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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus & Laura Neal

February 25th, 2024: Faith In God's Purpose- Habakkuk 2:1-5

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. (Jeremiah 29:11-14).


Today, we delve into the writings of a minor prophet with a name no one is ever sure how to pronounce! The most accepted thought is to place the emphasis on the second syllable (Haa- Bach’-uk).  Regardless of how it’s said, this name means “he who embraces” or “he who clings.”  This book is unique.  The prophet does not preach to the people, but he is embracing God completely and in faith as he directs his own concerns to God Himself.  God tells him to write these conversations down.  Why, you ask?  Because God’s answers are relevant to all of us.  


Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you. (Habakkuk 1:5).  What is that work?  God’s about to allow the Babylonians to utterly destroy Jerusalem, and terrible things will happen to the people of Judah, but through all of it, He will bring revival to the remnant of believers.  After the unimaginable happens, those who’ve placed their trust in God will find themselves preserved and prepared to handle the future. As Jeremiah states, He has a plan.  If you search for Him, you will find Him.  He can handle your doubts.  Faith will grow as you see God’s purpose. 


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.


It is believed that this book was written sometime after the reign of King Josiah and before the nation of Judah went into Babylonian captivity.  It is believed that Habakkuk lived during the reign of King Josiah and saw the national revival that took place at that time. He also lived to see the decline of Judah back into apostasy, drifting away from their relationship with God.  


Habakkuk is unhappy that the nation of Israel is falling back into the sinful pride, slack judgment, strife, and contentions. These things always get the nation in trouble.  In Habakkuk’s laments, he records his displeasure and asks God, how long before you fix this mess? God answers by telling Habakkuk that the terrible and dreadful Babylonians are on their way.  


Habakkuk then writes of his difficulty in understanding how God would choose to use a nation like Babylon, so ungodly and so brutal.  He reminds God how terrible the Babylonians are and that they take pleasure in slaying nations and righteous men.  Because of the faith of Habakkuk in his God, he declares that after having shared his concerns, he is going to wait and watch.  God will answer him, and Habakkuk expects that God will scold him for his questions. Like Habakkuk, we too can bring our concerns and dissatisfactions to God.  He knows what we are thinking before we even begin to say what’s on our minds.  And also like Habakkuk, we wait for His answers.  We learn to see things through the eyes of God.  His plans and visions are much higher than ours. 


And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.


God makes His answers clear, plain, and straightforward. Habakkuk is to understand and write down God’s response. The lesson God is about to give will be shared. It should not be sugar coated, hidden in fancy words, or disregarded as not relevant. Others will need to hear, understand, and take comfort in these words. Why?  Because we all have these moments of thinking God is not looking.  Does He see all that is going on, we ask?  We worry that God is not intervening enough or even at all.  And yet, God tells Habakkuk to write it down - plainly.  He sees.  He knows.  He hears.  As living by faith teaches us,  God is righteous, faithful, strong and in control.  He is worthy of our praise.  He is deserving of our trust. 


For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.


As with all scripture there are many layers of meaning in God’s word. This message spoke to the coming Babylonian captivity just a few years down the road. It also speaks to the church facing tribulation and living in a culture that has largely rejected God. God isn’t using the Babylonians because they are good, it doesn’t mean that God supports the behavior of Babylonians. But, He will use them to accomplish His purpose. Both the nation of Judah and Habakkuk knew God would punish their national arrogance and pride, their lack of concern for the poor, orphaned, and widows, and their love of pleasure in disregard of God.  There is a law of reaping and sowing. Every nation that forgets God will receive judgment. Even more reassuring is that although sin looks unpunished now, it will not be unpunished in the end.  There is a day that all the nations of earth will be judged by the same standard of truth. Do we trust God, or are we part of those lifted up in their own pride and arrogance?  We need not fear in the time of trouble, if we have our hand in His. Our God has it all under control. 


Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.


We live by Faith.  We can’t see all the answers.  We have to believe that God knows what he is doing.  He has proved himself over and over to us. He is faithful, righteous, and knows his own. We start out with a little faith, but as we grow, observe, pray and read His word, our faith continually is tested and grows.  It is not faith if we have determined that we are the masters of our own fate or that we must solve all of our problems.  If we are prideful individually, we create a nation that forgets God. Nothing will substitute for the God that redeems us.  God reminds Habakkuk that the rules didn’t change. Trusting rock-solid faith has and will, always be required.  


Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:


So let us look individually and as a nation at the standard.  If we are given over to alcohol, if we are arrogant/prideful, if we disregard our family, if we seek pleasures in sinful things - God tells Habakkuk we cannot be satisfied. We call upon ourselves the wrath and judgment of God. God reminds Habakkuk that the Babylonians will serve a purpose, but they won’t be in charge forever.  We know from history that this is true. 


Though it may not have seemed possible at the time of his writing, Habakkuk learned again that God has seen and is not off course.  He knows the end before the beginning and He let’s his people in on the secret.  God does not forget his promises, though it may seem to take a long time to happen.  Our faith in God is not misplaced.  He is forever trustworthy and true!  Place your faith confidently in the one who hears you, be honest with him even with your complaints, and receive humbly the answers He gives you. “For He has not appointed us unto wrath.”


Thank you for studying with us! God bless!


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