Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
How to get Answers from God when Serious Questions Arise!
February 2015

Habakkuk - (He whom Jehovah Embraces)

Background - The time seems to have been about 610 B.C.  For the Chaldeans attacked Jerusalem in the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim, 605 B.C. (Ref. 2nd Kings 24:1; 2nd Chronicles 36:6; Jeremiah 36:9, 46:2).  Habakkuk speaks of the Chaldeans as about to invade Judah, but not as having actually done so yet (Ref. Habakkuk 1:5-6). 

      Habakkuk seeing how Nahum entreated God regarding the violence perpetrated on Israel by Assyria and the Lord's following judgments on Assyria, and now seeing the same afflictions of the Chaldeans, entreated God for the same judgments to come upon the Chaldeans.

Key Word - Faith - The just shall live by Faith (2:4)
Key Verses
- Habakkuk 1:3-4, 3:17-18
Key Question
- Why does God permit evil?

      Habakkuk demonstrates 4 traits Christians need in order to get answers from God when serious questions or situations arise.  We must then learn to incorporate them into our lives so when serious questions or situations arise we will know how to get the answers we need for victory.

  1. One needs a heart of Mercy

    1. Habakkuk's burden - (1:1-4) - Why does God permit evil

      1. Prophet complains about the violence he sees all around Him

    2. Habakkuk's burden answered - (1:5-11)

      1. Prophet complains about the response God gave him - (1:12-17)

  2. One needs an Intercessors Heart

    1. Habakkuk stands in the Gap for his nation - (2:1)

      1. He stood alert, He was on guard - like a watchman or guard 

      2. He set himself in a place of clear and full vision

      3. He watched - in order to see what God would show him

      4. He listened - to what God would say to him

      The prophet humbly gives his full attendance to God.  I will stand upon my watch," as a sentinel on the walls of a besieged city, or on the borders of country ready to be invaded, which is very important for gaining intelligence.  I will look within, up and around, to watch to see what he will say unto me.  I will listen attentively to the words of His mouth and carefully observe the steps of His providence, that I may not lose the least hint of His instruction or direction.  "I will watch to see what he will say in me" (2:1) - Even in a ordinary way, God not only speaks to us by his word, but speaks in us by our consciences, whispering to us, "This is the way, walk in it;" and we must attend to the voice of God in both. 

The prophet's standing upon the "tower", or high place, suggests

  1. His prudence, in making use of the helps and means he had within his reach to know the mind of God.

  2. His willingness to be instructed concerning God's direction.  Those that expect to hear from God must withdraw from the world, and get above it, must raise their attention, fix their thought, study the scriptures, consult experiences and the experienced, continue instant in prayer, and thus set themselves upon the tower. 

  3. His patience, faithfulness and resolution; he will wait the time, and bear with the weather as a watchman does, for he will have an answer; he will know what God will say to him. 

  4. His dedication to his people - Habakkuk stayed until God answered not only for his own satisfaction, but also for his people.  Getting the answer from God enabled him to give satisfaction to others, and answer their questions and fears. 

The prophet is an example to us.

  1. When we are perplexed with doubts and fears concerning the madness of our external circumstances and are tempted to think that it is fate, or fortune, and not a wise God, that governs the world, or that the church has abandoned you, and God's covenant with his people has been revoked, then we must

    • Take great pains to clear our concerns. 

    • We must stand upon our watch against temptation, that it may not overtake us. 

    • We must set ourselves upon the tower, to see if we can discover what will silence the temptation and solve the objected difficulty. 

    • We must do as the psalmist commanded, "consider the days of old and make a diligent search" (Ref. Psalm 77:6). 

    • We must go into the sanctuary of God, and labor to understand (Ref. Psalm 73:17). 

    • We must not give way to our doubts, but struggle to make the best of our way out of them.

  2.  When we have been at prayer, pouring out our complaints and requests before God, we must carefully observe what answers God gives.  When David says, "I will direct my prayer unto thee," as an arrow to the mark, he adds, "I will look up," will look after my prayer, as a man does after the arrow he has shot (Psalm 5:3).  We must hear what God the Lord will speak (Ref. Psalm 85:8).

  3. When we go to read and hear the word of God, and so to consult the lively oracles, we must set ourselves to observe what God will thereby say unto us.  Whether that is to suit our case, a word of conviction, caution, counsel, or comfort.  Then we must submit to the power of it, and consider what we shall answer and do, when we are reproved by it.  

  4. God answers the question - (2:2-3) - God graciously God graciously gives him the meeting; for he will not disappoint the believing expectations of his people that wait to hear what he will say unto them, but will speak peace, will "answer them with good words and comfortable words," (Ref. Zechariah 1:13).  Now, this great and important event was made known to him by a vision, care is taken to publish the vision, and transmit it to the generations to come, who should see the accomplishment of it.

    1. With a vision (verse 2)

    2. With instructions (verse 2)

    3. With needed patients (verse 3)

    4. With assurance (verse 3)

The prophet must

  1. "Write the vision," (2:2).  He must write it, that he might imprint it on his own mind, and make it more clear to himself, but especially that it might be notified to those in distant places and transmitted to those in future ages. 

  2.  "Make it plain upon tables," must write it legibly, in large characters, so that "he who runs may read it," that those who will not allow themselves time to read it will still be able to do so.  Those employed in preaching the word of God should study plainness in order to make themselves clearly and precisely understood.  The things God has written to us are plain, "they are all plain to him that understands" (Ref. Proverbs 8:9).

  3. Make the people wait for the accomplishment of the vision (2:3): "The vision is yet for an appointed time" to come.  You shall now be told of your deliverance by the breaking of the Chaldeans' power, and that the time of it is fixed in the counsel and decree of God.  "There is an appointed time," but it is not for a great while;” and that that is one reason why it must be written, to be compared with the events when they unfold.  This comparison brings forth faith and trust in God!  Note, God has an appointed time for his appointed work, and will be sure to do the work when the time comes; "At the end it shall speak and not lie" (2:3) We shall not be disappointed of it, for it will come at the time appointed; nor shall we be disappointed in it, for it will fully answer our believing expectations.  The promise may seem silent a great while, but at the end it shall speak; and therefore, though it tarry longer than we expected, yet we must continue waiting for it, being assured it will come, and willing to tarry until it does come.  The day that God has set for the deliverance of his people, and the destruction of his and their enemies, is a day,

    1. That will surely come - but it will without fail come at the fixed time one God has set based on His divine wisdom. 

    2. It will not tarry - "for God is not slack, as some count slackness" (Ref. 2nd Peter 3:9); though it tarries past our time, yet it does not tarry past God's time, which is always the best time.

III.            One needs a Humble Heart

  1. God compares pride to humility (2:4)

    1. Those that either distrust or despise God's all-sufficiency will not walk uprightly with him - these will suffer and die.

    2. Those who are truly good, and whose hearts are upright with God, will value the promise, and venture their all upon it - "the just shall live by his faith."

This vision, the accomplishment of which is so long waited for, will be such an exercise of faith and patience that it will try men's hearts and uncover what they are (2:4)

  1. There are some who will proudly disregard this vision, whose hearts are so lifted up that they refuse to take notice of it.  If God will work for them immediately, they will thank him, but they will not give him credit, for their hearts are lifted up in vanity.  If God delays His answer, they will blame Him and fend for themselves for they think their own hands are sufficient.  God's promises are then considered to be an insignificant thing.  That man's soul that is "lifted up is not upright in him;" it is not right with God, is not as it should be.  Those that either distrust or despise God's all-sufficiency will not walk uprightly with him.

  2. However, those who are truly good, and whose hearts are upright with God, will value His promise, and place their lives upon it.  With confidence in the truth, they will keep close to God and their duty in the most difficult trying times, and will then live comfortably in communion with God, with dependence on him, and in expectation of Him.  "The just shall live by faith;" while waiting on the promise good people will support themselves and live comfortably by faith in those precious promises.  "The just shall live by his faith," by faith they will act upon the word of God.  This statement quoted repeatedly in the New Testament (c.f. Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38), for the proof of the great doctrine of justification by faith and of the influence which the grace of faith has upon the Christian life.  Those made just by faith shall live, they shall be happy here and forever.  While they are here, they shall live by faith; once they come to heaven, faith shall be swallowed up in reality.

IV.         One needs a Heart of Compassion

  1. Habakkuk prays for compassion in the midst of judgment - (3:1-2)

  2. Habakkuk prays for God to remember former deliverances - (3:3-15)

  3. Habakkuk prays for mercy in the face of his presumptuousness - (3:16-19)

      The conversation continues. In the first chapter he spoke to God, then God to him, and then he to God again; in the second chapter God spoke wholly to him by the Spirit of prophecy; now, in this chapter, he speaks wholly to God by the Spirit of prayer.  Like a genuine son of Abraham, he “returned not to his place until God had left communing with him” (Ref. Genesis 18:33). 

  1. Habakkuk prays for compassion in the midst of judgment - (3:1-2).  He earnestly begs God to relieve and assist his people in affliction, to hasten their deliverance, and to comfort them in the mean time. 

  2.  Habakkuk prays for God to remember former deliverances - (3:3-15).  He calls to mind the experiences, which the church formerly had with God's glorious and gracious appearances on her behalf; for He brought many wonderful deliverances for them in times past (c.f. Judges). 

  3. He prays for mercy in the face of his presumptuousness - (3:16-19).  Habakkuk affects himself with a holy concern for the present troubles of the church, but encourages himself and others to hope that the issue will be comfortable and glorious at last, though all visible means fail.

Conclusion -

1.     Even though we go through all the trials and troubles of life "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord I will joy in the God of my salvation" (3:18).  Habakkuk resolves rather to delight and triumph in God than in the troubles around him; when all is gone God is still present: "Yet will I rejoice in the Lord." I shall have him to rejoice in, and will rejoice in him.  Destroy the vines and the fig trees, and you make all the gladness of the carnal heart to cease (Ref. Hosea 2:11-12).  However, those who, when they were full, enjoyed God in all, when they are emptied and impoverished can enjoy all in God, This is the principal ground of our joy in God, that he is the God of our salvation, our eternal salvation and the salvation of the soul.  Joy in God is never out of season, it is present even when we meet with losses and crosses in the world for our hearts should not be set upon these things, nor our happiness tied up in them either.

2.     When all these conditions are, met God promises, "the Lord God will be our strength; He will make our feet like deer's feet, and He will make us walk on my high hills" (3:19).

   Notice how Habakkuk triumphs in God: "The Lord God is my strength" (3:19).  He that is the God of our salvation in another world will be our strength in this world, to carry us on in our journey and help us over the difficulties and oppositions we meet with along the way; even when provisions are cut off, he still remembers, "man lives not by bread alone" (Ref. Deuteronomy 8:3).  No matter what, we still have the bread supplied by the graces and comforts of God's Spirit.  

Habakkuk ends his praise with these joyous proclamations.

  1. We shall be strong in our work for Him and our spiritual warfare: "The Lord God is my strength."

  2. We shall be swift for our spiritual race: "He will make my feet like hinds' feet," that with enlargement of heart I may run the way of his commands and outrun my troubles.

  3. We shall be successful in our spiritual enterprises: "He will make me to walk upon my high places;" that is, I shall gain my point, shall be restored unto my own land, and tread upon the high places of the enemy (c.f. Deuteronomy 32:13; 33:29).

3.     We must not think it strange if God sometimes suffers wickedness to prevail far and to prosper long, for He has good reasons for His attitude, and He cannot be the author or patron of sin.  He takes full account of all sin committed, and will surely make men answer for it in His time.  In other words, God is perfectly consistent with Himself, even though evil is long permitted.

  Back to Top  

If you desire any more information or instruction on your new life in Christ or further teachings that will aid you in your spiritual growth please contact us.

Home | Statement of Faith | Teaching's Index | Kenya Missions | Contact Us

Copyright 2007 True Light Ministries. All rights reserved.
Printable Version