Stay Warm

Matthew 24:12 – And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
The gospel always overpowers the creeping chill. Read more…


Today’s Sermon Notes

The Book of Habakkuk – Wait For It
Relentless Faith in God’s Promises
Lesson 1

 
As we enter the Christmas season, we think about advent which is derived from the Latin word for adventus which means “coming”. We celebrate advent in two ways. First, we think of the first coming of Jesus as He fulfilled all the promises of God for a coming Messiah. Second, we think about our own advent as we wait for the second coming of Jesus in which He will fulfill all of God’s promises eternally.
We are faced with a world very similar to the people of God that waited for His first coming. As we read the book of Habakkuk, we will hear the prophet ask God questions that might reflect some of our own thinking. We will also read God’s answer and learn about His character from it.
 
1. Overview
a. Author – Habakkuk – 1:1
– Very little detail is known about Habakkuk’s life from the
Bible.
– His name means “embrace/embraced”.
b. Setting – The book was written just before the destruction of
Judah by Babylon which places it some time between 600 BC.
– Judah is absorbed by personal sin and national pride,
and they have ignored God for generations.
– Babylon has strengthened itself and multiple prophets
have warned Israel that destruction is coming.
c. Theme – The chapters of Habakkuk are written as poems of lament. There is a conversation between Habakkuk and God in which the prophet addresses God’s perceived inaction in the world.
– Habakkuk asks questions like “how long” and “why”.
– God establishes that regardless of circumstance, He can
still be trusted. He calls Habakkuk to “wait for it” (2:3) as
He accomplishes His way in the world.
– God teaches that regardless of religion, prideful people
will be humbled (2:4).
– Habakkuk’s final response to God’s response is praise.
d. Application – We are often discouraged by the world, other Christians, and our own lives. We are encouraged to look to God as we wait in our own moment of advent. Here are the main ideas we want to establish in the next few weeks.
1) God’s ways are not like my own, but He can be trusted.
2) Life can seem chaotic, but God is still in control.
3) God wants what is best for me, but sometimes it can be hard.
4) I may not understand God’s plan, but He still demands my
trust.
5) God is the source of peace and joy, and I am not meant to find that through my circumstances.
6) My “timing” is irrelevant, but God’s timing is always perfect.
 
2. Overview
 
3. Habakkuk’s Conversation
a. Habakkuk’s first prayer – 1:1-4
– Questions – Habakkuk takes his questions to the right place!
• How long do I have to call for help? – 1:2
• Why do you force me to see injustice and wrong? – 1:3
– Complaints – Habakkuk first describes the condition of his people and surroundings. 1:3-4
• Oppression and violence
• Constant strife and conflict
• God’s Law is neglected.
• Injustice and delayed justice
• Corrupt leadership
• Righteous people are restricted
 
b. God’s first response
– He demands Habakkuk’s attention. – 1:5-6
• I am still doing a work, and you should be amazed.
• You are missing it.
– He displays His character by His descriptions. – 1:7-11
• God is not ignorant of sin. – 1:6
• God has not confused or changed His promises. – 1:6
• God does not condone evil. – He recognized that Babylon had their own system of justice and used it, but did not condone sin. – 1:7
• God sees the success and power of wicked people. – 1:8
• God sees the intent of wicked people. – 1:8-9
• God sees the suffering that is caused. – 1:9
• God understands that they are mocking. – 1:10
• God sees their guilt and blasphemy. – 1:11
c. Habakkuk’s second prayer
– He recognizes God’s righteousness and sovereign plan.-1:12
– He questions God’s assessment of their evil. – 1:13
• They treat men like animals. – 1:14
• They capture people in pride. – 1:15
• They worship the wrong thing. – 1:16
• Are they going to conquer all unhindered? – 1:17
d. God’s second response
– God reaffirms His Word. – 2:2
– God calls for patience and teaches that His delay does not
deter His plan. – 2:3