Thursday, October 21, 2010

Instruction and Encouragement from Habakkuk

"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Rom. 15:4


Habakkuk served as prophet with Jeremiah and also as a Levitical chorister in the temple in Judah during the time that Daniel prophesied in Babylon. Rather than God speaking through Habakkuk to the people, this unique book is a recorded dialogue between God and the prophet himself. Habakkuk questioned how God in His goodness could allow the wickedness he saw to surround God's people. God assured Habakkuk that even though the people of Judah would be corrected through captivity, a glorious future lay ahead for them at an appointed time. The prophet responded to God's answers with praise to Jehovah who will prevail! The heart of the book of Habakkuk is found in chapter 2 verse 4: "the righteous will live by his faith!"


"How long, O Lord, will I call for help and You will not hear? I cry out to You, 'Violence!' Yet You do not save! Why do You make me see iniquity, and cause me to look on wickedness?..." Habakkuk 1:2-3

Habakkuk saw his own land full of lawlessness and wickedness. With complete transparency before the throne of God, in bewilderment he questioned why God was not helping them.

Years ago, my husband and I had almost hit rock bottom financially and there were 3 little mouths to feed under our roof. One gray, cloudy morning, I stood beside a window loading clothes into the washer and aloud cried out, "Lord, where are You?" Suddenly, in the sky the gray clouds parted. For just a moment a bright ray of sunlight burst through the window and hit me full in the face. As quickly as they had parted, the clouds came together again and the sunlight was gone. In my heart, the Lord's sweet voice said, "My child, just as you are unable to see the sun for the clouds but you know that it is there; you can't see Me for your troubles, but know that I AM here."

"The Lord answered me and said, 'Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets…for the vision is yet for the appointed time... though is tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come…but the righteous will live by his faith.'… God comes…His splendor covers the heavens and the earth is full of His praise. His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand…" (Hab. 2:2-4; 3:3-4)

In hard times, no matter what is happening around us, God is with us, He is in control, He is at work, and He is for His people.

Our instruction: Children, TRUST Me!

Encouragement and Hope:

"Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food...Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet and make me walk on my high places." (Hab. 3:17-19)

Just as Habakkuk came to realize that God works out His good purposes in His divine ways in His perfect time, we must also come to that realization. Many years have passed since that despairing gray morning in my laundry room. Those 3 little mouths never missed one meal. The circumstances of those days led to a new job for my sweet husband and a new location for our family, both of which proved to be sources of God's great blessing. Through that extended season of leanness, we learned the greatness of God and His all sufficient provision.

Beloved, if the clouds of troubles are currently surrounding you, take heart! God, almighty, all-powerful God is your strength. Trustingly yield to His guiding hand and walk on the high places of praise, hope and faith in Him. He is worthy! Believe the truth that He is working out His good plans and purposes!

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