Habakkuk

In my post over Matthew, I said I was going to try to stay away of the “going through trials” themes, yet I keep coming across awesome books and sermons and they speak directly to my heart.

I recently listened to a 3 sermon series over Habakkuk. I’m going to try to sum it up all 3 sermons in this post.

The purpose of the book of Habakkuk was to show that God was still in control despite all the evil in the world. The book records the prophets’ dialogue with God concerning why God doesn’t seem fair during evil. Unlike most books of the bible that bring God’s word to people, Habakkuk brought people’s questions to God.

1 – Where are you God?

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Habakkuk 1:1-4


Habakkuk poured out to God in the first chapter and felt like God didn’t care. Not only that, but that God wasn’t doing much even though He was capable, and what He was currently doing didn’t seem fair.
God responds in verse 5:

“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

I love The Message version of verse 5:
“Look around at the godless nations. Look long and hard. Brace yourself for a shock. Something’s about to take place and you’re going to find it hard to believe. God responded saying He would do amazing things.

2 – What do you do when you are in the trial?
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.  For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:1-3

I love the New Living Translation of verse 3 –

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

The watchman and watchtower were used by the prophets to show an attitude of expectation. It presents an image of Habakkuk’s patience while waiting for God to respond. Habakkuk complained to God about the situation twice already (Habakkuk 1:1-4 and 1:12-17), but God’s answer was to be patient and responds with telling Habakkuk three main things:
  • Listen – …I will look to see what he will say to me…  
  • Write –  …Write down the revelation… 
  • Wait –   …Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay

3 – How do we get out of the trial?

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth. Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2

  • Remember what God has done

God came from Teman, the Holy One from MountParan. Selah  His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. Habakkuk 3:3

His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps. He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble.The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed.His ways are eternal. Habakkuk 3:4-6

  • Accept what God is doing

I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Habakkuk 3:16

  • Trust what God will do

Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.Habakkuk 3:17-18

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19

Our Trial

Chapter 1 started out with Habakkuk crying out to the Lord as he did not understanding what was going on. In chapter two, Habakkuk declared he would listen and wait to hear God. Chapter 3 concludes with Habakkuk rejoicing. His worship went to a whole new level and his circumstances didn’t change, but he did. I feel like we have gone through the ‘crying out to the Lord’ stage. Are we still doing that? Yes, of course, but we have fully accepted where we are right now and trust and know that God is in complete control. We are praying and asking for healing, but at the same time we are listening, writing and waiting.

To trust God fully means to trust him even when we don’t understand why these events are occurring as they are.

God’s word promises that He will not delay! We are currently bracing ourselves for a shock. Yes, we believe it will happen. And, the only thing we will be able to explain to people is that is was God’s miracle. There will be no other explanation and people will find it hard to believe, but we know that God promises to us that He will do amazing things and we look forward to rejoicing with God, each other and those who have joined our journey with us.

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