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Summary: Habakkuk does not deliver a message as much as he solves a problem. In chapter one we hear a sob, but chapter three ends with a song. Habakkuk's struggled with the same kind of problems we deal with today. Why doesn't God punish the wickedness we see ever

Purpose: To assure believers that God will ultimately use the wicked for our good and His glory.

Aim: I want the listener to hate their own sin and pray for revival in our country.

INTRODUCTION: The book of Habakkuk is unique. This prophet does not speak to his own people or to a foreign nation, he speaks only to God. We know nothing about this prophet except his name and that he was probably a Levite who wrote music, because chapter three is a beautiful psalm.

Habakkuk does not deliver a message as much as he solves a problem. In chapter one we hear a sob, but chapter three ends with a song. Habakkuk's struggled with the same kind of problems we deal with today. Why doesn't God punish the wickedness we see every day? Why do wicked people get away with being wicked?

One of the main lessons of this book is that there is a line nations (and people) can cross where there is no longer any hope of avoiding God's judgment. Judah had now crossed that line. The prophets Joel and Zephaniah offered hope to the Jews if they would repent. The book of Habakkuk, on the other hand, only explains how God will judge Judah, but it does not offer any way that they could avoid it.

Many years earlier God had sent Amos to warn the northern kingdom of Israel that if they didn't repent of their sin God would bring the hated Assyrians down on them as their conquerors. That prophecy was fulfilled 130 years before Judah, the southern kingdom, was defeated by the Babylonians. So, Judah watched their sister country go into slavery, but they learned nothing from Israel's failure.

"The best conclusion seems to be that the prophecy was written toward the end of the reign of Josiah (640 609 B.C.), preferably after the destruction of Nineveh by the combined forces of the Babylonians, Medians, and Scythians in 612 B.C. This time seems plausible for two reasons.

"One is that the prophet seems surprised to learn that the Chaldeans are God's choice to punish disobedient Judah; after all, was not good King Josiah pro Babylonian in his political sympathies in that he sought to hinder Pharaoh necho's march to fight against the Babylonians in 609 B.C.?" [1]

Habakkuk lived at the same time as Jeremiah the prophet. Many years earlier, when Assyria was the dominate world power, Isaiah predicted to king Hezekiah that the then lowly Babylon would one day take Judah captive (Isaiah 39:6-7).

The book of Habakkuk was written many years ago to a country thousands of miles away from ours, and yet it applies to us today.

We live in a pleasure mad society. Family life is crumbling and crime is soaring; churches are worldly; drugs and divorce prevail; the worst kinds of immorality are considered normal. In short, real faith in God seems to be almost non-existent.

Just as the once powerful Jewish nation was now immoral and just as pagan as the other nations in the world, so is America. The government of Judah was corrupt and its leaders were wicked. Sound familiar?

Just this last week a bill was introduced in the state of California that would make biblical counseling about homosexuality illegal. In fact, parents who try to persuade their own children to abandon a homosexual lifestyle could be arrested for child abuse.

The wickedness in our country today should motivate us to do two things. We should pray earnestly that our nation would repent and turn to God before it is too late, and we should turn away from the sin we see in our own lives.

If we love God then we will feel much like this prophet did many years ago.

►Vs.1-4 I. A Righteous Cry of Distress

► Vs.1-2 A. God seemed indifferent to prayer "I cry... Yet You do not save"

Lit. "Scream unto you, Violence" Like how a person might yell, "Fire" or "Help" when they are being robbed.

Job 19:7 "Behold, I cry, 'Violence!' but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice. (NAU) Psalms 13:1 2 1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? (NAU)

Psalms 74:9 10 9 We do not see our signs; There is no longer any prophet, Nor is there any among us who knows how long. 10 How long, O God, will the adversary revile, And the enemy spurn Your name forever? (NAU)

Psalms 94:3 How long shall the wicked, O LORD, How long shall the wicked exult? (NAU)

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