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Habakkuk 1-2:4
Background: Habakkuk, the prophet told the people of Judah or the Southern Kingdom of Israel that judgement was coming. God had already punished the people of Israel through the Assyrians in 722 BC, yet they did not learn from this punishment. Habakkuk was telling Judah they would receive judgement, not that repentance would delay judgement like it did in Nineveh, but that it was too late for Judah. Judah had become a proud, Godless, and wicked land full of idolatry and had strayed away from God! God was going to send the Babylonians also known as the Chaldeans to punish Judah. Habakkuk was possibly written between 640-615 BC and the fulfillment of this prophecy happened in 586 BC. Habakkuk turns a lament into a song of praise.
What I don’t want to do this morning is make a comparison between Judah and America! I do not want to compare Judah’s judgement to the judgement that has happened or will happen to America. What I do want to do is to make a word of caution to America and in so doing, show the heart of the gospel!
Three main themes:
  1. Proud people without God will be judged and punished accordingly!
  2. The righteous (those with God, through faith in Christ) shall live by faith in God. (2:4) This is also restated in Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; and Heb. 10:38.
  3. God is good even during evil times. (Proof is the cross)
Theological Doctrine: Justification by faith alone. We see this here but clarified in Ephesians 2 and Hebrews 11.
The People’s Problem (Hab. 1:1-4) Habakkuk laments the spiritual condition of the people of Judah. They have strayed from God. The King Josiah had made major head way in getting the people of Israel back on track following God. When Josiah died in 609 BC, the reforms died with him. When a society drifts, it will naturally drift away from God. This was the case with Judah.
The Lord’s Prescription (Hab. 1:5-11)
  • The Lord’s ways are mysterious, yet accomplish His purpose every time. (vv.5-6) Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Don’t glaze over these familiar passages and chalk them up to cliché, but cling to the almighty sovereign nature of God! He is reigning on the throne as I preach this! We never understand His ways. “…For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.”
The Prophet’s Problem with the Lord’s Punishment (Hab. 1:12-2:1)
The Lord’s Promise (Hab. 2:2-4)
     a. The Lord will continue to unfold His plan. (vv. 2-3)
     b. The Lord will preserve His people through faith. (v.4) You cannot be good enough in your own merit or work enough to please God. God is only pleased by faith in Christ! This is faith in the only one who died for your sins. The writer of Hebrews said, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” 11:6. What is faith? Faith is the bridge that you put all your weight on! You know that you deserve to fall and go to Hell, but you know that the bridge of Christ will hold you for eternity! You can have peace now and forever! Do you have that type of faith?
– Hebrews 9:27 tells us that everyone will die and face judgement. What will bring life instead of death in judgement? The only way we can answer that is through faith in Jesus Christ! Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous shall live by faith.”
-God is at work and He is good, although we may not understand His ways.
-God’s people will endure through faith, the heart of the gospel!