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    Study in Habakkuk.

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    MrMerlin777

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    Study in Habakkuk.

    Post by MrMerlin777 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:47 pm

    Gleanings from the book of Habakkuk.

    I've been working on the attached study for a number of years. Any comments/constructive criticism would be appreciated. I hope at least some here will find it profitable. I've not included the text of Scripture here but I've annotated which chapter and verses I'm dealing with in each post so you can follow along in the Scriptures.

    The entire study will comprise several posts. Again, I hope this meager work will be profitable to some, and if you all have any comments or critique please feel free. (But try not to kick me to hard Wink )

    Grace and Peace,

    Don.

    Gleanings from the book of Habakkuk..
    Donald Jacobs
    April 2000

    Chapter one
    Verse 1. Here we are given the name of the author, which likely means "embraced by God". How wondrous to be one who is embraced by our Great and Sovereign Lord. To be lovingly taken into the arms of our Father as the prodigal was in Luke 15:20-24, " And he arose and he came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ' Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' " But the father said to his servants, ' Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry." Ah, to be accepted in the Beloved to the praise of God's glorious grace wherewith He made us so (Ephesians 1:6).

    Yes, Habakkuk is a child of God. One who has been embraced by Him and yet, we see also in this verse that the book is "The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw." (Vs. 1) (Some translations say oracle, but the word in the Hebrew is massa', pronounced mas-saw', meaning a burden, an utterance of doom, an especially singing mental desire. And, considering the content of the book, burden is an apt translation.) This verse, and the rest of the book, testifies (on top of everything else it tells us) to the fact that even God's elect have their cares, questions and concerns. Christ Himself said that while we are in this world we will have tribulation, but He also said that He has overcome the world (John 16:33). God answers our concerns. As the Psalm writer says, "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1).

    It is also likely that the meaning of the author's name works the other way around. That is "embracer", "one who embraces", or "to embrace". It could also mean "wrestler". Have not we all known what it means to wrestle? How often have situations arisen in our lives that have seemed a struggle? Hold on to your hope in Christ dear ones! There may be a light of blessing at the end of the dark tunnel! We have a good example of one who wrestles with God and prevails in the 32nd chapter of Genesis verses 22-30 wherein Jacob wrestled with God until the break of day. In this altercation, initiated by God, He removes Jacob's ability to use his own strength, yet Jacob emerged victorious by clinging to the Lord for His blessing. Essentially what Jacob says to the One with whom he wrestled is this, " I will cling to you! For only in you is there any blessing! I cannot stand on my own apart from you oh Holy One! So I will cling to You until I get the blessing that You have ordained for me! I will not let go of You until I get what You want for me!" In much the same way the prophet here wrestles with God in prayer. So considering the way that Habakkuk wrestles with God in prayer, and how (as we shall see later in the book) he humbly embraces God's sovereignty (Oh! That He would enable us to do this!) and rejoices in it (ch. 3), we see that all of these meanings adequately describe the man.

    But we have not yet exhausted verse 1. The verse also tells us that Habakkuk is a prophet. One who is tasked by God and enabled by Him to proclaim divine revelation. Prophets in the Scripture were held to a very high standard. If proven to be a false prophet it would cost him his life. Deuteronomy chapter 13: 1-5 describes the fate of any "dreamer of dreams" that spoke to turn the people to other gods. However, Habakkuk is a true prophet. He speaks only that truth which God has revealed to him and nothing else.

    Doctrinal integrity is the "acid test" of a true prophet. In this day we have the canon of Scripture and we are to judge the veracity of those who would endeavor to teach the Scriptures in much the same way that Israel judged the authenticity of the prophets. Namely, does what is preached square with the revealed Word of God. We are to be as the Bereans mentioned in Acts 17:11 who searched the Scriptures daily to find out if what the disciples preached was true. God did not turn off our brains when He saved us by His grace! On the contrary, He gives new light to our minds that we may understand the things of God (1st Corinthians 2:10-16). Therefore, we should employ our own minds in the study of God's Sacred Scriptures. We should examine that which is preached in the light of the revealed Word to see if what is preached is indeed true.

    This is really all we need know about this man Habakkuk. He is a man who has been embraced by God. He is a true prophet of God. He is a man who wrestles with God in prayer (Ch.1 verses 2-4 & 12-17), and humbly accepts God's answers without grumbling against Him. On the contrary, he bows before God's immutable sovereignty and erupts into a song of wondrous praise to our Sovereign Lord (Ch.3).



    *To be continued*

    Note* Scripture references are from the NKJV.
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    Adam
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    Re: Study in Habakkuk.

    Post by Adam on Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:04 pm

    Donald, I hope this gets some good feed back. I'll do what I can as soon as I have time, maybe this weekend!


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    MrMerlin777

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    Re: Study in Habakkuk.

    Post by MrMerlin777 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:15 pm

    Thanks
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    MrMerlin777

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    More on Habakkuk

    Post by MrMerlin777 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:53 am

    Chapter One continued.

    Verses 2-4. Here begins the prophet's first discourse to The All Just One. He cries out in distress to God, for he sees the covenant people of God departing from covenant living (Exodus 19:4-6) into wickedness and godlessness. He questions God about what seems to be a show of indifference on the part of God regarding the appalling spiritual state of His chosen. They failed to live lives indicative of God's chosen and saved people. Understanding that to depart from the covenant was to bring curses, and correction to the children of God, Habakkuk wonders why Israel is allowed to continue in their appalling state.

    The state of Israel at that time is not unlike the state of the nations of the world and of the church today. How often do we see the law become numb and ineffectual because of the influence of the wicked? (Ch.1 vs. 4) Justice so often fails to go forth in this day and time. We see corruption in the governments of the world. In the church many a charlatan does violence to God's word for his own gain and filthy lucre. (Ch.1 vs. 3) We see the guilty go free while the righteous are persecuted. Their protestations and cries for truth and justice ignored or worse, indicted! Among the pagans and in the church houses that which is evil is increasingly proclaimed good. God's truth is regarded as passé or irrelevant in our day and time and His people are dismissed as paranoid fanatics or, in some places, are condemned as infidels and actively pursued to their deaths. False doctrine proliferates in the churches. Those with itching ears rush to embrace the "new teaching" post haste (Paul warns of this in 2 Timothy 4:3&4) while those who hold fast to "The Sword of the Lord" are ridiculed at best, accused of heresy at worst.

    Understanding our own state of affairs as we do, can we wonder at all why Habakkuk made this complaint to The Most High? Have we in the Church of God never wondered why God at times seems silent while injustice multiplies? Asaph knew what it was to wonder why the wicked prosper. In Psalm 73 he groans, … "Surely have I cleansed my heart in vain…" … "For all day long I have been plagued…" But, Asaph understood as he entered the sanctuary of God, the end that the wicked face. So we see that Habakkuk is not alone in his concern. Many of the saints of old had similar questions when faced with the injustices of the unrighteous. And, if we are honest, we must admit so do we.





    *To be continued*





    Scripture references from The New King James' Version
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    MrMerlin777

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    Habakkuk ch 1 continued.

    Post by MrMerlin777 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:31 pm

    Chapter One. (I have not included the text of Scripture here please, if you would, read it on your own)

    Verses 5-11. Here begins God's response to the prophet's first complaint. He assures Habakkuk that He is not at all ignorant of the state of His wayward people, nor does He intend to allow them to keep transgressing the covenant of God unpunished. He announces His intention to judge and purify His disobedient children in a most astounding way (vs.5 "Look among the nations and watch- Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you.). God tells Habakkuk that He will raise up the Chaldeans, a wicked and brutal people, against the children of Israel as punishment for their covenant breaking and brazen sinfulness. (This announcement was brought to pass around 597BC see 2 Kings 24: 2-4, 8-17 & 2 Chronicles 36:17.) The Chaldeans took Israel by force and possessed it. They were a terrible and dreadful people. They abused Israel as they pleased and ascribed all of their power and authority to do so to their god. Which in truth was merely their own desires and ambitions.

    Should we be so foolish as to think that we in this day and age are beyond God judging us in this way? As mentioned before we see in our day and age that the nations, and even the churches in many ways, have forgotten God. And even a great number of those churches that hold fast to God's Word are "sleeping on watch". Rest assured God will judge and indeed is shaking the world and the church with His judgments already.

    In the nations today there is corruption in the highest levels of government. In many nations God's people are martyred or their lives made a misery because of their faith in our Sovereign Lord. In the United States the moral climate continues to decline and the church is slowly relegated more and more to the fringe of American society. The United States of America, once seen as great among the nations, is now reviled by even many of her allies. As the Scriptures say, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34)."

    In the church we see a massive influx of false doctrine and false religious pretense. Today we see many who merely "play church" treating the church as some form of social club instead of truly worshiping our Creator and paying Him the homage that is His due. Churches on every street corner in some locales and yet the salt has lost its savor. Worse, false teachers multiply in the church and deceive many into practicing an idolatrous "churchianity" in which they attempt by their works to attain salvation. These people are held captive by the false prophets' demonic doctrines, worshiping a "christ" that cannot save.

    These corrupt politicians and preachers rush in much like the Chaldeans did in their day and "posses dwelling places that are not theirs"(Ch.1: 6). Though permitted by God as judgment for a time, corrupt rulers have no place in government, nor do false teachers have any place in God's church. For God has said in His word in Psalm 50:16&17 But to the wicked God says: " What right have you to declare My statutes, Or to take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And cast My words behind you?" They are perfectly happy to have a façade of godliness (2Timothy 3:1-5). But truly yield to the Sovereign One they will not. For, in truth, their god is their own lusts (Philippians 3:18&19).

    note* All Scripture references are from the New King James' Version.

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