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BOOK OF HABAKKUK – OVERVIEW

August 16, 2012

HABAKKUK:
THE RIGHTEOUS LIVE BY FAITH
“From Worry to Worship”

Problems
of Habakkuk

Hab 1:1-2:20

Praise of Habakkuk
Hab 3:1-19

Opens
in Gloom:
Begins with an
Interrogation
Mark?

Closes in Glory:
Ends with an
Exclamation Mark!
Faith
Troubled
Faith
Triumphant
What is God Doing? Who God Is
From
“Doubts”
To
“Shouts”
Perplexity
of the
Prophet

Hab 1:1-17
Perspicuity
of the
Prophet

Hab 2:1-20
Pleasure
of the
Prophet

Hab 3:1-19
Habakkuk
Complains

Hab 1:1-17
God
Replies

Hab 2:1-20
Habakkuk Sings
Hab 3:1-19
Watch
and See
Stand
and See
Kneel
and See
Habakkuk
Troubled
Habakkuk
Taught
Habakkuk
Triumphant
The Prophet
Wondering &
Worrying
The Prophet
Watching &
Waiting
The Prophet
Worshiping &
Witnessing
Hab 1:1-4
Habakkuk’s First
Question
Hab 1:5-11
God’s
First
Answer
Hab 1:12-2:1
Habakkuk’s Second
Question
Hab 2:2-2:20
God’s
Second
Answer
Hab 3
Habakkuk’s
Prayer

of Praise
Habakkuk Speaks:
Why Does God
not Punish
Wicked Judah?
God
Speaks:
Judah
Will
Be
Punished!
Habakkuk Speaks:
Why Will God use
Pagans to
Punish Judah?
God
Speaks:
Yes
Pagans
Will
Punish Judah!
Word of Praise Hab 3:1-15
Words of fear & faith
Hab 3:16-19
Oracle Related to Judah
ca 607BC

God’s prophet Habakkuk moves from “How long…why?” (Hab 1:2-3) to “I will exult…I will rejoice!” (Hab 3:18), from…

Burden to Blessing
Wonder/worry to Worship
Restlessness to Rest
Problem with God to Praise of the Person of God
Doubting to Shouting.
Troubled to Triumphant.
Complaint to Consolation.

What might the Spirit of God do in our lives as we read this short book and take the message to heart seeking to imitate Habakkuk’s pattern? (Hebrews 6:11-12-note) Beloved, the omnipotent, loving, compassionate God is ever able to turn our sighing into singing if we like Habakkuk take time to focus on God in His Word and in prayer. As Habakkuk (who had been asking “Why?” for a long time) experienced, divine silence does not signify divine indifference. As the prophet discovered, praising God in our trials can supernaturally transform burdens into blessings. But remember that what led Habakkuk to praise in his trial was his encounter with the Living God in Chapter 2. In other words, his praise in Chapter 3 was a reflection of his personal experience with God in Chapter 2. The point is that when we meet God (e.g., in our quiet time), as we focus on the truth about Him in His Word of Truth and trust that Truth like Habakkuk did (cp Hab 2:4-note), God’s Spirit supernaturally transforms us from glory to glory (2Cor 3:18-note). He renews our mind (Eph 4:23-note), giving us a “new perspective” on problems! The natural (supernatural) “spill over” should be a crescendo of praise as was the case with Habakkuk. His focus was no longer on the problems (which were still coming in the form of the fierce Babylonians) but on Jehovah. Click for an illustration of this principle in “Get Above the Circumstances” (mouseover for popup note). To reiterate, a personal encounter with God (His Word of Truth), produces (via His Spirit’s transforming effect) a changed perspective and personal praise, even though the circumstances may be unchanged!

BC  – TIMELINE OF HABAKKUK
722
: Northern Kingdom of Israel (10 tribes) falls & is exiled to Assyria
627
: Jeremiah begins his prophetic ministry
622: Rediscovery of Book of Law (Sermon) which was lost in House of God! Josiah’s reformation
612: Fall of Nineveh, capital of Assyria
609: Death of godly King Josiah
607Habakkuk begins his prophetic ministry
605Nebuchadnezzar defeats Necho at Carchemish = “turning point of world history”
605First invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon; Daniel taken captive
597Second invasion of Judah by Babylon; Ezekiel and 10,000 taken captive
592Ezekiel begins his prophetic ministry to Babylonian exiles
586Fall of Jerusalem, Destruction of Temple (See God’s Plan for Jerusalem)
538Exiles return from Babylon to Judah (relatively small number return)

Habakkuk – Means “embrace” or “wrestle.” He has been referred to as the “doubting Thomas” of the Old Testament, but in reality he is better called “the prophet of faith!” In this short book we see the prophet wrestling with God in the first two chapters with questions about why God is not punishing wicked Judah and why He would use the more evil Babylonians to punish Judah. In Habakkuk 3 the prophet’s heart is transformed by God’s replies and instead of resisting, now he embraces his God, recording one of he most majestic prayers to and visions of God in all of the Bible (Hab 3:1-18)  E. B. Pusey in his excellent commentary adds that Habakkuk’s name signifying “strong embrace” “fits in with the subject of his prophecy, faith, cleaving fast to God amid the perplexities of things seen.” (2Cor 5:7-note, see also 2Cor 4:16-note, 2Cor 4:17-note, 2Cor 4:18-note)

A M Hodgkin notes that “Three times in this prayer he uses the exclamation Selah, found elsewhere only in the Psalms. It is a call to pause and be silent that the soul may “listen to the divine illuming,” as in Habakkuk 2:20, “The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him,” and the words of Habakkuk 2:1, “I will watch to see what He will say unto me.” How much we need this silence of soul before the Lord in these days, that we may give Him time to speak to us, that we may “listen to the divine illuming.”

Habakkuk Resources Updated – Commentaries, Sermons, etc
Facebook Post – Habakkuk Chart Overview
 
Song Related to Habakkuk 3:17-19 – I Will Sing, I Will Praise – Don Moen

One Comment
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