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August 18, 2012

: CRY OUT! Habakkuk is an unusual prophet in that he did not speak to the people about God so much as he spoke to God about the people (Judah). Normally God’s prophets spoke to the people about God. Notice that in his speaking to God, he is in fact “praying” to Him. He is so distressed and perplexed that in Hab 1:2 he uses two verbs (call for help and cry out) to express the urgency & intensity of his repeated pleas. Spurgeon well said that

The best thermometer of your spiritual temperature
is the intensity of your prayer

Habakkuk’s temperature was “red hot!” (Would this describe the way I usually approach the Throne of Grace? Heb 4:16-note) Habakkuk asked God “How long?”, the idea being “Why aren’t You answering?” The prophet was impatient! How true the saying that patience is a virtue that carries a lot of wait! But does not impatient describe all of God’s children from time to time. We are in distress. We CRY OUT. And yet there seems to be no apparent response from God. We do well to remember that God does not have to answer our questions, but He will always keep His promises.  Habakkuk questioned God, but in Hab 1:12-note he believed God to be “everlasting, my God (Elohim) , my Holy One, Jehovah (Covenant Keeper!), the Rock” Who is changeless and true to His promises, so that he could confidently declare “We will not die” (Judah would be defeated, but a remnant would survive). Hebrews 2:18-note teaches us that since Jesus “was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is (continually) able to come to the aid (one word in Greek, boetheo = to come to help one who cries out – so what do we have to do? CRY OUT!) of those who are (continually being) tempted (tested) .”  Our responsibility when we are being tested or tempted (which is usually every day!) is to CRY OUT like Habakkuk!  Remember that God’s  silence does not indicate indifference. Waiting for an answer is often part of the answer! God’s delays are not necessarily denials.  We may have to cry out for a long time like Habakkuk before we receive God’s answer. My earthly father CRIED OUT to His heavenly Father for my salvation for literally 20 years, until at age 39, I called him to tell him about my second “birth day”–that I had been born again! Far from being an unconcerned spectator, God is intimately, energetically at work implementing His designs and plans in each of our lives, plans which are never too early, never too late and never in error (see Hab 2:3). Adoniram Judson said “Our prayers run along one road and God’s answers by another and by and by they meet. God answers all true prayer, either in kind or in kindness.” And remember that God’s chief gift to those who seek Him is always Himself, a truth which changed

Habakkuk’s sighing to

His worrying into

His “You do not save” (Hab 1:2) into
The God of my Salvation” (Hab 3:18)!

Create in us a clean heart O God and renew a stedfast spirit within us like you did in Habakkuk. Amen (Ps 51:10-note)

Listen to Cry Out to Jesus by Third Day” (Hebrews 2:18)
Resource: Habakkuk 1 Commentary
Resource: Habakkuk Commentaries, Sermons, etc
Resource: Cry Out – Facebook

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