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Habakkuk 3:16-19
! Introduction
          Wicked Kings
          Wicked people
          Wicked Nation Babylon
* The book is broken into three sections.
* The first section is a Q & A.
* Habakkuk looks around and sees God’s people acting wicked, sinful and against God’s word.
* They reject God, His word and live worst than the pagan nations around them.
* Habakkuk has been praying for God to do something, to bring justice, but nothing has happened.
* It’s as if God is silent at the sins of His people.
* Habakkuk cries out and pleads for God to do something.
* He questions why God does nothing in verses 1-4
* God answers the bewildered prophet in 5-11.
* He tells Habakkuk that he will be utterly shocked and amazed at what He is going to do.
* He will judge the sins of His people by using the wicked nation of Babylon.
* This brings us to our next section, the second Q & A.
* Now Habakkuk is confused.
He wonders how a Holy and pure God can use a wicked nation.
* Sure Israel is sinning and is a wicked people, but not as bad as Babylon.
* How can God use a more wicked nation to judge.
* How can God let this horrible nation prosper.
God doesn’t approve evil and does not look favorably on the wicked, so how can He look favorably on Babylon.
* Babylon is a conquering nation that seems unstoppable.
* They conquer nation after nation, life a fisherman emptying the sea of fish.
* Will God ever stop this?
* God answers a second time by reassuring that punishment will be dealt to the Babylonians.
* It may seem like they will conquer forever, but God will judge and in chapter 2, God gives the reasons for the punishment and also how the righteous should live, by faith!
* This brings us to the third section, Habakkuk’s response.
He prays and praises God.
* He understands that God must judge and He will use Babylon.
* Habakkuk also knows that God will judge both Israel and Babylon.
* So He prays for God to be merciful in the judgment and to rekindle or revive the work He has done in the past, namely bringing Israel out of Egypt, providing in the wilderness, and bringing them into the Promised Land.
* Chapter 3 Looks at God’s past action, His past faithfulness to Israel during the time of the exodus and giving of the Promised Land.
* Here we see Habakkuk composing a Psalm that prays for mercy and praises God’s majesty.
* Now that brings us to our text today, Habakkuk 3:16-19
* The book begins with a prayer of despair and ends with a confession of hope and faith.
* The prophet began his book with a complaint of God’s silence.
* The book ends with the prophet’s confidence placed in God no matter what happens.
* Throughout this journey, we have seen the Prophet learn about God, wrestle with difficult ideas and circumstances.
* Now we will conclude on a vastly different tone than when we began our study.
* Habakkuk no longer wonders when and what God will do.
He knows it now!
* He knows how difficult it will be.
* But now He has a changed perspective.
A new outlook on life.
A different point of view then when he started.
* We have seen our prophet go through a lot and the journey of this book crescendo’s at these final four verses.
NAS *Habakkuk 3:16* I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise /who /will invade us.
17 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, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' /feet/, And makes me walk on my high places.
For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.
! 1.  Habakkuk’s Inward Distress
* The prophet’s heart pounded, his lips quivered, and his legs trembled.
* Inside, the prophet was torn, distraught, and distressed.
* What was the big issue, the report that he heard.
* He remembers what God has stated, this wicked, violent, fierce, godless nation is on its way to destroy the nation for its sin.
* The full weight of this weights on him physically.
* He is worried sick in a sense.
He knows the trouble that is ahead and physically, it makes him weary and distressed.
* He remembers the judgment of God that will come upon the people, not just the sinning, wicked Israelites, but also those who follow after God, like Habakkuk, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and others.
* He knows what God is going to do and it affects him emotionally and physically.
* Ever been there?
You have a situation in your life and it affects you physically.
* Your insides tremble, your body feels weak, you are distraught.
* Habakkuk is there, contemplating what awaits.
* His inward parts trembled.
Literally, “my insides quaked”.
* His solar plexus convulses.
* His lips quivered.
* He states that decay entered his bones.
* In a sense, his body went limp, giving a sensation of rotting away.
* And in his place, he trembled.
His legs started to shake violently.
* Emotionally and physically, he was weak and troubled greatly.
* His life’s circumstances that would await were so difficult and hard to handle that it affected him physically.
* He would have to experience the judgment of God at the hands of a violent nation, Babylon.
* He would have to live through this and he must wait quietly for it.
* That is the reason for this inward distress.
He must wait for the day of distress.
* He must wait for the people that will invade, those wicked Babylonians that were cruel, violent, wicked, lawless and godless.
* He knows he has to wait for it, God has said it would happen.
* This affects him greatly!
* But this situation is not unique to the prophet.
* Many have gone through this emotional distress that affects the physical body.
* Our Lord and savior went through the same distress at the Garden.
* The wrath that he was going to embrace for the sins of the world was horrendous.
* He pleaded for an alternative.
He was in such inward distress that he needed an to be strengthened by an angel.
* He sweated drops of blood!
NAS *Luke 22:42* saying, "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done."
43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.
44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
* Yet he embraced the Will of the Father.
He entrusted himself to God and the we will see the prophet do that later.
! 2. Habakkuk’s Outward Difficulties
* Not only was the circumstances of life for Habakkuk an inward distress, but he also faced outward difficulties.
* Verse 17 points out the difficulty of famine.
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