Habakkuk – a Prophet for Today

Look among the nations and watch— Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.” Habakkuk 1:5 NKJV

Correctly divided this IS a verse for our generation – for the outcome of our Babylonian conflict (which we are currently entering).  God is doing a new thing!  And repeating some old favorites! Captives are being set free like the angels setting Peter free in jail and like Paul and Silas (even as they are captured). Food, water, and fuel are being supplied like manna and like Joseph’s stores in Egypt (even as we are learning of the famine).  Eyes have not seen nor did ears hear – so hang on, this is going to be such an amazing and glorious ride!!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Habakkuk chapters 1-3 (embedded below the image below for your convenience) Habakkuk is the lamenting prophet whose poems address God himself and explore keeping a grasp on God’s goodness in an evil and violent world. He was a contemporary to Jeremiah.  In short – He tells God how bad it has gotten – and God says His solution is the Babylonian captivity. So Habakkuk lodges a second complaint about Babylon being worse (and he isn’t wrong) And God says that He knows and will deal with them next and pronounces woes upon them.  Chapter 3, Habakkuk offers an ancient prayer, thought to have come from when the Israelites fled Egypt and making comparison to the end of the Babylonian captivity (prophetically) and the messianic promise.  Notice how when the captivity came, God kept telling everyone about the hope of the end? God came with HOPE! And what did Habakkuk come with?

“I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.” Habakkuk 2:1

Habakkuk came with questions – but moreover he describes himself as a watchman on the wall. Watching the day, time and seasons – but most importantly watching and waiting on answers from God Almighty, Himself! AND the prophet had expectation that not only would God answer – but God was going to correct him! Are we this raw and real with God? Do we come to him honestly and pour out our heart and are questions – empting our flesh to Him??? Knowing our flesh is wrong, but we have these feelings and need to pour them out. Give them to God and let God correct – lead you into the right way of thinking!

Verse 3 ‘it will not tarry’ – verse 4 ‘the just shall live by faith’ – Oh how I wish I have time and room to go line by line through this book with you in such a time as this!!! There is so much HOPE – so many times this book was quoted in the New Testament.  So much here applies to current events. 
Let go of everything and live by faith. 
Then the chapter finishes with the woes and since you do not want to read a book – think of any nation on Earth right now, who (in its governmental design) does not fall into at least one of these woes. The Taliban fall into all of them. The nation of Haiti fall into all of them. China falls into all of them. The United States of America also falls into all of them.  And we wonder why God’s permitting this – He is still a righteous and just God! He has given us hope – there is an expected end! Hallelujah!! And as for those in those nations who serve the Lord by faith – they will be protected under His wing (Psalm 91).

“He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations.And the everlasting mountains were scattered,The perpetual hills bowed.His ways are everlasting.” Habakkuk 3:6

Chapter 3 – an old Mosaic prayer, prayed to God, but as Gods answer and man’s response all mixed together.  This is where our God (outside of time) blurs all the lines so we can join Him!  
First things first God arrives! The earth reacts – lightning, crumbling mountains, earthquakes…. And if we relate the exodus from Egypt to the exodus from the Babylonian captivity – – or relate it to the solution for our current Babylonian-like conflict – then we must remember that:
FIRST God sent the warning through prophets.
SECOND God, Himself, arrived on the scene!  In Egypt it was the plagues. In Babylon – it was another conquering nation. Yet God Himself showed His strength and supernatural intervention in both.  Currently the world heaves with birthing pangs as God Himself is arriving on the scene – just like days of old. This is why we will know the tie and the season by ‘natural disasters’.  The earth reacts when God moves.  AND God is not dead – God is alive and moving!  Be warned or be delighted (whichever you choose – join His team or don’t regardless this is going down)!

THIS STUFF IS SO TIMELY – SO GOOD!!!

“You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled the nations in anger.  You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah 
You thrust through with his own arrows The head of his villages. They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me; Their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret. You walked through the sea with Your horses, Through the heap of great waters.”
Hab. 3:12-15

We keep getting a little of this here and there every day and one of these days I may just compile it into the thought for the day – but here is another little piece: regarding praying for our enemies.  I have seen so many torn between their understanding of the New Testament ‘pray for your enemies / do good to those… ‘  and the Old testament prayers for enemies. 
We are under a time as politically corrupt as Rome, as violent as Babylon, and as morally corrupt as Sodom and Gomorrah.  How does one pray for enemies in such a time as this?  Pray that the leaders are struck through with arrows, scattered in their own chaos and drown in the miracle of the parting of the sea (as the Israelites escaped)? Psalms show David praying for evil leaders to break arms, arrows wound suddenly, chaos destroys them, miracles intervene, and many others.  And Jesus said to do good so modern Christian (which I see and I hope this is not a global misconception) pray that God blesses them and prospers them (and they wonder why the evil prospers). Some pray for their salvation – but what do they need to be saved from? They are the one others need to be saved from.
Let me propose that we are to “DO” good as in an action – but I am not friends with any leaders to do good and show them the actions of Christ. I can show other how to be a Christian, though – and maybe that will trickle up to the leaders??
In the meantime – David prayed within the will and heart of our God. Habakkuk also prayed according to God’s will and purpose. Habakkuk seems to pray outside of time for his time and the Israelites fleeing Egypt. As well for in the future – for us, now, in such a time as this.  We can enter God’s presence and join him in this prayer in agreement – God deliver your people: adopted and Jew.
To which Habakkuk finishes his prayer with the praise of faith – even though he does not see it yet, He praises God for the complete victory!

We need to draw closer to God – pray as David prayed. Go ahead and use His words – that is why they are recorded! Praise and worship as David did.  And pray, praise and worship as Habakkuk did!  We are called for this – we are created for this. Let us not fail because our flesh deceives us.

Today is my sister (Laurie)’s birthday.  If you have been following this week – I had asked everyone to pray for her this week as a birthday gift. She is in Germany, thinking she is hiding from God.  Her flesh deceives her along with buying the enemy’s lie that things did not turn out the way God prophesied over her life because God is not good.  The truth is that the enemy stole her prophetic blessings, killed her spiritual eyesight, destroyed her hope and put her to sleep with a bedtime story which was nothing but lies!  If we repent – God restores.  I do not know what that looks like fully in my own life yet, let alone what that will look like in her life. I cannot even tell you how to intercede on her behalf as there is so much destruction. She and I were going to be in ministry – she a missionary and me an evangelist (which I could not understand how, when I hate to travel – lol).  Now, here I am doing both: evangelizing and missions into foreign countries (5 more nations are now represented in the reach of this ministry making it 45). And I do not have her to chat with about it – to talk about the Lord with, to compare experiences and give God the glory with – like church youth camps, conventions and rallies we attended growing up and would discuss these things.  I thought our adult life would be like that.  God has given me multiple sister’s in Christ I can share these things with. I am restored in that manner. It doesn’t change that I have suffered a loss of my expectation, though. And I miss my sister. God’s will be done.

How about you? Do you have a relationship with God?

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: As I promised, this year is full of memory verses that when the enemy comes up against us we can quote: It is written! Just as Jesus did when the devil tempted him. I know I have the victory and I must just stand fast and continue to submit to God… so let us memorize and quote this with authority! So as we submit, we can remind the old devil where he can go!

Matthew 18:18-19

NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus! 

BIBLE READING: Habakkuk 1-3 NKJV

The Prophet Questions God’s Judgments

The [a]burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.

The Prophet’s Question

O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see [b]trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.

The Lord’s Reply

“Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you.
For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans,
A bitter and hasty nation
Which marches through the breadth of the earth,
To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
They are terrible and dreadful;
Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves.
Their horses also are swifter than leopards,
And more fierce than evening wolves.
Their [c]chargers [d]charge ahead;
Their cavalry comes from afar;
They fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.

“They all come for violence;
Their faces are set like the east wind.
They gather captives like sand.
10 They scoff at kings,
And princes are scorned by them.
They deride every stronghold,
For they heap up earthen mounds and seize it.
11 Then his [e]mind changes, and he transgresses;
He commits offense,
Ascribing this power to his god.”

The Prophet’s Second Question

12 Are You not from everlasting,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O Lord, You have appointed them for judgment;
O Rock, You have marked them for correction.
13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
And cannot look on wickedness.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours
person more righteous than he?
14 Why do You make men like fish of the sea,
Like creeping things that have no ruler over them?

15 They take up all of them with a hook,
They catch them in their net,
And gather them in their dragnet.
Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore they sacrifice to their net,
And burn incense to their dragnet;
Because by them their share is [f]sumptuous
And their food plentiful.
17 Shall they therefore empty their net,
And continue to slay nations without pity?

The Just Shall Live by Faith

I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected.

The Just Live by Faith

Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

Woe to the Wicked

“Indeed, because he transgresses by wine,
He is a proud man,
And he does not stay at home.
Because he enlarges his desire as [g]hell,
And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied,
He gathers to himself all nations
And heaps up for himself all peoples.

“Will not all these take up a proverb against him,
And a taunting riddle against him, and say,
‘Woe to him who increases
What is not his—how long?
And to him who loads himself with [h]many pledges’?
Will not [i]your creditors rise up suddenly?
Will they not awaken who oppress you?
And you will become their booty.
Because you have plundered many nations,
All the remnant of the people shall plunder you,
Because of men’s [j]blood
And the violence of the land and the city,
And of all who dwell in it.

“Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house,
That he may set his nest on high,
That he may be delivered from the [k]power of disaster!
10 You give shameful counsel to your house,
Cutting off many peoples,
And sin against your soul.
11 For the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the beam from the timbers will answer it.

12 “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed,
Who establishes a city by iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts
That the peoples labor [l]to feed the fire,
And nations weary themselves in vain?
14 For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.

15 “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor,
[m]Pressing him to your bottle,
Even to make him drunk,
That you may look on [n]his nakedness!
16 You are filled with shame instead of glory.
You also—drink!
And [o]be exposed as uncircumcised!
The cup of the Lord’s right hand will be turned against you,
And utter shame will be on your glory.
17 For the violence done to Lebanon will cover you,
And the plunder of beasts which made them afraid,
Because of men’s blood
And the violence of the land and the city,
And of all who dwell in it.

18 “What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it,
The molded image, a teacher of lies,
That the maker of its mold should trust in it,
To make mute idols?
19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’
To silent stone, ‘Arise! It shall teach!’
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
Yet in it there is no breath at all.

20 “But the Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”

The Prophet’s Prayer

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on [p]Shigionoth.

O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid;
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman,
The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah

His glory covered the heavens,
And the earth was full of His praise.
His brightness was like the light;
He had rays flashing from His hand,
And there His power was hidden.
Before Him went pestilence,
And fever followed at His feet.

He stood and measured the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
And the everlasting mountains were scattered,
The perpetual hills bowed.
His ways are everlasting.
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction;
The curtains of the land of Midian trembled.

O Lord, were You displeased with the rivers,
Was Your anger against the rivers,
Was Your wrath against the sea,
That You rode on Your horses,
Your chariots of salvation?
Your bow was made quite ready;
Oaths were sworn over Your [q]arrows. Selah

You divided the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw You and trembled;
The overflowing of the water passed by.
The deep uttered its voice,
And lifted its hands on high.
11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation;
At the light of Your arrows they went,
At the shining of Your glittering spear.

12 You marched through the land in indignation;
You [r]trampled the nations in anger.
13 You went forth for the salvation of Your people,
For salvation with Your Anointed.
You struck the head from the house of the wicked,
By laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah

14 You thrust through with his own arrows
The head of his villages.
They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me;
Their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret.
15 You walked through the sea with Your horses,
Through the heap of great waters.

16 When I heard, my body trembled;
My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entered my bones;
And I trembled in myself,
That I might rest in the day of trouble.
When he comes up to the people,
He will invade them with his troops.

A Hymn of Faith

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

19 [s]The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.

Footnotes

  1. Habakkuk 1:1 oracle, prophecy
  2. Habakkuk 1:3 Or toil
  3. Habakkuk 1:8 Lit. horsemen
  4. Habakkuk 1:8 Lit. spring about
  5. Habakkuk 1:11 Lit. spirit or wind
  6. Habakkuk 1:16 Lit. fat
  7. Habakkuk 2:5 Or Sheol
  8. Habakkuk 2:6 Syr., Vg. thick clay
  9. Habakkuk 2:7 Lit. those who bite you
  10. Habakkuk 2:8 Or bloodshed
  11. Habakkuk 2:9 Lit. hand of evil
  12. Habakkuk 2:13 Lit. for what satisfies fire, for what is of no lasting value
  13. Habakkuk 2:15 Lit. Attaching or Joining
  14. Habakkuk 2:15 Lit. their
  15. Habakkuk 2:16 DSS, LXX reel!; Syr., Vg. fall fast asleep!
  16. Habakkuk 3:1 Exact meaning unknown
  17. Habakkuk 3:9 Lit. tribes or rods, cf. v. 14
  18. Habakkuk 3:12 Or threshed
  19. Habakkuk 3:19 Heb. YHWH Adonai

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