Studies In Habakkuk

of 21/21
Studies In Habakkuk Presentation 01
  • date post

    24-Feb-2016
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    83
  • download

    0

Embed Size (px)

description

Studies In Habakkuk. Presentation 01. A Puzzled Prophet Chapter 1v1-11. Presentation 01. Introduction. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Studies In Habakkuk

PowerPoint Presentation

Studies InHabakkukPresentation 011

A Puzzled ProphetChapter 1v1-11Presentation 012

IntroductionGod is asked more questions than anyone else! The questions asked dont simply change from person to person but from age to age. The problems bothering most thinking people today are what we would call personal and historical. Questions such as: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of history? What is Gods involvement with history? Why is there evil in history? Why doesnt God do something about wickedness? ~How can I believe in a loving, personal God when He allows bad things to happen to me? Habakkuk raises these questions too. He asks, Is God in charge of history? and, If He is, why do things happen as they do? In dealing with these questions Habakkuk speaks as directly to our own times as any comparable portion of the Word of God.Presentation 013

The Problem Of HistoryWe do not know much about Habakkuk personally, for he is mentioned nowhere else in the Old Testament. He seems to have written sometime after the fall of Nineveh to the Babylonians in 612 B.C. (as prophesied by Nahum) and before the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 587 B.C. We do not know how old Habakkuk was when he wrote. But if he was a mature man he must have spent his childhood in Judah during the reign of the boy king Josiah, one of the more righteous kings of Judah. He had been crowned at the age of eight (in 639 B.C.), and when he was sixteen he began a religious reform that changed the nations life. Presentation 014

The Problem Of HistoryThe chronicler tells us, on the eighth year of his [Josiahs] reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images. Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles, the idols and images. These he broke to pieces and scattered over the graves of those who had sacr{ficed to them. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem. In the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins around them, he tore down the altars and the Asherah poles and crushed the idols to powder and cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout Israel (2 Chron. 34.3-7)Presentation 015

The Problem Of HistoryIn the eighteenth year of his reign Josiah began to repair the temple, which had been allowed to fall into ruin. In the process of this repair, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the Law of the Lord and had it brought to Josiah. When it was read, Josiah and those with him were convicted of their sin and a reform process began. Some lives had been spiritually transformed but the reform was spiritually superficial as far as the majority of the nation was concerned. This is evident from the fact that after the death of Josiah, Judah reverted to her former evil ways until Jerusalem eventually fell in 587 B.C.

Presentation 016

The Problem Of HistoryHabakkuk lived and wrote immediately after Josiahs reforms and before the fall of Jerusalem, and it is against this background that we must understand the questions the puzzled prophet raised. The first verses describe the period of marked spiritual and moral decay after the brighter period under Josiah:How long 0 lord must I call for help but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, Violence! but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds, Therefore the law is paralysed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted (Hab. 1:2-4).Presentation 017

The Problem Of HistoryIts the anguished cry of one who loved justice. Hed seen justice perverted and had cried out to God against the evil. It is the kind of cry we might utter over the deplorable state of the church in our days or over the moral decline of our nation. Habakkuk must have waited for the Lords answer for some time, because he begins his complaint with the words, How long, 0 Lord must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, Violence! but you do not save? At last the Lord did answer, but the answer was an unexpected one and gave Habakkuk new and even greater problems. Presentation 018

The Problem Of HistoryThe Lord replied (Hab. J.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 ~fyou 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 to themselves and promote their own honour.Presentation 019

The Problem Of HistoryThe verses go on to describe the fierceness of the Babylonian. No doubt, Habakkuk had expected God to send revival and do an even deeper work than had been done in Josiahs day. But when God answered it was to say that He would send the Babylonian nation to scourge His people. Habakkuk had questioned Gods inactivity in the face of increasing injustice in Judah. Presentation 0110

The Problem Of HistoryGods answer was the promise of judgement. But then Habakkuk faced a situation in which a most ungodly nation, Babylon, was going to be used to judge Israel, Gods special people. Habakkuk cries out, Wait! Wait! Hold on just a minute! I understand why you are judging us. We deserve it. But what I cannot understand is how you can use the Babylonians as agents of that judgement. They are even more wicked than we are. Habakkuks own words are: Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (Hab. 1:13).

Presentation 0111

The Four LessonsFour lessons emerge in the opening exchange between God and His questioning prophet. First, history (regardless of how it seems to us) is under Gods control. We see this in Gods reply to Habakkuk, for He tells him: I am going to do something in your days.... I am raising up the Babylonians (Hab. 1:5, 6). One commentator writes: Every nation on earth is under the hand of God, for there is no power in this world that is not ultimately controlled by him. Things are not what they appear to be. Presentation 0112

The Four LessonsIt seemed to be the astute military prowess of the Chaldeans that had brought them into the ascendancy. But it was not so at all, for God had raised them up. God is the Lord of history. He is seated in the heavens, and the nations to him are as grasshoppers, as a drop in a bucket, or as the small dust of the balance. The Bible asserts that God is over all. He started the historical process, he is controlling, it, and he is going to end it. We must never lose sight of this crucial fact.Presentation 0113

The Four LessonsSecond, history follows a divine plan. The events of history are not accidental, though they may appear so to us. They follow Gods plan. Again I quote There is a purpose in history, and what is now happening in this twentieth century is not accidental. Remembering that the church is at the centre of Gods plan, let us never forget the pride and arrogance of the church in the nineteenth century. Behold her sitting back in self-satisfaction, enjoying her so-called cultured sermons and learned ministry, feeling just a little ashamed to mention such things as conversion and the work of the Holy Spirit. Presentation 0114

The Four LessonsObserve the prosperous Victorian comfortably enjoying his worship. Note his faith in science and his readiness to substitute philosophy for revelation. How constantly he denied the very spirit of the New Testament! Yes, the church needed chastisement, and it is not at all difficult to understand this twentieth century when we consider the story of the nineteenth.

Third, history follows a divine timetable. This comes out at several places in Habakkuks prophecy. In chapter 1 God says, I am going to do something in your days, that is, not before or after but precisely when He wanted it to happen. In chapter 2 v3 the point is made even stronger: The revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay

Presentation 0115

The Four LessonsFourth, history is bound up with the divine kingdom. The key to the history of the world is the kingdom of God. The story of the other nations mentioned in the Old Testament is relevant only as it bears upon the history of the Christian church. What really matters in the world is Gods kingdom.We must not be thrown into confusion when surprising things happening in the world. Instead, we need to learn to ask, What is the relevance of this event to the kingdom of God?Presentation 0116

The Four LessonsOr, if strange things are happening to you personally, dont complain, but say, What is God teaching me through this? Is there something in me that needs to be corrected? Or have I gone wrong in some way and is God therefore allowing these things for my benefit? There is a meaning in them if only we can see it. We need not become bewildered and doubt the love or the justice of God. If God were unkind enough to answer some of our prayers at once, and in our way, we should be very impoverished Christians. Presentation 0117

The Four LessonsFortunately, God sometimes delays his answers in order to deal with selfishness or things in our lives that should not be there. He is concerned about us, and intends to fit us for a fuller place in his kingdom. We should therefore judge every event in the light of Gods great, eternal and glorious purpose. When we approach the events of our time with this outlook, we are following the advice Jesus gave His disciples: Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed Such things must happen, but the end is still to come (Matt. 24:4-6).Presentation 0118

The Four LessonsAlarm and panic rise in our hearts when we fail to reckon on Gods control of history. Habakkuks world was about to experience a momentous upheaval. Invasion was on the horizon and God was preparing his servant for that event so that he might not be alarmed. The words of Jesus, see to it that you are not alarmed are designed to return our thinking to the fact of Gods control not only of history on the international arena but in the personal arenas of our own lives. The shadow of unemployment, chronic illness or bereavement falls across our lives threatening the collapse of the future as we saw it and into that situation the God of Habakkuk whispers, see to it that you are not alarmed.

God takes a choice servant, whose influence in the life of the congregation has been significant, home to be with himself, just as has happened in this last week with our dear brother Hugh, and into that situation the God of Habakkuk whispers, see to it that you are not alarmed. There will be many situations in our personal, congregational and national life where all we can see is loss and heartache and we are tempted to lose sight of the Gods control in history. It is then that the God of Habakkuk whispers, see to it that you are not alarmed. God calls us all to trust in the fact that he knows what he is doing!Presentation 0119

The Four LessonsAlarm and panic rise in our hearts when we fail to reckon on Gods control of history. Habakkuks world was about to experience a momentous upheaval. Invasion was on the horizon and God was preparing his servant for that event so that he might not be alarmed. The words of Jesus, see to it that you are not alarmed are designed to return our thinking to the fact of Gods control not only of history on the international arena but in the personal arenas of our own lives. The shadow of unemployment, chronic illness or bereavement falls across our lives threatening the collapse of the future as we saw it and into that situation the God of Habakkuk whispers, see to it that you are not alarmed.Presentation 0120

The Four LessonsGod takes a choice servant, whose influence in the life of the congregation has been significant, home to be with himself, just as has happened in this last week with our dear brother Hugh, and into that situation the God of Habakkuk whispers, see to it that you are not alarmed. There will be many situations in our personal, congregational and national life where all we can see is loss and heartache and we are tempted to lose sight of the Gods control in history. It is then that the God of Habakkuk whispers, see to it that you are not alarmed. God calls us all to trust in the fact that he knows what he is doing!Presentation 0121