August 28, Reading 2 – Habakkuk 3

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Here is Habakkuk’s response to God’s answers to his serious complaints. It is prayer. I find Habakkuk’s request: renew Your deeds in our day, and his ending: yet will I rejoice in the LORD, challenging, uplifting and heartening. Don’t you?

SJA Notes

Here is a wonderful clear and powerful/fearful picture from Habakkuk that breaks down any false “prosperity” religion.

Look at v17!

A lack of material blessing has no bearing on Habakkuk’s walk with the Lord. In fact, he clearly says IN SPITE OF THOSE THINGS (the “yet” in v18).

YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD.

This should be our cry too!

And not just words, but our heartfelt response and wrestling with where the Lord has us in life.

Where should our joy come from? Material things, transient experiences?

No.

“I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

What a word for us this is!

Habakkuk too knows this truth – That the only strength that matters comes from the Lord.

It’s not our inward stubbornness that will win the day, nor our own intellect or reasoning, and not our strength of body.

IT IS THE LORD!

“GOD, the Lord, is my strength;”

Because Habakkuk has already laid out who the Lord is in this passage, vs 1-15. Our God is POWERFUL and FEARFUL. Our God is JUST and HOLY.

More, here He marches through the earth in FURY. He threshes the nations in ANGER.

It is good to meditate on the character of our God. And on our response (to both a growing knowledge of who He is, and to our own situation in life) to Him.

* Mighty Sovereign God,

May arrogance and vanity be far from us, rid us of pride in self and desire to be great!

Because it is YOU that is great. YOU that is mighty.

Please Lord, in Your mercy, guide us to find our joy in You, our strength in You.

Amen.

August 27, Reading 2 – Habakkuk 2

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Habakkuk’s second complaint asks why God allows evil, cruelty and economic oppression. God’s answer is: judgment is certainly coming upon God’s people. Judgment (the woes) will also come upon the agent of God’s judgment on Judah, Chaldea, for her violent ways. Faith in God as in Daniel – verses 13,14 and 20 – will guard God’s people through the Chaldean invasion.

SJA Notes

There are four woes outlined in this passage of Habakkuk’s preaching to us.

Woe #1: To him who heaps up what is not his own.

Woe #2: To him who gets evil gain for his house.

Woe #3: To him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity.

Woe #4: To him who makes his neighbours drink, “- you pour out your wrath and make them drunk, in order to gaze at their nakedness!”

We see here, it seems pretty clear, the practical outworking of false religion, of rejecting God’s good law.

Greed, injustice, lawlessness, manipulation through drunkeness.

And it’s really interesting to see what, for Habakkuk, is a lynchpin here. V18, Idolatry.

What profit is an idol? There is no breath in it.

BUT.

The coin-truth, the big absolute reality.

“But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”

Are we fretting over the broken morality we see parading as true and proper in the world today?

BUT THE LORD IS IN HIS TEMPLE.

Are we stressed about folk who are seemingly secure in their greed and unjust ways, in their lawlessness and manipulation?

BUT THE LORD IS IN HIS TEMPLE.

What of the idols we struggle with ourselves?

BUT THE LORD IS IN HIS TEMPLE.

It’s a wonderful strong absolute black/white truth and reality to wrestle with.

Our Lord, the Almighty God, the Maker and Creator of all things, the Just God, Holy God, Righteous God – He is in His Holy Temple.

* Father God,

When the maelstrom of the world’s influence threatens to overwhelm us, remind us – You are in Your temple. Your holy temple.

When our own woes and worries threaten to consume us, remind us – You are in Your temple. Reigning from on high.

When we are tempted to turn from You, to stray our eyes, to follow after man-made weak and broken images, remind us – You are in Your temple.

Let all the earth keep silence before You.

Amen.