How Long Do I Have to Wait, God?

Major Posts from Minor Prophets: Be an Influencer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:23
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Number 8 in the order of the Minor Prophets.

The oracle (see p. 19) was received ‘in a vision’ (NEB, JB) by Habakkuk, who is here called a prophet. This title is rare in book headings (see Hag. 1:1; Zech. 1:1), and is taken by some to indicate that Habakkuk was a professional prophet, one who earned his living serving as a prophet at the temple or court, unlike Amos (cf. Amos 7:14). While this is not certain, he at least was recognized in this period of apostasy as one who spoke the message of God.

Habakkuk loved God, but he was prepared, as few others would be, to engage him in a probing dialogue about the rightness of his actions. Most believers, of course, encounter a time in their spiritual life when they doubt or question God. Few, however, as Job did, openly debate the issues. Even rarer is an individual who will stand before God and confront him with apparent anomalies in his actions towards mankind. This is what the prophet Habakkuk did, even going a step beyond this to challenging God on the response which he gives to Habakkuk’s initial question.

Less is stated in the Bible concerning Habakkuk than almost any other prophet. Not even his father, tribe or hometown are mentioned. His name is apparently not Hebrew but comes from the Akkadian word for some plant or fruit tree.1 Akkadian speakers were intimately involved in the life of Israel at this period (see pp. 42–43 below).

Being written during a time prior to the fall of Judah to the Babylonians (Chaldeans), Habakkuk was thus a contemporary of Nahum, Zephaniah and Jeremiah.

Judah had witnessed the downfall and exile of her northern sister Israel slightly more than a century previously. She herself had not learnt, however, that repeated violation of the covenant with God on her own part would not be left unpunished forever. She would now, according to the prophet, be faced with a similar fate herself.

The prophecy anticipates the Babylonian’s defeat, which finally took place before the combined power of the Indo-Aryan Medes and Persians who, under Cyrus, captured Babylon in 539 BC.

The structure of the book is fairly simple and has a feel like that of Jonah, or the dialogue between God and Job in Job 38 to the end of the book.
Structure of Habakkuk:
++Habakkuk 1:1-4 Habakkuk questions God
++Habakkuk 1:5-11 God answers
++Habakkuk 1:12-17 Habakkuk questions God again
++Habakkuk 2:1-20 God answers again
++Habakkuk 3:1-19 What Habakkuk concludes from God’s answers
Habakkuk is a picture of simple interaction between God and a man who is commited to God. It is a simple presentation of the impact of one’s faith in the wake of distress, change, and the unraveling of life as one know’s it.
Habakkuk asks God the questions that every child of God, at one time or another asks of God.
Questions Habakkuk asks God:
++How Long Do I Have to Wait, God?
God’s timing is perfect
++Why Don’t You Do Something, God?
God is already at work
++Help Me See You, God
God is and can be seen, all around us and in His Word
Habakkuk then comes to two conclusions, once God has answered Him.
Habakkuk’s Two Conclusions:
++What God has revealed of Himself Habakkuk 3:1-15.
++How Habakkuk must respond to God’s truth Habakkuk 3:16-19.
This little Minor Prophet:
++Represents a personal God
++Demonstrates a personal relationship
++Presents an absolute truth defined by God
++Demands its reader’s to respond
How Long Do I Have to Wait, God?
How to find peace in waiting
God will prove that He is your God
God will prove that He defines right and wrong
God will prove that He alone determines destiny
God will prove that He is worthy to be trusted
God will prove that He is worth the wait
Accept these truths from Habakkuk and you can find peace.
You can find peace in waiting if, like Habakkuk, you are willing to Trust in God despite the circumstances that surround you.
When the world seems to be falling apart around you, you can find peace when you cry out to God to help you understand and Look out for what God is doing and will do in the wave of evil that surrounds you.
When it seems like the world is falling apart around you...

Cry Out to God Habakkuk 1:1-4

Remember that God is truly the only One who can change what is going on. Our involvement might impact things in small ways, but only God can change, especially the things that we see, we cannot change.
Cry Out to God Habakkuk 1:1-4
++Ask God to help you understand vv. 1-3a
++Confess to God how you see things vv. 3b-4
God certainly wants us to be involved with confronting evil, when we can, and chastises us when we don’t.
Proverbs 24:11–12 NASB95
11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back. 12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,” Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?
Proverbs 21:15 NASB95
15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.
Isaiah 1:17 NASB95
17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.
Matthew 25:40 NASB95
40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Ephesians 5:11 NASB95
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
When we see an injustice that we have the power, at least to confront in one fashion or another, and we choose to do nothing, it is sin, as we see in James 4:17.
James 4:17 NASB95
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Romans 12:9 NASB95
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
If you wonder or even fear what might happen if you do stand up against evil, remember God’s promise through the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 41:10 NASB95
10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Cry Out to God Habakkuk 1:1-4.
Ask God to help you understand vv. 1-3a
Confess to God how you see things vv. 3b-4
When it seems like the world is falling apart around you...

Look Out for God Habakkuk 1:5-11

Look Out for God Habakkuk 1:5-11
++See God’s plan vv. 1-8
Even in the Calamity
++See their evil vv. 9-11a
Recognize evil is evil
++See the end vv. 11b
How futile man’s strong rebellion against God is
How unavoidable the guilt is in the end
When the world seems to be falling apart around you, you can find peace when you cry out to God to help you understand and Look out for what God is doing and will do in the wave of evil that surrounds you.
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