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The Old Testament prophets were spokesmen for for their generation more than the future.

They were the proclaimers of timeless truths about God, humankind, and the critical issues of life.

“The Modern Message of the Minor prophets” is the theme for Sunday mornings for the coming months.

Today we are talking about Take Your Doubts To The Lord.

Text

Habakkuk 1:2 (AMP)

2 O Lord, how long will I call for help

And You will not hear?

I cry out to You, “Violence!”

Yet You do not save.

Habakkuk 2:1 (AMP)

God Answers the Prophet

2 I will stand at my guard post

And station myself on the tower;

And I will keep watch to see what He will say to me,

And what answer I will give [as His spokesman] when I am reproved.

Scripture Reading

Habakkuk 1:1-2:3 (AMP)

Prayer

Father, give us wisdom to distinguish between your way and the world’s way.

May we never cling to false or foolish hopes, but always open our hearts to receive the abundant joy that can only be found in Jesus.

May we remember the richness of Your ways when we are tempted to put self above service to others.

Lord keep us from being so foolish that we trust in our own resources.

Help us realise that true security is found in You alone.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

Most of the Old Testament prophets said “thus saith the Lord” with certainty.

However Habakkuk, like Jeremiah, dared to ask “why?” In regard to some phases of the Lord’s work.

Habakkuk preached shortly before Nebuchadnezzar first invaded Judah.

Habakkuk was a prophet who wrestled with God and his name means “embracer”, he was “embracing the philosophical problems of the nation.”

He had a deep understanding his fellow citizens’ increasing sinfulness.

Also, he had a high concept of the ideal life, including work, enjoyment of fellowship with the Lord, and industry based on equity and injustice.

The book of Habakkuk has three natural divisions.

Chapter 1 presents Habakkuk’s problem.

Chapter 2 gives God’s answer.

Chapter 3 expresses the prophet’s praise.

  1. The prophet’s problem. Chapter 1.

The first chapter is dialogue between Habakkuk and the Lord.

The prophet raised a timely problem.

  1. Had God forgotten the righteous people and ceased to care?

Habakkuk lived during a time when vanity, lies and injustice prevailed.

For a long time he had cried out o the Lord concerning the inequity of the land, but he had received no explanation.

In chapter 1, he complained

Habakkuk 1:2 (AMP)

2 O Lord, how long will I call for help

And You will not hear?

I cry out to You, “Violence!”

Yet You do not save.

He continued by pointing out to the Lord in verse 4 that, Habakkuk 1:4 (AMP)

4 Therefore, the law is ineffective and ignored

And justice is never upheld,

For the wicked surround the righteous;

Therefore, justice becomes perverted.

B. The age old problem of why the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper is still with us today.

In every generation, we see their problem reenacted.

God, however, had an answer for Habakkuk.

He is neither indifferent nor inadequate, rather He is on the field just when He seems the most invisible.

Even as He listened to Habakuk’s complaint, the Lord was raising up a nation to be the rod of His chastising hand.

Judah had a brief respite while the balance of power had been changing hands in international politics.

But the days of Assyria were numbered, and Babylon would soon be knocking on Judah’s door with one purpose in mind, conquest.

Habakkuk’s description of the Chaldean army on the march is quite graphic.

A bitter and nasty nation with no regard for human life or social values, the babylonians arrogantly glorified their own strength and performed acts of unspeakable cruelty to accomplish their ungodly aims.

C. The Lord’s answers, rather than helping Habakkuk, intensified his problem.

How could a God of Holiness permit His people, even though they were disobedient, to be annihilated by a brutal and godless executioner?

Judah was sinful, but for God to use the monstrous babylonians as His agent of punishment seemed inconsistent with His holiness.

This second problem, like the first, is relevant to our day.

Of course, atheists have no such problem.

Only those who believe in God are confronted with the paradox of prosperous evildoers and suffering saints.

Is there an answer? 

2. The prophet’s perception. Habakkuk 2.

  1. In verse 1 Habakkuk determined to wait for an answer.

He intended to stand at his watch and see what the Lord would say.

He was not disappointed.

The Lord told Habakkuk to write down the vision that would comet him so the people could read it, reminding him that its fulfilment would come in God’s good time.

B. Verses 4 through to 19 depict Babylon’s destruction.

God had not abdicated His moral character to pagan people.

Not only would sin be punished, but also sin would punish itself.

God has established a world so morally constituted that history repeatedly testifies to the self destructiveness of sin.

We are not just punished for our sins.

Quite often we are punished by our sins.

God would use Babylon as an instrument to Chasten His people, but the pagan king would think that his victory was due to his own ability.

After God used him, God would discipline him and finally destroy him.

C. Verse 6 through to 19 announce a series of “woes.”

These were ‘taunt songs” to the ones who glorified themselves in pride and ignored the basic laws of morality.

The last verse of chapter 2 is a word from God to Habakkuk.

The prophet needed to realise that God was in His Holy temple working His sovereign will, and the earth needed to trust God and keep silent. 

3. The prophet’s prayer. Habakkuk 3.

A. Habakkuk was satisfied once he knew God’s long range plan

B. Habakkuk was now ready to sing praises to his great God.

The last chapter of his book contains this majestic hymn.

According to Habakkuk, God is alive and active even though external events seem o indicate the opposite.

Ultimately decency wins.

In due time, right always prevails.

Habakkuk’s brief prophecy closes with a lyrical outburst.

His poem begins with vivid imagery, describing the Lord’s wondrous works in the world.

It concludes with a portrayal of the security and souring power of those who live in intimate fellowship with God.

Of course, Habakkuk had to wait for full vindication, but he would do so quietly, confident in the integrity of God’s government.

Even though disaster and destruction awaited him, Habakkuk came to realise that he could trust implicitly in his Lord.

Conclusion.

What id Habakkuk’s message for us?

We should believe our beliefs and doubt our doubts, never making a skeptic’s mistake of believing our doubts but doubting our beliefs.

Habakkuk’s faith was fortified and his insight purified when he was willing to wait for God’s answer to him.

God honours and rewards anyone who sincerely seeks the truth.

He will not leave someone like that hopeless and with unanswered questions.

Individuals who have access to true spiritual power are not those who have never had a doubt.

Instead, they are those who have examined their hearts honestly and faced their doubts head on, emerging victorious with a tender spirit and complete confidence.

Habakkuk’s experience tells us that we should not deny or hide our doubts.

And far less we should be ashamed of them.

We will need all of eternity understand infinity, but we can use our doubts and rise on them to higher concepts of God than we ever believed were possible. 

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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