Sermons

Summary: TO STAND FAST AND TRUST IN GOD WHEN WE REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS IS VERY SCARY. HABAKKUK IS A STORY OF TRUST THAT WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM.

HABAKKUK: A STORY OF TRUST

HABAKKUK 2:1-20

THE SMALL BOOK OF HABAKKUK IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US AS WE CAN FIND OURSELVES IN THE SAME POSITION AS THE PROPHET, BUT TREMBLE WHEN IT COMES TO STANDING LIKE HE DID. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THE WAYS OF GOD. HE DOESN’T ACT THE WAY WE THINK HE SHOULD, AND THE RESULTS ARE SOMETIMES NOT THE RESULTS WE WOULD DESIRE.

WHEN THIS HAPPENS, THE URGE TO ACT LIKE JONAH OR SAUL CAN BE STRONG. TO STAND AND TRUST GOD AS HABAKKUK DID IS VERY SCARY AT TIMES, BUT IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT PROVIDES STABILITY IN A WORLD OF CHANGE. ESSENTIALLY IT IS TO SURRENDER OUR WILL INTO THE HANDS OF THE MASTER AND ALLOW GOD TO DIRECT THE PATHS OF OUR LIVES. SOMETIMES IT LEADS US TO THE MOUNTAINTOPS OF HAPPINESS WHILE OTHER TIMES WILL LEAD US INTO THE PIT OF DESPAIR. IN ALL THINGS THOUGH WHEN FOLLOWING HABAKKUK’S EXAMPLE WE CAN SAY AS THE PSALMIST DID:

PSALM 42:5: WHY, MY SOUL, ARE YOU DOWNCAST? WHY SO DISTURBED WITHIN ME? PUT YOUR HOPE IN GOD, FOR I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, MY SAVIOR AND MY GOD.

HABAKKUK SERVED AS GOD’S PROPHET IN THE LATTER DAYS OF KING JEHOIAKIM’S REIGN OVER JUDAH. NO KING OF ISRAEL WAS MORE EVIL THAN JEHOIAKIM. HE CUT TO PIECES THE SCROLL OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH AND BURNT THEM BECAUSE HE PROPHECIED THE FALL OF JUDAH TO BABYLON.

JEREMIAH 36:21-24:

THE KING SENT JEHUDI TO GET THE SCROLL, AND JEHUDI BROUGHT IT FROM THE ROOM OF ELISHAMA THE SECRETARY AND READ IT TO THE KING AND ALL THE OFFICIALS STANDING BESIDE HIM. 22 IT WAS THE NINTH MONTH AND THE KING WAS SITTING IN THE WINTER APARTMENT, WITH A FIRE BURNING IN THE FIREPOT IN FRONT OF HIM. 23 WHENEVER JEHUDI HAD READ THREE OR FOUR COLUMNS OF THE SCROLL, THE KING CUT THEM OFF WITH A SCRIBE’S KNIFE AND THREW THEM INTO THE FIREPOT, UNTIL THE ENTIRE SCROLL WAS BURNED IN THE FIRE. 24 THE KING AND ALL HIS ATTENDANTS WHO HEARD ALL THESE WORDS SHOWED NO FEAR, NOR DID THEY TEAR THEIR CLOTHES.

THE EXTENT TO WHICH JUDAH FELL GRIEVED THE HEART OF HABAKKUK. HE KNEW WHAT WAS IN STORE FOR HIS PEOPLE, AND UNLESS THEY REPENTED AND TURNED TO GOD THERE WAS NO WAY TO PREVENT THE DISASTROUS RESULTS.

MANY A PARENT OR FRIEND HAS WALKED THIS SAME ROAD. SOMEONE WE LOVE IS ON A WRONG ROAD, OUR HEARTS BREAK BECAUSE WE KNOW WHERE THAT ROAD WILL END, AND THAT IF THE LOVED ONE DOESN’T TURN TO GOD, IT CANNOT BE AVOIDED.

THE PEOPLE WOULD NOT LISTEN TO HABAKKUK AND EVENTUALLY WOULD GO INTO EXILE. OUR LESSON IS HOW HABAKKUK DEALT WITH THE PENDING DOOM.

HABAKKUK 1:1: THE PROPHECY THAT HABAKKUK THE PROPHET RECEIVED

THE WORD FOR “PROPHECY” IS SOMETIMES TRANSLATED AS “ORACLE”, AND IT BEARS A MEANING OF FORBODING DOOM. IT SPOKE TO THE BURDEN IN HABAKKUK’S HEART. WHY DID GOD NOT DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SITUATION TO STIMUPATE REPENTANCE, AS HE HAD FOR THE CITY OF NINEVAH? GOD DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.

TO HABAKKUK AND TO MANY OF US TODAY THE FRUSTRATION OF BEING OBSERVERS IS SOMETIMES TOO STRONG. WHY IS THE LORD NOT HEARING US? COULD IT BE THAT HE IS HEARING OUR PRAYER, BUT OUR PRAYER IS BASED ON WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN, NOT ON GOD DOING HIS WILL IN OUR LIVES. OUR CRY IS THE SAME AS HABAKKUK’S IN V.2:

HABAKKUK 1:2-3:

HOW LONG, LORD, MUST I CALL FOR HELP, BUT YOU DO NOT LISTEN? OR CRY OUT TO YOU, “VIOLENCE!” BUT YOU DO NOT SAVE?

3 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.

I CAN JUST IMAGINE HOW FLOORED HABAKKUK WAS WITH GOD’S RESPONSE TO HIM. IT COMES IN VV. 5-11 OF CHAPTER ONE AND BASICALLY SAYS TWO THINGS:

1. BRACE YOURSELF FOR SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN YOU WILL FIND DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND.

2. THE EVIL THAT JUDAH HAS DONE IS NOT AS BAD AS THE EVIL I SEE IN BABYLON, BUT I AM GOING TO USE THEM TO PUNISH JUDAH.

WE’VE BEEN THERE HAVEN’T WE. MANY TIMES IT SEEMS LIKE OUR PLATES ARE FULL OF DISTURBING NEGATIVE SITUATIONS AND STRESS AND JUST WHEN IT SEEMS WE GET ONE ISSUE RESOLVED THREE MORE DESCEND ON US.

THEN WE LOOK AT A SHADY CHARACTER AND IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL FOR HIM. WE CAN’T MAKE ENDS MEET, AND THEY ALREADY HAVE MONEY, AND THEN WIN A 60,000,000.00 LOTTERY. OUR LOVED ONE DEVELOPS CANCER, WHILE THEIR LOVED ONE DOES MANY ILLEGAL THINGS AND IS NEVER CAUGHT. THIS PLAN OF GOD DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.

IT WAS AT THIS POINT THAT HABAKKUK HAD A DECISION TO MAKE AND THAT WAS HOW TO REACT TO THIS PLAN OF GOD THAT HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND? HOW WILL YOU REACT WHEN THE PLAN OF GOD MAKES NO SENSE IN YOUR LIFE?

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