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Habakkuk's Complaint

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Loyal
Habakkuk actually had more than one complaint, this is the first one.

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 can't help but think how relevant this is in the current time.
It seems there is strife, dissension, wars, violent protests, terrorism, mass-shooting and bombings in the news almost everyday. Even more that is not even reported in the news because "people are tired of hearing about it". This didn't just start happening this year, but it seems to be getting progressively worse.

I think of the lesbian/gay and transgender laws, abortion, and shake my head... and I have to admit, sometimes I'm a little like Habakkuk. "God can't you see what is going on?" "Don't you care?"

The Lord's Answer

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."

Sometimes when we see evil and destruction, God is allowing this to happen for a greater purpose. I don't believe God is evil, but sometimes He uses evil people to accomplish His purpose. Sometimes we don't know what that purpose is... but even when we don't understand, God is in control.

... next, Habakkuk's Second Complaint.
 
Loyal
Habakkuk's Second Complaint

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 seems that Habakkuk realizes God is God, and He is in control.... Habakkuk even says...
You have appointed (the Chaldeans) to judge. You have established them (the Chaldeans) to correct. He understands now that God is using them.
He acknowledges that God is too pure to approve of evil, and he does not look upon wickedness with favor.

So he asks..... Why do you give the wicked favor, why do you allow them to "swallow up" the righteous? The says his people are like fish that the Chaldeans catch with hooks and nets, and then they offer sacrifices to their gods. Everything seems to be going their way, they have plenty of food. How long will you allow them keep on "slaying the nations" without sparing any righteous people?

Hab 2:1; I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.

I have to give Habakkuk credit for being vigilant in waiting for God's response.
So what does God say the second time?

Hab 2:2; Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it 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.
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.

Many times in the Bible, God talks about an "appointed time". He does things in His timing, not always ours. It may seems like a long time coming to us, but God will move
when He ready to. Verse 4 is quoted in the new testament by Paul. ( Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; )
God says ... "the proud one".. "his soul is not right within him". God knows this better than we do. I think of this verse whenever I see "gay Pride" signs and parades.
These people aren't just sinning, they are "proud" in their sin.

We often quote "the righteous shall live by faith". ...Hmmm.. "live"... live by faith. Of course we don't live just one day and die. We live for years and years... however old we are,
and however old we will be. Faith isn't a one time thing, but something we "live by". We have to trust God.

It's interesting to me that God includes "wine" in His answer. "wine betrays the haughty man". Alcohol makes people proud, it's make them do dumb things.
God says these people are never satisfied.

.... so what is God going to do about the Chaldeans?

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
Habakkuk's Second Complaint

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 seems that Habakkuk realizes God is God, and He is in control.... Habakkuk even says...
You have appointed (the Chaldeans) to judge. You have established them (the Chaldeans) to correct. He understands now that God is using them.
He acknowledges that God is too pure to approve of evil, and he does not look upon wickedness with favor.

So he asks..... Why do you give the wicked favor, why do you allow them to "swallow up" the righteous? The says his people are like fish that the Chaldeans catch with hooks and nets, and then they offer sacrifices to their gods. Everything seems to be going their way, they have plenty of food. How long will you allow them keep on "slaying the nations" without sparing any righteous people?

Hab 2:1; I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.

I have to give Habakkuk credit for being vigilant in waiting for God's response.
So what does God say the second time?

Hab 2:2; Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it 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.
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.

Many times in the Bible, God talks about an "appointed time". He does things in His timing, not always ours. It may seems like a long time coming to us, but God will move
when He ready to. Verse 4 is quoted in the new testament by Paul. ( Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; )
God says ... "the proud one".. "his soul is not right within him". God knows this better than we do. I think of this verse whenever I see "gay Pride" signs and parades.
These people aren't just sinning, they are "proud" in their sin.

We often quote "the righteous shall live by faith". ...Hmmm.. "live"... live by faith. Of course we don't live just one day and die. We live for years and years... however old we are,
and however old we will be. Faith isn't a one time thing, but something we "live by". We have to trust God.

It's interesting to me that God includes "wine" in His answer. "wine betrays the haughty man". Alcohol makes people proud, it's make them do dumb things.
God says these people are never satisfied.

.... so what is God going to do about the Chaldeans?

... to be continued ...
I didn't know much about Habakkuk until 2004. My grandmother, who died when I was 2 years old, so I didn't know her, was a godly woman, I had been told. She had journaled her faith for many years, and someone in the family had the journals, but the journals had gone missing for a number of years. I was visiting with an uncle in Florida, and I mentioned the journals, but the one who had them did not fess up, because he wanted to keep them for himself. Later he did fess up, he made copies of what he wanted, and then he sent them on to me.

When I began to read my grandmother's journals, I wept. I finally "met" someone in my family I truly connected with on multiple levels, but particularly with her spiritual walk of faith with Christ. We shared many of the same favorite scriptures, and she wrote much like I do, and the way she expressed herself was so similar to me, and her heart for Jesus was like-minded with my relationship with the Lord, too. I really connected with my grandmother through the reading of her journals, but I also connected with my Lord in a much deeper way, too.

Anyway, she kept repeating a certain "saying" over and over again. I was unfamiliar with it, so I assumed it was something she read in a devotional book, because she did frequently quote from a devotional book, and not just from the Bible. Finally, I got curious, so I looked up the words, and they were from Habakkuk 2:2-3, which then the Lord used to call me to my present ministry, for the "revelation" is what he teaches me, and the "tablet" is my computer, and the "herald," for me, is the internet, and "the herald," i.e. the internet runs with what I post on here, and God uses it as he desires.

Anyway, so this book of Habakkuk, but especially these verses, has become very special to me ever since I read those words in my grandmother's journals. We never know how God is going to use what we write, do we? I bet she never imagined she would have a granddaughter who would, in some ways, end up walking in her footsteps, and following after the same love for the Lord as she had.
 
Loyal
Several times in these verses God uses the word "woe". We've talked about this word before (the 3 woes in Revelation)
The word "woe" mean.... misery, sorrow, distress, wretchedness, sadness, unhappiness, heartache, heartbreak, despondency, despair, depression, regret, gloom, melancholy;
trouble, difficulty, problem, trial, tribulation, misfortune, setback...

Hab 2:6; "Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, 'Woe to him who increases what is not his—For how long—And makes himself rich with loans?'
Hab 2:7; "Will not your creditors rise up suddenly, And those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them.
Hab 2:8; "Because you have looted many nations, All the remainder of the peoples will loot you—Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.
Hab 2:9; "Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house To put his nest on high, To be delivered from the hand of calamity!
Hab 2:10; "You have devised a shameful thing for your house By cutting off many peoples; So you are sinning against yourself.
Hab 2:11; "Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
Hab 2:12; "Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence!
Hab 2:13; "Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing?
Hab 2:14; "For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.
Hab 2:15; "Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness!
Hab 2:16; "You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the LORD'S right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace will come upon your glory.
Hab 2:17; "For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, And the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them, Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.
Hab 2:18; "What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork When he fashions speechless idols.
Hab 2:19; "Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, 'Awake!' To a mute stone, 'Arise!' And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it.

I read these verses and the descriptions of the people in them. I think I know some of these people. Some of them are on the news everyday.
People who take "what is not his". People who make themselves "rich with loans". People who "loot the nations".
Those who build cities and nations with bloodshed. Those who make idols. People who cause others to look upon nakedness. ... God says ... "woe" to these people.

Hab 2:20; "But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him."

When God tells you "woe" is coming, it's not going to be a good day for these people.

.. to be continued...
 
Loyal
Now we don't have a narrative of what actually happened to the Chaldeans.

But sometimes the Bible can be almost Cinematic in it's descriptions. I am reminded of a movie I saw not long ago.
A great army was rushing towards a city. The city was unprepared. All we see is the army crashing through the city gates and people running...
the screen goes black for a few moments....

When the next scene fades into view, all we see is a city lying in desolation, dead bodies, charred buildings, houses in flames, and blood everywhere.
It's kind of left up to our imagination what happened while the screen was blacked out.

It's much the same in Habakkuk. We don't know what actually happened to the Chaldeans, but we know what it looked like afterwards.

Hab 3:2; LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.
Hab 3:3; God comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise.
Hab 3:4; His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.
Hab 3:5; Before Him goes pestilence, And plague comes after Him.

When God finally moves...

Hab 3:7; I saw the tents of Cushan under distress, The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.
Hab 3:8; Did the LORD rage against the rivers, Or was Your anger against the rivers, Or was Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, On Your chariots of salvation?
Hab 3:9; Your bow was made bare, The rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah. You cleaved the earth with rivers.
Hab 3:10; The mountains saw You and quaked; The downpour of waters swept by. The deep uttered forth its voice, It lifted high its hands.
Hab 3:11; Sun and moon stood in their places; They went away at the light of Your arrows, At the radiance of Your gleaming spear.
Hab 3:12; In indignation You marched through the earth; In anger You trampled the nations.

When God says "woe"....

Hab 3:14; You pierced with his own spears The head of his throngs. They stormed in to scatter us; Their exultation was like those Who devour the oppressed in secret.
Hab 3:15; You trampled on the sea with Your horses, On the surge of many waters.

God did not forget His people.

Hab 3:13; You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For the salvation of Your anointed. You struck the head of the house of the evil To lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah.

After these happen, Habakkuk is thankful to God. It seems he give a prayer of praise to God for deliverance. There was a cost for the "battle of the Lord".

Hab 3:17; Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Hab 3:18; Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Hab 3:19; The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.
 
Active
Weren't the Chaldeans in Job's book as well? Wasnt his family taken by them or something...
 
Loyal
They are all through the old testament. Starting Genesis. In fact Abram (before he was Abraham) was from the land of the Chaldeans.
( Gen 11:28; Gen 11:31; Gen 15:7; Acts 7:4; )

2 Kings 25; mentions the Chaleans quite a bit when Judah fell and went into captivity. (the story of Gedaliah).

Isaiah 47 and 48 mention the Chaldeans a few times.

Jeremiah probably mentions them the most, from Chapters 21 to 52.

The first 5 chapters of Daniel also speak about them, Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) was a Chaldean.

and of course... Habakkuk.

It is thought that they were their own kingdom in the time of Abraham, but by the middle of the old testament, they became a part of
northern Babylon.
 
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