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March 8, 2013

A Triumphant Faith – Habakkuk 2:5 – 3:19. Rev Adam Polk

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 9:27 am

A Triumphant Faith

Rev. Adam Polk

Habakkuk 2:5 – 3:19 2.24.2013

5 “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.”

Woe to the Chaldeans

6 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!” 7 Will not your debtors suddenly arise, and those awake who will make you tremble? Then you will be spoil for them. 8 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.

“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm! 10 You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life. 11 For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.

12 “Woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity! 13 Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations weary themselves for nothing? 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

15 “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink– you pour out your wrath and make them drunk, in order to gaze at their nakedness! 16 You will have your fill of shame instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision! The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, and utter shame will come upon your glory! 17 The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them.

18 “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! 19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. 20 But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

2 O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. 3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah 4 His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. 5 Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels. 6 He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. His were the everlasting ways. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. 8 Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord ? Was your anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation? 9 You stripped the sheath from your bow, calling for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers. 10 The mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice; it lifted its hands on high. 11 The sun and moon stood still in their place at the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear. 12 You marched through the earth in fury; you threshed the nations in anger. 13 You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed. You crushed the head of the house of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah 14 You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter me, rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret. 15 You trampled the sea with your horses, the surging of mighty waters.

16 I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.

Habakkuk Rejoices in the Lord

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

What do we do when God’s ways seem strange and his providence mysterious?

In Habakkuk we can peal open Habakkuk’s heart and see how he responds to God’s judgment of His people. God does not change, Habakkuk changes his heart so that he can see God’s plan for His people.

How can we be confident and hopeful when God plan is discouraging? When all things are tough.

1. Remember His Justice (2:5-20)

God is now addressing the Babylonians, because they are a wicked people. God uses even the wicked to discipline His people. God did not make them wicked, they were already wicked. But now, God is talking about how He is going to discipline the wicked people he used to discipline His people.

There are “5” woes that God calls out concerning the Babylonians sins: (a) their greed (b) their injustice (c) violence (d) seduction (e) idolatry.

God disciplines His own people, but he brings judgment and wrath upon the Babylonians.

The word (CUP) here means God’s wrath. The cup of God’s wrath is now coming full circle, and now it is coming upon the Babylonians.

God has the FINAL word. Even when things don’t make sense, not Judea, not the Babylonians, but GOD has the final word. God is in charge. God is a good judge, and he will NOT allow evil to have the final word.

2. Request His Mercy (3:1-2)

Habukkuk is still scared. He requests God’s mercy because he is afraid of what is about to happen. He hears God, but he is still concerned, still scared. Habukkuk had the benefit of knowing God’s plan, but yet, he is still asking for mercy.

In the midst of God’s wrath, remember you can ask for His mercy. It is necessary sometimes.

3. Reflect on His Power (3:3-16)

Habukkuk is recalling God’s past. This is the same God of his past, of his presence, and his future. He is declaring that God has a real claim upon his people. Even when God’s hand of discipline seems heavy, you must remember the power and faithfulness of God’s power. God has NOTHING but your GOOD in mind, and His glory. God’s power is actively on display. Habukkuk is proclaiming that God has the power to fulfill his promises.

Don’t forget the faithfulness of God. It would do us good to go back and think about how faithful and how powerful God is. God has began a good work in you, and He will bring it to completion in the future.

Look to the one who orders the universe. Look to the one you can always trust. We are talking about having confidence, hope, and joy. But that does not mean that you can just fake feeling good, and that all things will be good. This “feel good” religion of the world is not true. But wait on God to complete His work. Reflecting upon the power of God does not mean that you will not quiver, or fear, or be scared when you find out bad things. But, it does mean you can count on God to deliver you.

4. Rejoice in His Salvation (3:17-18)

Your ultimate joy is Christ, your ultimate treasure. Even in the midst of pain, struggle, confusion, you can still worship. God is our comfort and our hope. Remember Paul’s struggles! Paul even had a thorn, but he still says “therefore I will boast all the more about my weaknesses so that the power of The Lord may rest upon me”…. 2Cor5:9.

Job said “though He slay me, I will still hope in The Lord”. In the midst of pain you can rejoice because Christ is your all!

If life has robbed you of joy, it is because you have taken your eyes off The Lord. It’s just that simple. You have misplaced your hope. You have taken your eyes of Jesus and put them on circumstances. It is because you are placing your hope in something other than God. NOTHING can rob you of your hope and joy because you have VICTORY in Jesus.

Look to The Lord like Habakkuk looked to The Lord.

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