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Habakkuk - and the evening news

Loyal
Habakkuk is a minor prophet who was alive during the time that Josiah was king of Israel.
Minor prophets aren't less important than the 'major' prophets. Their books are simply shorter.

As we learned in the study of Josiah... Judah was doing a lot of evil at that time.
Much of Habakkuk is a conversation between Habakkuk and God.

Hab 1:2; How long, O Lord, will I call for help, And You will not hear?
I cry out to You, “Violence!” Yet You do not save.
Hab 1:3; Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me to look on wickedness?
Yes, destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises.
Hab 1:4; Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld.
For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted.

I think some of us can relate with Habakkuk here. Sometimes we've been praying for a situation
to get better. Sometimes we've been praying for a long time about it. But it seems nothing changes.
(at least to us).

Oh Lord... how will I call for help... Oh Lord... how long will you refuse to listen.
There is all kinds of wickedness around me Lord... I see nothing but violence, strife, and contention.
I see nothing but those who ignore your will. The wicked are surrounding the righteous...
and justice is perverted.

Hmmm.... does this sound like a certain country in the world today? Perhaps more than one.
... and we feel like.... God doesn't know this. Or at least He's not doing anything about it.
So maybe He doesn't care...

But God answers Habakkuk here.... this is what He says...

Hab 1:5; “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days— You would not believe if you were told.
Hab 1:6; “For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce and impetuous people
Who march throughout the earth To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.
Hab 1:7; “They are dreaded and feared; Their justice and authority originate with themselves.
Hab 1:8; “Their horses are swifter than leopards And keener than wolves in the evening.
Their horsemen come galloping, Their horsemen come from afar;
They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.
Hab 1:9; “All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward.
They collect captives like sand.
Hab 1:10; “They mock at kings And rulers are a laughing matter to them.
They laugh at every fortress And heap up rubble to capture it.
Hab 1:11; “Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on.
But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god.”

It seems God is not asleep. He is not unaware of what is going on in the world.
"I am doing something in your days"... "You would not believe if you were told".

God is raising up the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans were a southern tribe of Babylon.
They were noted for being even more fierce and dangerous than the northern Babylonians.

I couldn't help but think of the "non-Christian" nations of our time. Those who are predominantly
Muslim. Iran, Iraq, Syria, and others.... .... and I wonder...

Is God raising them up? Is He raising them up to judge us? To punish an evil nation
that has turned away from Him.

Sometimes God uses ungodly people to do His will.
God used Pharaoh to make the Israelites want to return to Canaan with Moses.
God used Judas to betray Jesus - so that Jesus would be crucified.
...and it seems He is using the Chaldeans here.

In verse 11... God says... "they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god.”

It seems there are some leaders in this country that believe they are too powerful to fail.
Too powerful for anything for anything to touch them. Too powerful for even God to touch them...
(if there even really is a God).

For many years I have been praying that God would heal this nation. That He would turn us back
to Him. It seems He hasn't been listening... but then again...
Maybe He is "doing something in our days"... "something we would not believe if we were told".

... to be continued...
 
Loyal
It seems the idea that God would discipline someone... anyone... is repulsive to some.
I've received some messages from people, ... usually they are something like "God is love"
and "God forgives". Both true statements.

But somehow we have gotten the idea that discipline means the opposite of love.
Where did this come from? I would say Satan.

Yet there are many verses that say we are disciplined by God.
1 Cor 11:32; 2 Tim 1:7;

In fact... it says God disciplines those who He loves. ( Rev 3:19; )

Heb 12:4; You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
Heb 12:5; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
Heb 12:6; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
Heb 12:7; It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Heb 12:8; But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Heb 12:9; Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb 12:10; For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
Heb 12:11; All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

The Father looks at us like we are His children. He disciplines those whom He loves.
In fact if we refuse that discipline... we are illegitimate children. Discipline isn't always fun, yet...
"afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness".

Prov 3:11; Prov 12:1; Prov 13:1; Prov 13:18; Prov 13:24; Prov 15:5; Prov 15:32; Prov 19:27;
Prov 23:13; etc...

... back to Habakkuk...
 
Loyal
After God gives His reply in verse 11. Habakkuk has more questions...

Hab 1:12; Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge;
And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.
Hab 1:13; Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the
wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they?
Hab 1:14; Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them?
Hab 1:15; The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook,
Drag them away with their net, And gather them together in their fishing net.
Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
Hab 1:16; Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net And burn incense to their fishing net;
Because through these things their catch is large, And their food is plentiful.
Hab 1:17; Will they therefore empty their net And continually slay nations without sparing?

It's interesting... Habakkuk recognizes that God won't kill off His people.
Yet he also recognizes that God has appointed the Chaldeans to judge and correct.

Habakkuk knows that God eyes are too pure and Holy to look upon evil. He cannot look upon
wickedness with favor.

The same thing applies today. Is God less Holy now than back then? Does He approve of
evil more now than He did back then? Habakkuk isn't talking about the evil of the Chaldeans here.
He is talking about the evil of the kingdom of Judah.

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
In Chapter 2 Habakkuk starts off by saying...

I will stand guard... I will station myself on the wall, and I will keep watch...

.. to see what He will say to me.

Habakkuk expected an answer from God. But He didn't just go on about his business like
nothing happened. He made himself ready, he made himself aware...

He didn't want Gods answer to pass him by. He wanted to recognize it when it came.

In verse 2 God answers.

Record this vision I am giving you upon the tablets.
... so that anyone who reads this may run.

Hab 2:3; "For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal
and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it.

For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

Well obviously God is giving Habakkuk a warning here. .. and He is telling Habakkuk to write
it down... so that people will read it and be aware of it. They will have time to flee.

They have time to flee, because it isn't going to happen just yet...
It will happen at the appointed time.

It seems God has an "appointed time" for a great many things in the Bible.
There was a time for Jesus to be born. ( Matt 2:7; Matt 2:16; )
There will come "a time" for the demons to be judged ( Matt 8:29; )
There will be a time for the harvest to be gathered ( Matt 13:30; )
There will be a time of apostacy, and many will fall away ( Matt 24:10; )
There will come a time when Jesus returns ( Matt 24:45-48; )

There are dozens of verses like these in the Bible. Sometimes we wonder why God isn't
doing anything right now.... but perhaps He is. God is always ready to do the right thing,
at exactly the right time. The right time often isn't when we think it is.

God's plan will not fail. God's plan will certainly come. Maybe not when we think it should.
But it will come when He thinks it should.

I've noticed God's appointed time for things goes with the good things sometimes just
like it does with the bad things.

... to be continued ..
 
Loyal
Hab 2:4; “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his faith.
Hab 2:5; “Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home.
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied.
He also gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples.

These verses are talking about the "proud", the "haughty" it seems the arrogant people.
Prov 16:18; says prides goes before a fall. Some Bible say before "destruction".

It's interesting here... the righteous shall live by "his" own faith.
We have scriptures like Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38; that are all say the righteous
will live by faith... these verses are quoting Habakkuk. But here in Habakkuk it says "his" faith.
Not God's faith. Yours.

In verse 5 it says... wine betrays the haughty man.
I take this to mean that decisions made under the influence (of anything, it doesn't necessarily
have to be alcohol) ungodly worldly substances... usually cause us to make bad judgment,
and bad decisions. They later come back to haunt us.. or "betray" us.

... to be continued ...
 

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