Worship Service on 30 October 2016
Audio
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and LaVerne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
October 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Luke 19:1-10
Subject
Blessings in Disguise
Description

 Scriptures:

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4, 

Psalm 119:137-144;

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12;

Luke 19:1-10

 

Habakkuk 1:1-4     New International Version (NIV)

1 The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, 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 wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

Habakkuk 2:1-4      New International Version (NIV)

2 I will stand at my watch
    and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
    and what answer I am to give to this complaint.[a]

The Lord’s Answer

Then the Lord replied:

“Write down the revelation
    and make it plain on tablets
    so that a herald[b] may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it[c] will certainly come
    and will not delay.

“See, the enemy is puffed up;
    his desires are not upright—
    but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness[d]

Footnotes:

  1. faith Or Habakkuk 2:4
  2. Habakkuk 2:3 Or Though he linger, wait for him; / he
  3. Habakkuk 2:2 Or so that whoever reads it
  4. Habakkuk 2:1 Or and what to answer when I am rebuked

 ‚Äč

Pastor's Summary of Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

An "oracle" is a message of doom, usually pronounced against foreign nations, but here it includes the judgement that awaits God's people. 1:1-2:5 is a dialogue between the prophet and God. From the text, it seems that Habakkuk wrote when Bablonian armies were ravaging Judah, before the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC, but the problem is universal.

In vv. 1:4, Habakkuk asks God: why do you niether listen nor act? "Violence" is being done to us; our basic human rights are being violated. The state is in confusion and near anarchy ("law becomes slack...justice never prevails..." v. 4). The "wicked", fellow Jews or foreigners, have taken over! God answers in vv. 5-11; rather than promising stability, he says, he is working through the "Chaleans" (v. 6, Bablonians), a people known for their ferocity and savagery! "Their justice" (v. 7) is their own (not God's); "their own might is their god!" (v. 11). The prophet now asks: aren't you Israel's God? Surely you have marked this enemy for judgement, so why allow this misery to happen to your people? Doesn't using such wicked people as your agents go against your very essence? (v. 13) The enemy is merciless and self-serving, like someone who catches helpless fish (v. 15); he worships his own achievement, in immense pride (v. 16). Are you and the enemy intent on "destroying nations"? (v. 17) Like a sentinel on a city wall, Habakkuk awaits God's reply (2:1). God responds: make my message "plain" (2:2) so all hear it: my justice will come at "the appointed time" (2:3), in the "end" times. But God's time may not be human time, so "wait for it". "The proud" (2:4), the enemy), those who are self-sufficient, don't endure ("their spirit is not right"), but those who trust in God, "the righteous", continue to "live", to keep the faith, even in these difficult times. God has a plan for the future: the faithful will be rewarded, the wicked punished.