Life has a way of forcing us to ask the question, “Why?”
- When we see the seeming triumph of injustice
- When we see evil men prospering
- When we see the innocent suffering
- When we see ungodliness celebrated
In addition to the question “why”, we ask: “WHY ISN’T GOD DOING SOMETHING?”
This is what is happening in the book of Habakkuk.
We get a sneak peek into the prayers / complaints of a prophet.
The Prophet’s Questions:
Habakkuk 1:2–4 (NKJV) 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save. 3 Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises.
4 Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore, perverse judgment proceeds.
- Why doesn’t God help? – ( 2 – How long…?)
- Why doesn’t God hear? – ( 2 – …And you will not hear?)
- Habakkuk lived in Judah during the reign of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36 – 24:5)
- He prophesied between the fall of Ninevah (the capital of Assyria) in 612 B.C. and the Babylonian invasion of Judah in 586 B.C.
The Lord’s Reply
Habakkuk 1:5–6 (NKJV) 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. 6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
- I am raising up the Babylonians to punish my people, Judah!
Habakkuk 1:13 (NKJV) 13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?
Habakkuk 2:1 (NKJV) 1I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.
- Stand my watch – #4931 (mish-meh-reth) – post, guard, sentry, office
- I will watch – #6822 (tsaw-faw) – lean forward, peer into the distance
IN THE MIDST OF HIS WORLD BEING TURNED UPSIDE DOWN, HABAKKUK WAS GIVEN A VISION AND COMMANDED TO “LIVE BY FAITH”.
HABAKKUK HAD BEEN GIVEN A VISION FROM GOD.
VISION (hawzon) – dream, revelation
WHAT DID GOD SAY TO DO WITH HIS VISION? (Habakkuk 2:2-3)
- Write – describe, inscribe, prescribe, subscribe; to engrave, to be recorded
Why write the vision?
- So that it can be made plain (make it distinct)
To elucidate – to make clear; to explain
WRITING THE VISION HELPS TO BRING CLARITY
Read – to recite aloud, to call out
READING THE VISION BRINGS UNDERSTANDING
“What’s in you is bigger than what you think” — Pastor Billy Johnson
RUN WITH IT
Run – break down, guard, bring hastily
RUNNING WITH THE VISION GIVES MOVEMENT
- We can never run with it if we don’t read it!!
“What are you doing toward what God has put on the inside of you?”—Pastor Billy Johnson
“Running with the vision gives the vision movement.”—Pastor Billy Johnson
“The vision is for an appointed time – a fixed time or season.”—Pastor Billy Johnson
“When you are out of place, you miss your opportunity.”—Pastor Billy Johnson
“If you do what you need to do—you can do what you want to do.”—Pastor Billy Johnson
WAIT ON IT
Wait – be patient, to adhere to (stick to and follow the practices)
WAITING ON IT BRINGS PATIENT EXPECTATION
God is giving you an opportunity to prepare for the future that He has shown you. If you have seen yourself doing a particular thing. Guess what? You need to be doing it–don’t miss the appointment. You’ve got to make sure you are doing what you need to do in the interim. He’s giving you time. Though the vision tarries—it is surely going to come.
“Take a moment and dream again!”—Pastor Billy Johnson
“When you get to the appointed time, there is appointed favor.”—Pastor Billy Johnson
GOD TOLD HABAKKUK WHAT TO DO WITH HIS VISION AND ENCOURAGED HIM IN 2:4 TO LIVE BY HIS FAITH.
Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
- Faith (emunah) – firmness, steadiness
This is the word used in Exodus 17:20
(Exodus 17:12 – Moses …his hands were steady until the going down of the sun)
HABAKKUK FINALLY GOT IT. WE SEE IT IN HIS RESPONSE:
Habakkuk 3:17–19 (NKJV) – A Hymn of Faith 17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.