalling of the rise and fall of ancient Babylon and all nations and peoples who would set themselves up against God.

Do not be discouraged when evil seemingly reigns. God is on His throne and always will be. Evil nations come and go but the Lord is eternal.

May the LORD’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!   

Habakkuk: Five Woes.

“Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say, “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own— for how long? — and loads himself with pledges!” Will not your debtors suddenly arise, and those awake who will make you tremble? Then you will be spoil for them. Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them.” (Habakkuk 2:5-7)

The LORD revealed to Habakkuk a series of woes which the prophet was not only to receive but also prophesy to the people. The “five woes” is structured in five stanzas with three verses contained in each stanza. This structural form is reminiscent of the Fourth Servant Song of Yahweh (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) which we have previously studied.

Today’s text contains the first stanza, which was God’s first announcement of woe upon the Babylonians. Each woe contained a particular sin for which God judged the Chaldeans as guilty. The first sin was extortion.

Extortion is the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats. In the Babylonians case, they not only extorted money from conquered nations, they also extorted people (Daniel 1). The irony was that the nations which the Babylonians plundered would eventually plunder them. Those who the Babylonians frightened would frighten them. The truth of Galatians 6:7 resonates here when it says, Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

John Calvin writes, “Whatever therefore the Prophet subjoins to the end of the chapter tends to confirm his doctrine, which we have already explained—that the just shall live by faith. We cannot indeed be fully convinced of this except we hold firmly to this principle—that God cares for us and that the whole world is governed by his providence; so that it cannot be but that he will at length check the wicked, and punish their sins and deliver the innocent who call upon him. Unless this be our conviction, there can be no benefit derived from our faith.”

As we watch world events unfold through the medium of 24 news channels, it can be to believe that the world is seemingly out of control. However, we must always remember that God is in control and He will do what is right in punishing the wicked.

May the LORD’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

LORD’S DAY 20, 2019.

On each Lord’s Day this year, we will display the 52 devotionals taken from the Heidelberg Catechism which are structured in the form of questions posed and answers given.

The Heidelberg Catechism was originally written in 1563. It originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.

Along with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt, it forms what is collectively referred to as the Three Forms of Unity.

The devotional for LORD’S DAY 20 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer. This morning’s devotional addresses the subject of God the Holy Spirit.

Q. What do you believe concerning “the Holy Spirit”?

A. First, that the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God.1 Second, that the Spirit is given also to me,2 so that, through true faith, he makes me share in Christ and all his benefits,3 comforts me,4 and will remain with me forever.5

1 Gen. 1:1-2Matt. 28:19Acts 5:3-4.
2 1 Cor. 6:192 Cor. 1:21-22Gal. 4:6.
3 Gal. 3:14.
4 John 15:26Acts 9:31.
5 John 14:16-171 Pet. 4:14.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

Habakkuk: Greedy, Like Death.

“Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.” (Habakkuk 2:5)

In contrast to the righteous who lives by his faith (Habakkuk 2:4), the wickedness of the Babylonians is given a climatic, summary description prior to the LORD’s pronouncement, through the prophet, of five woes. The images God conveyed to describe the nation was not pretty and was not supposed to be. The main idea was that Babylon was greedy.

Greed has often been portrayed in popular culture as a good thing. The more you have, the better off you are. However, one psychologist commented that, “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

Ecclesiastes 5:10-12 says, He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.”

I  Timothy 6:9-10 says, But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

“Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest.” The ancient Babylonians were betrayed by their love for wine. They were addicted to it. In fact, Daniel 5 records that the ultimate defeat of Babylon was preceded on the very night of their destruction by a huge and riotous banquet. Proverbs 23:31-32 says, “Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.” The insatiable arrogance and haughtiness of the Babylonians was compared to a wine besotted drunkard.

His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough.” The greedy man, or in this context nation, is never satisfied with what it has. He, or it, always wants more. This greed, like death, is never satisfied and ultimately proved to be Babylon’s undoing. See Proverbs 1:12; 27:20; 30:15-16.

He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.” Babylon was likened to a thief. It took what was rightfully not its own. However, there would be a day of reckoning. Dr. John Walvoord comments that, Like some hideous monster, the grave devours the nations. Likewise, Babylon opened wide her insatiable jaws to devour all peoples. But this evil nation would not continue unpunished. God’s judgment would fall!”

Habakkuk 2:5 would serve as the basis for a series of five woes (2:6-20) which God would pronounce upon the proud and arrogant nation.

God’s word forbids greed or covetousness of any kind (Exodus 20:17). Colossians 3:5 says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

Take a moment to examine your inner self and see if there is anything you covet and for which you desire. Repent of it daily and saturate your mind and soul with Scripture.

May the LORD’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!  

  

 

 

Habakkuk: The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith.

“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)

Habakkuk 2:4 is not only the theme verse for the entire book by the prophet, but it also serves as the transitional verse between the doubting Habakkuk with the trusting Habakkuk. The object of both Habakkuk’s doubt and faith is God.

Let me say something I have previously said in this column. Everyone who has ever lived, is presently living, and will live, was, is and will be a person of faith. The question is “faith in what or who?” Additionally, the statement “the righteous shall live by faith” may also be correctly translated “the one who by faith is righteous shall live.”

When God says, “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,” He is referring to the nation of Babylon and its ruler Nebuchadnezzar who personifies the Babylonian’s arrogance.  To be puffed up means to be swelled with false pride and haughtiness, like the swelling which occurs from a tumor. To not be upright means to not be just or conformed to a righteous standard. This crooked condition is not due to anything outside of the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar, but rather it is within them. It is a fitting and appropriate description of their spiritual condition before the LORD.

In contrast, those who are in a right relationship with Yahweh are not only declared righteous but also live in obedience to the LORD. This obedience is an evidence of faith meaning to trust in, commitment to, dependence upon and a worship and honoring of God. As Dr. R. C. Sproul explains, “Genuine love for Jesus manifest itself in obedience to His commandments.”   

The phase “shall live” refers to right here and now. The believer in Christ is presently not only alive and delivered from the penalty of sin, but also alive and continually delivered from the power of sin. Eventually God will deliver each believer from the very presence of sin when God calls us home to heaven.

Habakkuk 2:4 is quoted three times in the New Testament: twice by the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:16-17; Galatians 3:11) and once by the writer of the Book of Hebrews (10:37-38). Paul refers to Habakkuk 2:4 to emphasize the fundamental God given instrument by which believers are joined to Christ: faith. It is by faith alone in Christ alone that a sinner becomes justified by grace alone. Hebrews 10:37-38 cites Habakkuk 2:4 to stress the importance of faith in the believer’s continual sanctification. Faith in Christ is not a one-time deal so to speak but rather a continuing reality in the person and work of Christ in the believer’s new life in Christ.

Dr. Sproul explains that, “The Lord here (Habakkuk 2:4) discloses the essential distinction He makes between the wicked, the Babylonians, and the righteous, the remnant of Judah. The wicked take paths that lead to death and defeat; the righteous by faith take a path that leads to life and victory. His distinction and the promise it contains for the righteous bring a word of comfort to Habakkuk. It also marks the turning point in his personal struggle over the Lord’s use of the wicked Babylonians as a rod of judgment against His people.”

Dr. Sproul concludes by saying, “One who lives by faith is a righteous person in the sight of God. The righteous live by trust. In other words, the thing that characterizes the righteous person above all else is an abiding trust in God and His promises. Because righteous people trust the Lord, they continue to believe Him even when He seems slow to act. They do not just believe in God—they believe God. Because they believe the Lord, they are faithful to Him and they obey Him—truly though imperfectly— out of their deep loyalty to Him.” 

Which path are you presently traveling through this life? Are you a person of faith in some object other than Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, or are you a person of faith alone, by God’s grace alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone? It remains a question of life or death.

May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!       

Habakkuk: God’s Second Response, Prelude and Promises.

And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

When the LORD responded to Habakkuk a second time, the revelation contained a prelude and a promise before the actual oracle of woe upon the Babylonians.

The LORD commanded Habakkuk to write and record the vision. It is that vision which Habakkuk recorded, and which God gave him, that we have in the biblical book which bears the prophet’s name. The word vision is from the Hebrew word ha’zon meaning word of revelation, which is a communication from God which is to be communicated to others.

The LORD then gave the prophet a second command, which was to make the vision plain on tablets. The meaning of this directive is two-fold. The command could have been for Habakkuk to write down God’s vision in plain, distinct letters. Secondly, it could also mean that the LORD wanted the prophet to explain the oracle and to make it plain or understood to the people of Judah.

The tablets could have either been made of stone, metal or wood. They would have been more like a plank. On commentator explains that, “the boxwood tables were covered with wax, on which national affairs were engraved with an iron pen, and then hung up in public, at the prophets own houses, or at the temple, that those who passed might read them.” In principle, this would have been similar to what Martin Luther did on October 31, 1517 when he nailed his 95 Thesis’ on the church door of Wittenberg.

The purpose for such an action is found in the purpose clause which follows. “So he may run who reads it.” On the surface, the meaning may refer to the impending doom of Judah. However, the oracle God was about to deliver was no longer about Judah’s impending destruction but rather about Babylon’s. Therefore, the phrase likely meant that people will run and tell anyone that God will defeat the Chaldeans. What will be an oracle of woe for Babylon will be an oracle of blessing for the Jews.

God then gave a promise about His sovereign timing of fulfillment. “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Even though the oracle concerns the future, it will surely come to pass because God has spoken.

This promise of God fulfilling His promises in Habakkuk parallels 2 Peter 3:1-9. “This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

God’s promises will come to pass even though we may think they never will. What promises that God has given in His Word do you personally claim? Remember, His Word is true and what He has said He will do.

May the LORD’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

Habakkuk: The Prophet’s Wrestling Match with God.

“Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. He brings all of them up with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad. Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich. Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever? I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.” (Habakkuk 1:12-2:1)

Be careful what you pray for. You may not receive the answer you wanted or you thought God would give you. Habakkuk didn’t and became embroiled in a wrestling match with God. The prophet was not at all happy or blessed by what God had revealed to him about the LORD’s future providential plans for Judah. However, it would be this wrestling with God that would show Habakkuk, and us, what is the core element of our relationship with God: faith.

Author Jon Bloom, in writing about the patriarch Jacob’s similar wrestling match with God says, “In Genesis 32, Jacob is on his way back home to Canaan with his small tribe of wives and children after a twenty year sojourn in Paddan-aram. And he is scared to death, because his estranged brother, Esau, is coming to meet him — with four hundred men (Genesis 32:6). This is no welcome party; it’s an army.”

But a strange man who shows up and wrestles Jacob till daybreak rudely interrupts his plans. At some point during this weird contest Jacob realizes that he is wrestling God. And when God decides it’s time to end the match, he dislocates Jacob’s hip and demands to be released. And Jacob, in significant pain, replies, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). This response clearly pleases God, who pronounces this blessing on Jacob: “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob [deceiver], but Israel [strives with God], for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).Jacob then limps toward his tense reunion with Esau with a weakened body and a strengthened faith. Having wrestled with God, he knows his prayers regarding Esau will be answered.”

 Bloom continues by saying, Take note of what God did when he wrestled Jacob. Jacob began the night dreading Esau’s arrival. He was full of fear and desperation. But he ended the night of struggle with God’s blessing and a renewed faith. All of our struggling with God in faith leads to peace. God even afflicted Jacob with a debilitating injury. This had the effect of making Jacob even more vulnerable to Esau, forcing Jacob’s faith to more fully rest on God and not himself. If necessary, God will cause us to limp to increase our faith.”

God will cause us to limp to increase our faith. I like that statement. I may not like the limp but I like that it increase my trust, my commitment, my dependence and worship of the LORD. Habakkuk’s wrestling match with God, and his resulting limp, took the form of several questions the prophet posed to God.

Habakkuk’s first question was, “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? Habakkuk’s first objection to God’s plan for His people was that Babylon was more wicked than Judah and yet God was going to use the Babylonian army to punish the Jews.

Habakkuk’s second question was, “You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. He brings all of them up with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad. Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich. Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever? Habakkuk’s second objection was when would Babylon be judged for their evil?

Habakkuk resolved that he would remain in a posture of prayer until the LORD responded to his questioning complaints. “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

Jon Bloom concludes, God will meet you in your anguish, fear, and uncertainty. But he may not meet you in the way you expect or desire. Your greatest ally may show up looking at first like your adversary, inciting you to wrestle with him. So when God calls you to wrestle with him in prayer, it is an invitation to receive his blessing. Stay with him and don’t give up. Do not let him go until he blesses you! He loves to bless that kind of tenacious faith and you will come out transformed.”

Have you wrestled with God? Are you wrestling with God? Do not give up until He blesses you.

May the LORD’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!  

Habakkuk: God’s First Response, Part 2.

“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand.  At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” (Habakkuk 1:5-11)

God was neither indifferent nor deaf regarding Judah’s sin in the 7th century B.C. He was fully aware of His people’s sin and planned on doing something about the immorality and injustice which prevailed among the Jews, of which the Prophet Habakkuk was particularly grieved.

However, the answer from God which Habakkuk had prayed for was not the answer the prophet expected. God revealed to Habakkuk that He was going to do a work which was inconceivable to the man of God. Yahweh was going to judge Judah by an invasion from the Chaldeans or the Babylonians. God was going to use an evil nation in order to judge the evil committed by the Judeans.

What were the ancient Babylonians like? The LORD provides Habakkuk a clear description of the type of people He chose to use in order to be His instrument of wrath. He said He was raising up the Chaldeans:

  • That bitter and hasty nation. They were impetuous and fearful and left a bitter taste in people’s mouths.
  • To seize dwellings not their own. The Chaldeans would seize property and possessions, which did not belong to them, by military force. They were thieves.
  • They are dreaded and fearsome. They struck terror and distress in the hearts of their enemies.
  • Their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. They are a law unto themselves. They decide what is right or wrong.
  • Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They are predators who come from a great distance to consume and destroy.
  • They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They are completely focused on destruction and plunder.
  • They gather captives like sand. Their ability to conquer is easy.
  • At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. They laugh at foes and fortresses.
  • Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” They worship power.

Clearly, by God’s own description, the Chaldeans were an evil people. However, they would become a tool by which God would accomplish His will without impugning His holiness.

What was Habakkuk’s response to God’s revelation? We’ll see tomorrow. What is your own response to God’s revelation to Habakkuk? You obviously know that today. Remember, our responsibility is to believe and teach what God’s Word says is true and not believe and teach what we want God’s Word to say is true.

May God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

Habakkuk: God’s First Response.

“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand.  At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” (Habakkuk 1:5-11)

God was neither indifferent nor deaf regarding Judah’s sin in the 7th century B.C. He was fully aware of His people’s sin and planned on doing something about the immorality and injustice which prevailed among the Jews, of which the Prophet Habakkuk was particularly grieved.

However, the answer from God which Habakkuk had prayed for was not the answer the prophet expected. God revealed to Habakkuk that He was going to do a work which was inconceivable to the man of God. Yahweh was going to judge Judah by an invasion from the Chaldeans or the Babylonians.

It should be noted that God took full responsibility for the Babylonian invasion of Judah, which would take place at three distinct historical periods: 605 B.C., 597 B.C. and 586 B. C. He told Habakkuk, “For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own.” The Babylonian invasion of Judah was a sovereign and personal work by God. The Chaldeans would invade the City of Jerusalem but only because the Lord God Almighty permitted and orchestrated the invasion to occur.

God gave not only Habakkuk, but also entire nation of Judah, three commands: see, wonder and be astounded. To look and see means to understand, to examine and to make a judgment based upon one’s perceptions and understanding. To wonder and be astounded means to be personally stunned and dumb-founded.

The reason for these commands was because God was going to do a work that Habakkuk would never have believed God would do. It was beyond the prophet’s comprehension of the character of God that He would use the powerful, aggressive and evil empire of Babylon to accomplish His will.

Do we sometimes place God in our own little box of expectations and assumptions as to who He is and what He will do? Do we seemingly seek to replace His sovereign will and prerogative with our own? Having created us in His image, do we endeavor to create a god in our own image and imagination with which we are comfortable and not astounded, stunned and in awe? This is nothing more, nothing less and nothing else than idolatry.

Let us all repent of our sin of unbiblical idolatry and worship the God of the Bible not only in spirit but also in truth (John 4:24).

May God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

                                                                                   

 

Habakkuk: Habakkuk’s First Complaint to God.

“O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:2-4)”

Have you ever gone to God in prayer with a concern or conviction about something you wanted the Lord to fix or take care of? Perhaps it was a situation which overwhelmed you. Or maybe it was about another person who was troubling you.

For the prophet, the issue which prompted him to go to the Lord with such a desperate burden was the spiritual state of the nation of Judah. Judah was in dire straits. In other words, God’s people were in trouble and the prophet was going to God about it. However, the trouble Judah was in was self-inflicted. It was not that the Jewish nation in the 7th century B.C. was being attacked from without by some foreign enemy. Rather, they were self-destructing from within by their own sin and ungodliness.

The nation of Judah at that time was ironically reminiscent of the present spiritual state of America during our own time. The foes the United States currently faces outside its borders is far less a problem than its spiritual condition within itself. Much like Judah, America is self-destructing.

Consider today’s text and Habakkuk’s complaint to God. He complained that Judah was filled with violence. Internal destructive forces were dominating the culture resulting in acts that maimed, destroyed, and killed Jewish citizens. It was a time of lawlessness, terror, and lack of moral restraint.

Additionally, the prophet also expressed concern because of iniquity. Destruction stemming from violence, havoc and devastation, along with strife (disputes, brawls, quarrels, lawsuits and legal cases) and contentions were prevalent. The days seemed to parallel the Apostle Paul’s description of ungodliness found in Romans 1:18-32. Chaos ruled the promise land.

But what about the legal system which God designed to address sin and unrighteousness? Habakkuk further complained that the legal system was compromised. He described the law as paralyzed (numb; weary; cold; tired and feeble) and justice never prevailed. The wicked surrounded the righteous so that justice was perverted, crooked, twisted and confused.

However, Habakkuk had one more complaint to God. It wasn’t just that the Nation of Judah was spiritually spiraling out of control that had the prophet so vexed, it was also that, in Habakkuk’s opinion, God wasn’t doing anything to stop it.

Observe what Habakkuk said about God in today’s text. Habakkuk was crying for help, but God did not hear. In other words, God, you’re deaf. Additionally, the prophet indicated he thought God was indifferent by not delivering His people from their current spiritual condition. In other words, God you’re lazy and indifferent. Those were strong words from a prophet of God to the One, True God of the prophet.

Dr. John MacArthur comments that, “In Habakkuk’s first complaint, he perceived that God appeared indifferent to Judah’s sin. Jealous for his righteousness and knowing that a breach of the covenant required judgment (cf. Deut. 28), Habakkuk questioned God’s wisdom, expressing bewilderment at his seeming inactivity in the face of blatant violation of his law. The Jews had sinned by violence and injustice and should have been punished by the same.”

Well, be careful what you pray for because God may just answer your prayer. But not in the way you expected. More to follow when we meet again.

Until then, may God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

 

Habakkuk: Foundational Premises from Habakkuk, Part 2.

In studying the Book of Habakkuk we need to begin by identifying three fundamental premises undergirding the entire book. What are these three fundamental premises or assertions?

First, Habakkuk teaches the truth that evil exists. What kind of evil exists? There are notably four categories of evil. There is Natural Evil, Moral Evil, Supernatural Evil and Eternal Evil: otherwise known as Hell.

The second premise from Habakkuk is that God exists. Who is this biblical God? What is He like? The following is but a partial summary of the character of the One, True God of the Bible.

To begin with, the God of the Scriptures is known by His names. There are three foundational names or titles for God.

The first is the Hebrew name Yahweh. Self- Existent One. It is translated in the English as “LORD” (Exodus 3:1-6, 14-15; Psalm 8:1; Isaiah 6:1-7. This is the most personal name for God. I Am that I Am. See John 6, 8, 9,10,11,14 and 15.

The second name is Elohim, translated into English as ‘God”. It is a plural name for God and is used more than 2,000 times in the Old Testament. The only powerful and transcendent God Who is above all (Genesis 1:1; 17:1; 28:1-3; 35:11; Joshua 3:10).

The third name is Adonai. It is translated in the English as “Lord.” It occurs 449 times alone and 315 times in conjunction with the name Yahweh. Adonai emphasizes the master-servant relationship. The Lord is the Master of all. He is One who is sovereign in His rule and has absolute authority over all (Psalm 8:1; Isaiah 6:1-8; Acts 2:42; I Timothy 6:15; Revelation 6:9-11).

The God of the Bible is also known by His attributes or characteristics. What is the God of the Bible like?

First, God is Unique. There is no other God by Him. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 40:15-18). God alone is the Supreme Authority.

Second, God is Sovereign. His will is supreme. So far from God being under any law, He is a law unto Himself so that whatsoever He does is right. God is in complete control (Psalm 115:1-3; 135:1-6; Isaiah 45:1-9; 46:1-10; Acts 4:23-26; I Timothy 6:15-16; Revelation 6:9-11).

Third, God is Self-Existent. This is in harmony with His name Yahweh. God does not require anything outside of Himself in order to exist. God is the source, the sustainer, and the rightful end of everything that exists. (Exodus 3:13-14; Romans 11:33-34; Job 41:10-11; Psalm 50:7-15; Psalm 24:1-6).

Fourth, the LORD is Infinite. He has no limitations. He is bounded only by His own nature and will (I Kings 8:22-27; Jeremiah 23:24; Acts 17:22-28).

Fifth, God is Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12). God is everywhere present. This doctrine brings comfort to the believer since he knows that God will never leave him (Hebrews 13:5). However, it brings condemnation to the unbeliever since he cannot escape from God (Jeremiah 23:23-24).

Sixth, God is Omniscient (Psalm 147:1-5). God knows everything perfectly; the past and the future are present knowledge with Him. God perfectly knows us, our needs, our problems, and our future.

Seventh, the LORD Omnipotent (Job 38-42). God is all-powerful. God can do anything that is in harmony with His nature. Because of God’s omnipotence, we can trust Him to work out the impossible problems (Genesis 18:14; Isaiah 45:6-7; 64:4; Matthew 19:26).

Eighth, God is Immutable (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; James 1:17; Romans 1:29; Genesis 6:6). Immutability means that God is unchangeable in His essence and attributes. God doesn’t change, but we experience the working of various attributes in response to our growth in Him.

Ninth, God is Wise. God always applies and lives by His truth (Psalm 136:5; Proverbs 3:19; I Corinthians 2:1-7; I Timothy 1:17; Jude 25).

Tenth, the LORD is Incomprehensible. He is beyond our complete and total understanding (Job 38-41; Isaiah 40:12-17; Romans 11:33-36).

Additionally, God is Knowledge (I John 3:20; Psalm 139:1-54; Colossians 2:1-3; 2 Corinthians 10:5), Wisdom (Psalm 104:24; Proverbs 3:19; Genesis 50:20; I Corinthians 1:24; James 1:5), Truth and Faithfulness (2 Timothy 2:13; I John 1:5-7).

The LORD is also Good (Psalm 145:9; Jeremiah 33:11; Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:27-36), Love (I John 4:7-11; Exodus 34:6-7), Holy ( I Peter 1:15-16; Leviticus 11:44-45; Isaiah 6Z:1-7) and Merciful (Ephesians 1:6-8; 2:8-9; Proverbs. 3:1-3; Psalm 37:26; Isaiah 57:1).

Theologian Arthur W. Pink writes, “A spiritual and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every human creature. The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served nor worshipped…Something more than a theoretical knowledge of God is needed by us. God is only truly known in the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His authority, and regulate all the details of our lives by His holy precepts and commandments.”

How do we reconcile the existence of evil with the Bible’s insistence of the existence of the One, True, and Holy God? This is what we will consider when next we meet.

Until then, may God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habakkuk: Foundational Premises from Habakkuk.

“The “problem of evil” presupposes objective moral values, which requires a transcendent source. So using “evil” as an argument against God presupposes him. Without God, there can be no evil, only a material world governed by undesigned chance or blind fate. So the atheist worldview has the real “problem with evil”. If evil is purely subjective, then it really doesn’t exist. You cannot make an objective moral judgement on a materialistic universe, even in the face of the most tragic events like the starvation of little children or genocide.” (Author unknown).

In studying the Book of Habakkuk we need to begin by identifying three fundamental premises undergirding the entire book. What are these three fundamental premises or assertions?

First, Habakkuk teaches the truth that evil exists. What exactly is evil? Evil is defined “biblically” as anything wicked, bad, wrong, morally, wrong, wrongful, immoral, sinful, ungodly, unholy, foul, vile, base, ignoble, dishonorable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, degenerate, villainous, nefarious, sinister, vicious, malicious, malevolent, demonic, devilish, diabolic, diabolical, fiendish, dark and black-hearted. This is quite a list.

All of these synonyms for evil are defined as they pertain to in opposition to God and His holiness. To understand and even to define evil, there must be a corresponding contrast or standard of goodness and holiness in order for anything to be defined as lacking such goodness and holiness. Therefore, the existence of evil supports the existence of the holy God of the Bible even by those who reject the holy God of the Bible.

Dr. R. c. Sproul writes, “Those who would use the problem of evil to deny the existence of God have a problem. As many theologians and philosophers have taught, evil is a negative idea, a parasite on the good. Without a previously existing, eternal, and personal good (God), nothing could be defined as evil. As you consider the mysteries of providence and evil, remember that the Lord is far greater than we can imagine (Job 42) and will use wickedness to create a glorious future for His people

What kind of evil exists? There are notably four categories of evil.

The first category of evil is Natural Evil. This includes tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, disease, and the whole aging process. It is living life physically in a biblically and naturally fallen world. Genesis 3:1-20.

The second category of evil is Moral Evil. This is what we most often refer to when we address the subject of evil in general. Every relationship we have is tainted by moral evil. This fallen world is filled with moral evil. These includes murder, theft, sexual sin, lies. It is the continual violation of God’s Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).

The third category of evil is Supernatural Evil. It involves the believer’s battle with the fallen world (I John 2:15-17), Demons and Satan, along with the remnant of our sinful nature. It is known as Spiritual Warfare. (2 Corinthians 10:1-6; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 6:10-20; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8).

Finally, there is Eternal Evil. This is Hell (Revelation 14:6-13; 19:17-21; 20:1-10; 20:11-15. See also Matthew 13:40-42; 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 3:17; 12:47-48).

How do we reconcile the existence of evil with the Bible’s insistence of the existence of the One, True, Holy God? This is what we will consider when next we meet.

Until then, may God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habakkuk: Superscription.

“The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.” (Habakkuk 1:1)

“Habakkuk wrote in a time of international crisis and national corruption. Babylonia had just emerged as a world power. When the Babylonians rebelled against Assyria, Judah found a brief period of relief reflected in the reforms initiated by Josiah. The Assyrians were forced to devote their energies to stop the Babylonian rebellion. The Babylonians finally crushed the Assyrian empire and quickly proceeded to defeat the once-powerful Egyptians. A new world empire was stretching across the world. Soon the Babylonians would overtake Judah and carry its inhabitants away into captivity. On the eve of pending destruction, a period of uncertainty and fear, Habakkuk wrote his message.” Ron Blue

What exactly is a superscription? It may refer to an inscription on a surface or above something. Two biblical examples include the superscription which was placed above Christ while He was on the cross indicating His crime (Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38) and an inscription on coins (Matthew 22:15-22).

A superscription may also be an introductory statement or heading at the beginning of a psalm that identifies the writer, gives background information, provides musical instructions, or indicates the use or purpose of the psalm.​ See the superscriptions of Psalms 3456730386092102.

The Book of Habakkuk begins with a superscription in 1:1. The verse identifies the writer and gives the reader some general background information as to the purpose of the book. “The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.” (Habakkuk 1:1)

An oracle, from the Hebrew word Mas’sa was a pronouncement, an utterance or a prophetic announcement with the focus being on the content of the prophecy and not the persuasiveness of the prophet. Mas’sa may also mean a burden or load.

Oracles were divine announcements from the LORD. They could either be positive of negative. A positive oracle was prefaced by the word “blessed.” Psalm 1:1 says, Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” Jesus preached a series of positive oracle statements in His Sermon on the Mount each beginning with the word “blessed” (Matthew 5:1-12).

However, a negative oracle was prefaced by the word “woe.”  It meant a painful lament. We see this pronouncement in Isaiah 6:5, Matthew 23:14-36 and Revelation 8:13. In Habakkuk 2.6-20, we will witness a series of five woes the prophet will announce upon the Babylonians.

The oracle to be announced would be one which the Prophet Habakkuk saw or received from God. It was the message sovereignly God gave him. It was a supernatural revelation from God alone.

The burden Habakkuk would bear would be God’s judgment upon the Jews. God would punish their sins by using the ungodly nation of Babylon to bring Judea into captivity. This would result in a crisis of faith for Habakkuk.

Have you ever had a crisis of faith in your own life? Take heed! The Book of Habakkuk has much to offer as to God’s sovereign purpose in our lives.

May God’s truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

  

 

 

 

Habakkuk: Background and Setting.

As with several of the Minor Prophets, nothing is really known about Habakkuk the Prophet except what can be gleaned from the book which bears his name. Unfortunately, there is little internal information in which we can draw any concrete conclusions regarding his identity. The simple introduction “Habakkuk the prophet” may suggest that no introduction was necessary since he was a well-known prophet of his day  were his contemporaries Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zephaniah.

One commentator writes, “The mention of the Chaldeans (1:6) suggests a late seventh-century-B.C. date, shortly before Nebuchadnezzar commenced his military march through Nineveh (612 B.C.), Haran (609 B.C.), and Carchemish (605 B.C.), on his way to Jerusalem (605 B.C.). Habakkuk’s bitter lament (1:2–4) may reflect a time period shortly after the death of Josiah (609 B.C.), days in which the godly king’s reforms (cf. 2 Kings 23) were quickly overturned by his successor, Jehoiakim (Jer. 22:13–19).”

Habakkuk prophesied during the final days of the Assyrian Empire and the beginning of Babylon’s world domination under King Nabopolassar and his son Nebuchadnezzar. When Nabopolassar came to power in 626 B.C., he immediately began to expand his kingdom to the north and west of Babylon. Under Nebuchadnezzar’s leadership, the Babylonian army conquered Nineveh in 612 B.C., forcing the Assyrian nobility to take refuge first in Haran and then Carchemish. Nebuchadnezzar pursued them, overrunning Haran in 609 B.C. and Carchemish in 605 B.C.

Concurrently, Pharaoh Neco of Egypt , traveling through Judah in 609 B.C. to assist the fleeing Assyrian king, was opposed by King Josiah at Megiddo (2 Chron. 35:20–24). Josiah was killed in the ensuing battle. Josiah’s throne was left to a succession of three sons and a grandson.  Josiah’s legacy, as a result of discovering the Book of the Law in the temple (622 B.C.), included many spiritual reforms in Judah (2 Kings 22–23). He abolished many of the idolatrous practices of his father Amon (2 Kings 21:20–22) and Grandfather Manasseh (2 Kings 21:11–13). However, when he died Judah quickly reverted to her evil ways (cf. Jer. 22:13–19), causing Habakkuk to question God’s silence and apparent lack of corrective action (Hab. 1:2–4) to judge his covenant people.

The opening verses of Habakkuk reveal a historical context similar to that of the Prophets Amos and Micah. Justice had essentially disappeared from the land of Judah. Violence, injustice and wickedness were pervasive, remaining unchecked. In the midst of these spiritually dark days, Habakkuk cried out to God for divine intervention (1:2–4). 

God’s response, that he was sending the Chaldeans to judge Judah (1:5–11), creates an even greater theological dilemma for Habakkuk: Why didn’t God purge his people and restore their righteousness? How could God use the Chaldeans to judge a people more righteous than they (1:12–2:1)? God’s answer that he would judge the Chaldeans also (2:2–20), did not fully satisfy the prophet’s theological quandary; in fact, it only intensified it.

In Habakkuk’s mind, the fundamental issue was no longer God’s righteous response toward evil (or lack thereof), but the vindication of God’s holy character and covenant with his people (1:13). The fundamental question was God’s use of evil. How can a holy God be holy and at the same time purpose evil to exist and use it for His own glory?

As with the Patriarch Job, the prophet argued with God. It was through that experience that Habakkuk achieved a deeper understanding of God’s sovereign character resulting in a stronger faith in the LORD (cf. Job 42:5–6Isa. 55:8–9). Ultimately, Habakkuk realized that God was not to be worshiped merely for what He does, but also for who He is (3:17–19). Also, God is to be trusted even when believers do not understand what God is doing, and allowing, in their lives.

Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that, “Prophets were not only inspired preachers of divine messages to the people of God; they also shared the LORD’s burden for His broken world and His deep concern for His wayward people. Habakkuk closely resembles Jeremiah. But even more than with Jeremiah, Habakkuk’s dialogue with God, and his persistent prayers (2:1-2; 3:1-2, 16) take the place of prophetic preaching as the heart of the book’s message.”

Like the Prophet Nahum, Habakkuk addresses the subject of God’s sovereign control over human affairs. This is evident not so much when God does providentially intervene, but especially when He does not. Or, when He does intervene in human affairs but in a way which we do not understand or personally like.

Habakkuk remained convinced that the events of history were not determined by blind fate, chance or luck, but rather by the righteous and holy God of Israel.

As was the case in Habakkuk’s day, so God remains sovereign over the affairs of this world today. May we receive great comfort in knowing that God is still in control.

May God’s truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habakkuk: An Introduction.

Why do evil things happen? Have you ever asked that question? I’m sure you have. I’m sure most people have. Whether an individual is a believer in Christ or a full-fledged agnostic, people face this question, and the circumstances which prompt it to be asked, every day, of every week, of every month, of every year.

The circumstances may vary. It may be a school shooting at a school in Connecticut, Florida or Kentucky. Or maybe it is an act of violence at an out-door concert in Las Vegas or at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It may be the resulting carnage left by a spring tornado in the Midwest or even in the Deep South.  Or perhaps it is the horrific news of a father, or a mother, or a child killing a member, or members, of their family. It also may be due to a devastating diagnosis. 

Whatever the circumstances or situation, the resulting wake of searching for the answer as to “why” leaves many people baffled and confused. Liberal politicians and media commentators blame conservatives. Conservative politicians and media commentators blame the liberals.  Some believers in Christ accuse others who are dealing with difficulties that it is due to un-confessed sin.  And so it goes until tempers cool: at least until the next tragedy occurs.

How are believers in Christ to respond to the reality of the existence of evil? Some pastors promote and promise that you can have your best life now. Try telling that to the Christian who is battling breast cancer and who find themselves with their head in the toilet as they deal not only with cancer itself, but also with the after effects of chemotherapy.

Others, like Christian Scientists, insist that evil doesn’t even exist. Others chalk it up to blind fate. “It was time for you to cash in your chips,” or “Lady Luck decided to no longer smile down on you,” they say. Everyone has questions, many have opinions, but few seem to have any real answers.

Do the Scriptures have any answers? Of course it does. The Bible not only addresses the issue of evil but also provides helpful counsel in dealing with the various tragedies of life and living.

This brings us to the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. Located near the end of the OT, and in the midst of the section known as the Minor Prophets, Habakkuk provides helpful revelation from God regarding the subject of evil. While not a familiar book for many people, it proves to be most thought provoking.

This prophetic book takes its name from its author and possibly means “one who embraces” (1:1; 3:1). By the end of the prophecy, Habakkuk’s name becomes appropriate as the prophet clings to God regardless of his confusion about God’s plans for his people.

Are you one who embraces the One, True God Who has chosen to reveal Himself through the Holy Scriptures? Or, are you an individual who tends to fashion God into your own comfortable construction of what you think God should be?

Reading and studying the Word of God in general, and the Book of Habakkuk in particular, helps believers in Christ to discern and compare what they hear from the culture with the Scriptures. Especially as it pertains to the subject of evil. 

As one Christian author explains, “We are told lies every day—from marketing companies, from other people, from Satan, and even from our own flesh (Psalm 5:4). Scripture is the place we go to hear the truth. There we find unadulterated truth. No ulterior motives. No flattery. No sugarcoating. It presents a truthful picture of reality by pulling back the curtain to give us a glimpse of how things really are—and only by knowing how things really are can we endure this life with hope” (Romans 15:13).

I pray that you will covenant with me as we begin our study of the Book of Habakkuk.

May God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!