habakkuk the righteous prophet, part 1


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Habakkuk: The Righteous Prophet:

Habakkuk: The Righteous Prophet Introduction and Chapter 1 Friendship Baptist Church Rev. Brian Chilton

Question of the Week:

Question of the Week Question 22 Who spoke about the ants being sluggards? (from Ricky Smitherman ) Answer: Solomon in Proverbs 6:6. Solomon gives this advice to his son. Question 23: Who was Zephaniah’s father?

Habakkuk Introduction:

Habakkuk Introduction Author: The author is the little known prophet named Habakkuk. It is stated in the Apocryphal book “ Bel and the Dragon” that Habakkuk was from the Levite family, which would make sense due to the references to the Temple. It is said in this book that Habakkuk delivered food to Daniel while in the lion’s den. Other traditions say that Habakkuk was the son of the Shunammite woman whom Elisha raised from death. Habakkuk was an ordained prophet. Date: Habakkuk wrote and prophesied sometime around 606-604BC. This was after the fall of Nineveh but before the Babylonian conquest of Judah.

Habakkuk’s Theme:

Habakkuk’s Theme Habakkuk’s theme is that of “Theodicy” or “why does a loving God allow evil in the world.” Habakkuk allows Judah to know that an invading nation was coming due to their evil. However, Habakkuk has larger issues in mind when speaking to God.

Habakkuk: Outline:

Habakkuk: Outline I. Habakkuk’s Initial Lament (1:1-4) II. God’s First Response (1:5-11) III. Habakkuk’s 2 nd Lament (1:12-2:1) IV. God’s 2 nd Response (2:2-20) A. Prologue (2:2-3) B. Indictment (2:4-5) C. Sentence (2:6-20) V. The Prayer of Habakkuk (3:1-19) A. Introduction (3:1) B. Prayer (3:2) C. Theophany “Appearance of God” (3:3-15) D. Response (3:16-19a) E. Epilogue (3:19b)

Part One: The Questions of the Prophet :

Part One: The Questions of the Prophet I. Habakkuk’s Initial Lament (1:1-4) II. God’s First Response (1:5-11) III. Habakkuk’s 2 nd Lament (1:12-2:1)

Habakkuk’s Initial Lament (1:1-4):

Habakkuk’s Initial Lament (1:1-4) 1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth .

Habakkuk’s Initial Lament:

Habakkuk’s Initial Lament (1-2) Like Nahum, Habakkuk has a “ massa ” or a “burden.” This is an issue that is plaguing Habakkuk’s life. Habakkuk has two questions: Why does God not hear and answer his complaints? Why doesn’t God help? Why doesn’t he stop the wickedness in the land? “ ‘Violence’ denotes flagrant violation of moral law by which a person injures…one’s fellow human beings” (Expositor’s Commentary OT, 1492). (3) “Destruction” and “violence” are coupled together as are “strife” and “contention.” Habakkuk wants to know, “why are you allowing me to see these things?” (4) The law of God is paralyzed. It has no effect on the people. Therefore, lawlessness and sin abound. Likewise, our society places little attention to the authority of the Bible and we reap the same results.

God’s First Response (1:5-11):

God’s First Response (1:5-11) Hab 1:5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously : for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. 7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. 8 Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. 9 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. 10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. 11 Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.

God’s First Response (1:5-11):

God’s First Response (1:5-11) (5) God responded and told Habakkuk that HE indeed WAS working on something and it would “blow the prophet’s mind.” Many times when God is silent, He is working on something BIG. (6) The Chaldeans were the Babylonians. They would conquer most of the “then” known world. “Character produces conduct” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary OT, 1493). They would engulf Palestine, too. (7) The Babylonian status: The Babylonians were cruel and violent people. They did not fear God, rather their own twisted laws. (8-9) The Babylonian speed: The Babylonian speed is shown by the speed of the horses being compared to leopards. Their viciousness to wolves. Their predatory skills to the Eagle.

God’s First Response (cont’d):

God’s First Response (cont’d) (10) The Babylonian scoffers: The Babylonians scoffed at other nations. Mighty fortresses were manipulated by ramps. (11) The Babylonian sacrilege: The Babylonians worshipped themselves. Their strength was their god.

Some answers found in God’s First Response.:

Some answers found in God’s First Response. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity , so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions ; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind , to do those things which are not proper, (Romans 1:24-28, NASB) New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ro 1:2428). LaHabra , CA: The Lockman Foundation. God has given humanity free will. Free will, unfortunately, means that some will choose self over the Savior. Even then, their reward is only found in this lifetime. When a covenant nation (or person) chooses to reject spiritual disciplines (prayer, Bible study, discipleship, anything that keeps us close to God), God gives them over to their desires and lifts the hand of protection from them. CAUTION: This does not mean that every bad thing comes from this. See Romans 1:24-28.

III. Habakkuk’s Second Lament (1:12-2:1):

III. Habakkuk’s Second Lament (1:12-2:1) Hab 1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. 13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? 14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. 16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations? 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Habakkuk’s Second Lament (1:12-2:1):

Habakkuk’s Second Lament (1:12-2:1) ( 12) Habakkuk is beside himself now. “What was God saying? You’ve gotta be kidding, right?” Habakkuk pleads with God’s eternity and His past dealings with Israel. He also speaks of God’s holiness. He calls God, his “rock.” “surely you do not plan to wipe us out?” (NLT). (13) God is holy and can not look on sin. Habakkuk asks, “Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they?” (NLT). Habakkuk shifts from asking why he had to witness sin to how is God able to witness it with His holiness.

Habakkuk’s Second Lament (cont’d):

Habakkuk’s Second Lament (cont’d) ( 14-15) Habakkuk asks, “Are we no better than animals to be caught and hunted?” Must the righteous suffer while the wicked celebrate? (16 ) Habakkuk knows the human condition well. He shows that the Babylonians will boast over themselves while the righteous suffer. (17 ) Can a God of justice simply sit back and watch? (2:1 ) Habakkuk would wait to see what God’s answer would be.

Next Week: Part Two – God’s Complete Response:

Next Week: Part Two – God’s Complete Response

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