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"He is not a God of Confusion" - Habakkuk 1:1-11
Almost immediately after I was saved some 40 years ago, I was filled with regret that I had not been saved when I was younger. If only I were saved when I was in the navy -
If only I were saved when I was a teenager or a child. Iíd be so much better off now. I could have avoided so many heartaches. But I was encouraged very soon by a great promise in a surprising Old Testament book called Joel - one of the Minor Prophets (2:20) "I will restore unto you the years that the locusts have eaten." I believe Iím enjoying the benefits of that promise now. It became a favorite verse of mine; but it was another book - the book of Habakkuk which became my favorite book among the prophets; perhaps because of a promise there which could be argued as being the greatest promise in the Old Testament - (2:4) - "The just shall live by Faith."
Many people have never even heard a message from this book and this is really a shame - Habakkuk is very contemporary. For a book written over 2500 years ago, it deals with surprisingly modern issues. For the most part, the questions and problems bothering most thinking people today can be called either personal or historical.
On the personal level the questions are:
"Who am I? - Why am I here? - What is the meaning of my life?"
On the historical level the questions are:
"What is the meaning of history?
What is God doing in history?
Why is there evil in the world?
Why doesnít God do something about it?
How can I believe in a loving, personal God when He allows bad things to happen to me and to others?"
These are the exact questionís Habakkuk the Prophet was asking. Habakkuk grew up during the days of Josiah the King. Josiah was crowned when he was only 8 years old. At age 16, Josiah began to turn the nation back to God.(Read 2 Chronicles 34:3-7)
But then something even more important Ďjust happened to take placeí. As repairs were being made to the temple, the book of the Law was found by Hilkiah the priest and brought to Josiah. Obviously, Godís own people had been without Godís own Word for many generations. When the Bible was read, Josiah and his court fell on their knees with sorrow, conviction and repentance.National revival and peace soon followed.
When I read this, I find myself wondering if there is an eternal spiritual principle of revival and blessing here. If so, following the pattern of this
Scripture, this is what we should do:
1 Seek after God with all your heart and strength
2 Get rid of idolatry
3 Get rid of witchcraft
4 Get rid of contemporary societyís sexual seductions - raunchy TV programs, magazines, clothes and the like
5 Get rid of these things and get into the Word of God - and youíll find exciting truths & blessings that you never knew before.
6 Keep on doing these things - when the Ephesus church of Rev. 2 left their first love it was because they had stopped doing these very first principles and then God told them to go back and do these first things.
Tragically, after the death of Josiah, the people of that day stopped doing these things. The revival failed. The people returned to their wicked paths, idolatry and false gods. Habakkuk was then called by the Lord and sent to cry out against their evil ways. For many weeks he cries out to the people and warned them of their sin - nothing changed. He cried out to God with the burdens of his heart - nothing changed.
This is the record of verses 1-4 of chapter 1 which describes the confusion and perplexity of the godly prophet because nothing was changingÖ.(read verses 1-4) This is the kind of cry we might make over the moral decline of America during our times.
Weíve been shamed by the advance of homosexuality
Weíve been shamed by the acceleration of pornography.
Weíve been shamed by the loss of heterosexual sexual restraint.
Weíve been shamed by the destruction of the traditional family & marriage.
Weíve been shamed by legalized abortion and the continual worsening of it by such things as partial birth abortion and allowing living aborted babies to die in order to harvest their organs.
And now we have the stem cell controversy. They want to create new human life by joining together the sperm and the egg and then killing it in order to harvest these stem cells which are supposed to be miracle cures for many sicknesses. Oh, the shame of it. I myself would rather die - Iíd rather die than live at the cost of another human life.
Getting back to Habakkuk, there are 2 issues in his words of verses 1-4.
1 - Godís own people are backslidden, disobedient and wicked.
They are far from God and do not care.
They ignore Godís law.
They fight, cheat and grieve one another.
Violence and iniquity fill their lives.
Disregard and indifference is their response to Habakkuk & the Word of God.
Notice that Habakkukís anguish is not directed at the unbelieving world around him - heís not complaining about corruption in government - Heís not hitting out at the wicked Assyrians - He is broken hearted over the sin of Godís own people.
And what does Godís Word say to us? "Judgment must begin at the house of God." Thatís what it says.
If Habakkuk were on the scene today,
Do you think heíd be marching against the homosexuals?
Do you think heíd be protesting at abortion clinics?
Do you think heíd be sending petitions every week to Washington?
Do you think heíd be doing these things that so many of our national Christian leaders are doing in their daily battles against national decline? Now Iím not criticizing these things, Iím simply asking what you think Habakkuk would do.
Or do you think that Habakkuk would be crying out to the church."Judgment must begin at the House of God?" The Apostle Peter lamented over the same sin: "For the time has arrived for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good new, the Gospel of God? And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked?" [1 Peter 4:17-18]
Ezekiel was given a vision of God's impending judgment at the hands of the Babylonians, also known as the Chaldeans. In Ezekiel 9, God sent six angelic executioners wielding double-edged battleaxes came to Jerusalem from Heaven, accompanied by an angel clothed in white linen with an ink bottle hanging from his side. God instructed the executioners to wait until the angel with the ink bottle could finish marking each true believer with a mark to the forehead; then, the executioners were to kill everyone else, man, woman, child.
God then pronounced: "Begin at My sanctuary". The killing of the religious pretenders and the sinners among the people began in God's Church!
Why? Because sinners then, and today, donít care about Godís Word.
Judgment must begin at the House of God because we arenít convicted by the sins we commit - there is no sorrow, no shame, no tears, no repentance.
Judgment must begin at the House of God because we are indifferent, unthankful and non reverent to the God Who died for our sins and wants to love us.
Judgment must begin at the House of God because we are filled with pride, mean-spirited, angry, bitter, dishonest, idolatrous, unloving, greedy, covetous, lustful and materialistic.
"Judgment must begin at the House of God" Listen - the sins that God hates the most are the sins committed by His own people. He is much more concerned about what you are doing tonight than what the bank robbers or the druggies did yesterday.
I said there were 2 issues in these first 4 verses of Habakkuk.
2 - Not only is Habakkuk facing the problem of the backslidden people of God in these verses - but also the deeper question of Godís silence.
Habakkuk must have been waiting for the Lordís answer for some time, because he writes, "How long, O Lord, must I call for help but You do not listen? Or cry out to You, but You do not save?"
Weíve all faced situations such as this & have been as confused and as perplexed as the Prophet.
Why doesnít God save our loved ones?
Why doesnít God bring back that rebellious son?
Why doesnít God put an end to injustice, unfairness & evil where I work?
Why doesnít God heal my loved one?
Why doesnít God answer my prayers?
Finally the Lord did answer the prophet.
Finally your answers and understanding will come as well.
Itís always wrong to give up on God.
Itís always wrong to prescribe your own answers to prayer.
Itís always wrong to stop praying and to stop trusting.
Godís love is uncompromising and nothing can separate you from it. He is the most wonderful and trustworthy, ever present friend you have in this world. When the Lord answered Habakkuk, the answer was not what Habakkuk expected. Moreover it gave him new and even greater questions.
Godís perfect will is often like that as He is working out the highest blessings for you and the greatest of His best for you.
Hereís the Lordís answer to Habakkuk in verses 5-7:
"Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law unto themselves and promote their own honor."
The verses go on to describe the fierceness of the Babylonian army.
Habakkuk had expected the Lord to intervene graciously and mercifully, sending revival like he did when Habakkuk was a boy. But when God answered it was to say that judgment was coming.
Habakkuk cries out "Wait a minute, Lord - I can understand why You are judging us. We deserve it. But what I canít understand is how you can use the Babylonians to bring that judgment - they are even more wicked than we are. And their false idols and gods will get the honor and the glory for their military victories!"
Godís answer leads to the great promise of 2:4 "the just shall live by faith." God's answer is that He will judge the Babylonians too, but that in the meantime His people are to live by faith. No matter what is happening in life, the world and history, Godís people can and will live by faith. And when this life is over and the grave claims our bodies, the just will still be living by faith! Praise the Name of the Lord!!
No wonder Habakkuk concludes his little book with these words - though nothing has changed in the world around him, much has changed in his heart:
"Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines. Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food. Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. And I will be joyful in God my Savior."
Praise the Name of the Lord!
Listen: Four great truths are found in this opening exchange between God and His prophet. (*suggested by Jones, From Fear to Faith, a commentary on Habakkuk)
I. History is under Godís control. This fact is seen in Godís word to Habakkuk - "I am going to do something in your daysÖ I am going to raise up the Babylonians." It may have seemed that the brilliant military strategies and strength of these people had brought them into power. But it was not that at all - God had raised them up. God is the Lord of History. Every nation on earth is under His hand. There is no power that is not ultimately controlled by Him. He is seated in the heavens and the nations are as grasshoppers, as a drop in the bucket, or as the small dust of the balance. God is over all.
He began history. He is controlling it. And He is going to end it.
History is under Godís control. And your life is under Godís control. I spoke with a man Thursday who is facing eternity because of cancer - Was he worried? Was he frightened? Was he phased out at all? No - not one shadow, not one fear, not one doubt troubled his heart - He knows that his life is under Godís control.
History and your life are under His control.
II - History has a Divine plan to it.The events of history are not accidental, though they may seem so to us. They follow Godís plan. There is a purpose in history and what is now occurring in this century God knew before the foundation of the world. From the beginning of time to the end, God has a purpose. This is one reason why I cringe when I hear about the so-called ĎBig Bangí theory of creation and a universe thatís supposedly 13 Ĺ billions of years old. God had a purpose in creation and I donít believe that He needed 13 Ĺ billion years to work it out. He took 7 days to put it all together.
GOD CAN CREATE "OLD"
When He created Adam, one second later, Adam had the appearance of being 21 years old but he was one second old. When God created the trees they had the appearance of being 20, 100 or 1000 years old but they were one second old. We saw a redwood tree last week north of San Francisco that was 2400 years old.
When the Lord created the stars & galaxies and thrust them out into space and Adam looked up into the clear night sky on the evening of Adamís first day, those sparkling stars had the appearance of being millions of years old, but they had been out there for mere days and were only days old.
History has a Divine plan to it. Your life has a Divine plan to it. 99% of it is laid out for you in the Word of God. The rest comes to pass as you believe in the Lord become born again, become a member of the family of God and earnestly seek His will for your life. God is always working out His plan for your life in the circumstances that surround you. Thatís why when surprising and unexpected events take place, donít let them strike you out. Donít become bewildered. Donít doubt the presence, the love or the justice of God.
Instead, ask questions such as these:
What does God want to teach me through this?
What is there in me that needs to be corrected?
Where have I gone wrong?
Why is God allowing these things?
How can I grow through this and be strengthened and grow closer to the Lord?
There is a meaning in the circumstances of our lives if only we look for it. And that meaning is bound up in Godís great, eternal and glorious purpose of love.
III History has a Divine timetable. In Habakkuk, chapter one God says, "I am going to do something in your days,"; that is, not before or after but precisely in your days, Habakkuk, and precisely when God wanted it to happen.
God has a timetable and that timing is in the hands of His Sovereign power. What God said to Habakkuk took place exactly as He said it would and when he said it would, even though Habakkuk didnít believe it at first. What God says will always come to pass. You can trust the Word of God.
The Word of God could tell us 700 years in advance where Jesus would be born.
It could tell us 500 years in advance the exact day when He would come to Jerusalem to die on the cross [Daniel 9:24-27], and 1000 years in advance that the grave could not hold Him.
It could tell us some 2500 years in advance the exact day when the nation of Israel would be born in 1948, and thousand of years in advance the signs of the second coming of Christ and the end times - signs which are all around us today pointing to the imminent rapture of the church and Godís judgment upon the earth.
This book has proven itself to be the Word of God, yet still some people will not believe it. The Word even tells us that they wonít believe it but this doesnít change the truth of it.
In Noahís day, Noah preached for 120 years that the flood was coming and they didnít believe it even though they were told, but the flood came and only those who believed the Word were safe in the Ark.
Heaven is coming and hell is coming -Jesus Himself warned about the fire, the pain, the eternal duration of hellís judgment - and youíd better believe it - for only those who believe the Word will be safe in the ark of heaven with the Lord. Thatís how important believing is.
"Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." The Bible says. Thatís how important the Word is.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." The Bible says.
Thatís how important Jesus is. "There is no other Name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved."
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus - the Bible says - and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Thatís how important a public testimony of faith is.
"He died for our sins and was raised again for our justification." The Bible says.
Thatís how important the resurrection is.
You had better believe these truths, and if you never have, youíd better trust the Lord and receive Jesus as your Savior today.
Heaven is coming and hell is coming. Antichrist is coming.
I heard some statistics last Sunday in another church from a poll that was taken that
were shockingÖÖ81% of the respondents said that they believed in heaven where they will live with God and their loved ones forever.
But 6% said they would get to heaven by their works. If the Holy Spirit were grading that answer he would say "Absolutely wrong."
34% said they would get to heaven by faith and their works. If the Holy Spirit were grading that response, He would put a big x for wrong next to it.
63 % - 63% said they will go to heaven but they gave un-Biblical, and wrong reasons why they believed that - 63%!
Listen - do you know that there are some things that God does not know?
1. God does not know a sin that He does not hate.
2. God does not know a sinner that He does not love.
3. God does not know one sinner who will get to heaven outside of faith in Jesus Christ.
4. God does not know one sinner who will be in heaven without being born again.
5. God does not know one answer for your sin outside of the blood of Jesus Christ.
6. God does not know a better time for you to be saved than right now.
IV History is bound up with the people of God.
Earlier I said that God had a purpose in creation - that purpose was to bring into existence a people for his name - the family of God. God cares about you. He has saved every tear that you have ever shed.
The Book of Revelation tells us that. He knows every heartache. He knows every gene in your body - every thought in your mind. And he says to give Him every heartache and to love Him with whatís left.
Are you ready to do that?
Thatís all - these 2 things.
In a moment weíll be singing the closing hymn - Jesus, I Come.
Why donít you come to Him today.
Come, and give every heartache to Him. How foolish if we donít. Come and name them one by one and then when theyíre all cleared out, love Him with everything thatís left.
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul and strength.
Come and give Him your heart and let Him save you. How foolish if we donít.
Heaven is coming and hell is coming. But, Jesus is coming first, in the Rapture of His True Church.
If you have received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never received Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to obtain His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you receive Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually.
If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.
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God bless you.
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