Summary: This message seeks to draw the attention of the church for the need of revival and the need to live by faith
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON? A SERIES FROM HABAKKUK
A BURDEN FOR A NATION
A. How long, LORD, must I call for help and You do not listen, or cry out to You about violence and You do not save? Why do You force me to look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrongdoing? Oppression and violence are right in front of me. Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates. This is why the law is ineffective and justice never emerges. For the wicked restrict the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted. Hab 1:2-4
B. Who’s writing – this sounds like it could have been take right out of the daily editorials in our local paper (well maybe not) but it sure does sound like what a lot of people are thinking – Why God!
1. Have you read the paper lately?
2. I don’t normally, and now I remember why.
a. April 2, 2010 – Washington Park mayor shot to death
b. April 4, 2010 – 5 arrested in N.J. child’s gang rape
c. April 6, 2010 – Man charged in Credit card scams
d. April 6, 2010 – S Korea tracks hijacked tanker
3. Listen to the evening news: murder, thefts, drugs, political unrest.
4. Oh, the violence, the injustice, the oppression, strife and conflict!
5. I don’t know about you but the words of Habakkuk, written about 2632 years ago, resonate in my heart!
C. Now listen to the first verse of this book, which I purposefully skipped: The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. Habakkuk 1:1
1. Unlike the rest of the prophets we read about in our Bible who simply pronounce the oracles of God, Habakkuk has an on going discussion with Him.
a. The book is more about one prophets questions and understanding than God’s Revelation to the nations
b. Something Habakkuk’s contemporaries, Jeremiah and Nahum were doing in full force
2. Habakkuk had a burden for his nation: a nation who had experienced all of God’s blessing, yet had turn their backs on Him in the name of personal rights and pleasures.
D. Likewise I have a burden for a nation – our nation!
1. I don’t think you will find many Christians who don’t have a burden for this great nation of ours.
2. Whether you find it in the history books or not this great nation was founded on the principles of the Bible.
a. Our constitution was influenced by the Word of God
b. Our laws were based upon the Word of God
3. Our national life was held together by the principles of God’s word as well – but now?
a. Prayer was a national subsistence until June 25, 1962 when we removed it from our classrooms
b. Unborn children were safe in our country until 1973 when our Supreme Court ruled in favor of death rather than life
c. Marriage, a sacred institution for thousands of years, for the most part today, is a matter of convenience not commitment
d. Relationships once recognized as deviant are now except as normal.
4. We should be burdened for our country because if history is a teacher, we can see the signs of our demise!
E. With this in mind I would like to look at three truths that could be foundational to our study of the book of Habakkuk.
1. A Blessed Nation
2. A Cursed Nation
3. God’s Kingdom
4. May God give us a burden to pray for our nation and seek to live for Him by faith.
Let us begin this morning by looking at a statement found in the book of psalms. It speaks of:
I. A BLESSED NATION, Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
A. Moses had appealed to the nation of Israel almost 800 years earlier stating,
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God,…. Deut. 11:26-28
1. This was the promise from God
a. Obey me and my word and I will bless you
b. Disobey me and my words and I will curse you
2. Habakkuk could have been thinking: “Come on Judah, obey the Lord, its that simple and the blessing of God will follow.”
3. We do not know the prophets age or how long he had been “looking at injustice,” but evidentially he had been praying for Judah a while – the phrase “how long” gives this thought
4. He wanted his nation to be blessed but knew it could not be unless the people turned to the Lord to obey all His words.