It's been a week since my last entry...I do not like going that long between posts. I had a couple of new classes start this week, so I've been doing some of that, as well as starting a new series that OFA will be starting in a couple of weeks...which is what I would like to start talking about today. This Sunday one of our elders is going to finish up our series on Doctrine. The week after that, I am starting a series on the book of Habakkuk. The overall message of the 4 week series has to do with God's silence. In other words, how can I trust God when what I see or what I am experiencing does not match (my perception of) the character of God. I actually had something different on my preaching calendar, but I felt led to go down this road.
In week 1 of the series we will be looking at
Hab. 1: 1-17
1 The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
Habakkuk’s Complaint2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
The Lord’s Answer5 “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.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,[a]
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
9 they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on--
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
My God, my Holy One, you will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
destroying nations without mercy?
The first chapter of Habakkuk reminds me of some of King David's Poems found in the book of Psalms. There is so much going on here in this first chapter, I could not cover all of it in one blog post. So, over the next week, we will be looking at this first chapter of Habakkuk. Let's start with an overview of what was going on at this time In Israel's history.
The book of Habakkuk was written between 612 and 587 BC. The prophet foretold the coming captivity of Judah by the Babylonian army. Chapter one is a conversation between God and the prophet...they are going back and forth, almost conversation like. Habakkuk looked around at the violence and injustice going on in his day...wondering why God would allow such things to happen. Not only that, but he knew it would get much worse, before it got better. In my next entry, we will look at the conversation between God and Habakkuk in Ch. 1. God Bless.