Aug 16, 2021
Over the next three weeks, Pastor Grant will be leading us through the book of Habakkuk. This prophet, like his contemporary Jeremiah, was writing on the cusp of one of the climactic moments in Old Testament history: the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah and the Babylonian captivity. He begins his oracle (what the King James Version poetically renders as a “burden”) with a question for God: why do You seem to be silent in the face of wickedness (Habakkuk 1:2-4)? The psalms and hymns we sing this morning mirror Habakkuk’s questioning, as well as God’s answer to him that judgement is coming (Habakkuk 1:5). We’ll pray for the Lord to save us (Turn Your Ear And Answer—Psalm 86) and to not cast us off (O God You Have Rejected Us—Psalm 60). We acknowledge His role as a righteous judge who orders and provides (Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah—Psalm 146; Be Still, My Soul). Like the prophet, we cry out “How long, How long?” (Gently, Gently, Lay Your Rod—Psalm 6) and ask, “What can the righteous do … if their foundations be destroyed?” (My Trust Is in The Lord—Psalm 11). The service concludes with a word of encouragement from How Firm A Foundation: though the coming days may be filled with deep waters and fiery trials, He will be with us, “our troubles to bless.” —Henry C. Haffner Key Words: Violence, Bitter, Hasty, Guilty, Everlasting, Purer, Evil Keystone Verses: Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if you were told. (Habakkuk 1:5)
Habakkuk 1:1-17 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw. 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and You will not hear? Or cry to You “Violence!” and You will not save? 3 Why do You make me see iniquity, and why do You idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. 4 So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. 5 “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. 6 For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. 7 They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. 8 Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. 9 They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand. 10 At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. 11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” 12 Are You not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, You have ordained them as a judgment, and You, O Rock, have established them for reproof. 13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do You idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? 14 You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. 15 He brings all of them up with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad. 16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich. 17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever?