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Summary: Then there was Habakkuk, a prophet filled with troubling questions a. Concerning his NAME 1) It means "Embrace" 2) "His name, as Luther well puts it, speaks as one who took his nation to his heart, comforted it and held it up, as one emb

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"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

Habakkuk - From A Sob To A Song (1:1-3:19)

INTRODUCTION

1. We have seen that during the O.T. period known as "Judah Alone"...

a. Zephaniah was prophesying to Judah

b. Nahum was pronouncing God's judgment upon Nineveh

2. Then there was Habakkuk, a prophet filled with troubling questions

a. Concerning his NAME

1) It means "Embrace"

2) "His name, as Luther well puts it, speaks as one who took his

nation to his heart, comforted it and held it up, as one

embraces and presses to his bosom a poor weeping child,

calming and consoling it with good hope." (Geikie)

b. Concerning the DATE

1) Around 612-606 B.C.

2) Just as Babylon was making her westward move toward world

conquest

c. Concerning his MESSAGE: the book easily falls into three sections

1) A "burden" - Hab 1:1-2:1

2) A "vision" - Hab 2:2-20

3) A "prayer" - Hab 3:1-19

3. We note an immediate difference between Habakkuk and other

prophets...

a. Instead of taking the Lord's message directly to the people (as

do most prophets)

b. He takes the complaint of the people directly to the Lord,

representing them in the complaint

-- As he does so, it has been said that Habakkuk goes "From A Sob To

A Song"

[This process begins with a "burden" as found in the first section of

his message...]

I. HIS "BURDEN": FAITH GRAPPLING WITH A PROBLEM

A. THE PROPHET RAISES A QUESTION...

1. He laments over apparent rule of wickedness and violence

2. How can the Lord justify His apparent indifference to such

things? - Hab 1:1-4

B. GOD'S ANSWER...

1. He is not indifferent!

2. He is doing something that will be hard to fathom - Hab 1:5-11

a. Raising up the Chaldeans (Babylon) to execute His judgment

b. Using a violent nation that arrogantly thinks it is serving

its own god (and purpose)

C. THE PROPHET'S SECOND QUESTION...

1. How can a holy God employ such an impure and godless agent?

- Hab 1:12-17

2. This is hard for Habakkuk to understand, but he will watch to

see what the Lord will say to him - Hab 2:1

[Indeed, it is a heavy "burden" for Habakkuk. God has answered his

first question by saying He will use the Chaldeans to punish the

wickedness and violence in Judah. But the Chaldeans are wicked also,

how can God use them?

Habakkuk receives his answer in the form of a "vision"...]

II. HIS "VISION": FAITH GRASPING THE SOLUTION

A. GOD'S ANSWER: FIRST, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH...

1. Habakkuk is to write what God reveals to him - Hab 2:2-3

2. The proud is not upright; but the just shall live by his faith

- Hab 2:4

B. GOD'S ANSWER: SECOND, GOD WILL JUDGE THE PROUD...

1. Woe to the proud possessed with the lust of conquest and

plunder - Hab 2:5-8

2. Woe to their efforts to build a permanent empire through

cruelty and godless gain - Hab 2:9-11

3. Woe to those who build cities with bloodshed - Hab 2:12-14

4. Woe to those with cruelty in their treatment of those they

conquered - Hab 2:15-17

5. Woe to those given over to idolatry - Hab 2:18-20

a. Who worship that in which there is no breath at all

b. While the Lord is in His holy temple, before whom the earth

should keep silence

[The answer to Habakkuk's second question appears to be this: While

God may use a wicked nation like Babylon to punish the wickedness of

Judah, He will not let Babylon's wickedness go unpunished either!

In the meantime, the just (righteous) person will live by his faith in

God, which Habakkuk illustrates with his "prayer"...]

III. HIS "PRAYER": FAITH GLORYING IN ASSURANCE

A. PETITION FOR GOD'S ACTION AND MERCY...

1. Written in the form of a psalm - Hab 3:1,19c

2. Asking God to revive His works, and in His wrath remember

mercy - Hab 3:2

B. PRAISE FOR GOD'S PAST DELIVERANCE...

1. His mighty works in the past - Hab 3:3-7

2. Bringing both judgment to the wicked and salvation to His

people - Hab 3:8-15

C. PROFESSION OF FAITH...

1. He trembled at what he has heard, that he will have rest in

the day of trouble - Hab 3:16

2. But he expresses his faith, that while trouble may come he

will rejoice in the Lord who will be his strength - Hab 3:

17-19

-- Here we find one of the greatest expressions of faith found

anywhere!

CONCLUSION

1. What lessons can we glean from this short book? (as suggested by

Homer Hailey)

a. The universal supremacy of God's judgment upon the wicked

1) God would use Chaldea to punish wicked Judah

2) Then Chaldea would be destroyed for its own wickedness

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