Morning Bible Study
Habakkuk is all about tough questions.
Last week we looked at…
Why is God silent sometimes?
Why do evil people get away with things?
Why would God punish Judah with a nation more wicked
There are going to be times in life when things just don’t
Last week we got a glimpse of the key to Habakkuk, that little nugget
hidden in a sea of trouble predicted for proud Babylon:
(Habakkuk 2:4 NKJV) “Behold the proud, His soul
is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
Not only are we made right with God and find eternal salvation through our
faith, but we talked about how our lives need to be
lived “by faith”.
Faith is trusting in someone or something that you don’t
Sometimes life doesn’t look so good, things seem
so dark, but we are learning that we have to trust God and move forward in
in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your
care for me has flourished again; though you surely
did care, but you lacked opportunity. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again
for my necessities.
And he said:And dawned on them from Seir;He shone forth from Mount Paran,And He came with ten thousands of saints;From His right hand a fiery law for them.Yes, He loves the people;All His saints are in Your hand;They sit down at Your feet;EveryoneMoses commanded a law for us,A heritage of the congregation of Jacob. He was King in Jeshurun,When the leaders of the people were gathered,All the tribes of Israel together.
You went out from Seir,When You marched from the field of Edom,The earth trembled and the heavens poured,The clouds also poured water;The mountains gushed before the Lord,
O God, when You went out before Your people,When You marched through the wilderness,SelahSinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the
God of Israel.
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;YouThe sons of Jacob and Joseph.SelahThe The depths also trembled.The clouds poured out water;The lightnings lit up the world;The earth trembled and shook.Your way was in the sea,By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
When Israel went out of Egypt,The house of Jacob from a people of strange language,AndO Jordan, that you turned
back?O mountains, that you skipped like rams?O little hills, like lambs?The flint into a fountain of waters.
Then he remembered the days of old,Moses and his people, saying:“Where is He who brought them up out of the seaWho they might not stumble?”As a beast goes down into the valley,AndSo You lead Your people,To make Yourself a glorious name.
3:1-2 Habakkuk’s request
:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth.
:1 A prayer of Habakkuk
prayer – tephillah – prayer
This word is found in the title of five of the
psalms, and gives us the idea that this was actually a song sung in the Temple.
A Prayer Of Moses the Man of God.
A Prayer of the Afflicted, When He is Overwhelmed and Pours Out His Complaint Before the Lord.
A Contemplation Of David. A Prayer
When He Was in the Cave.
:1 on Shigionoth
It is not uncommon for psalms to have some sort of
musical reference in their titles, giving some sort of direction to the
musician about the song.
Perhaps it is the name of the melody that the song was
“Shigionoth” comes from the verb meaning to
“swerve, reel, be intoxicated”.
One suggestion is that it is a song sung with great excitement, a triumphal
:2 O Lord,
I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the
midst of the years make it known; In wrath
:2 heard of Your speech … was afraid
God has been warning Habakkuk not only of the judgment that would be coming
on Babylon, but the fact that God would be using Babylon to bring judgment on
Habakkuk’s own nation, Judah.
This has caused Habakkuk to be afraid
:2 revive Your work in the midst of the
revive – chayah – to live, remain alive, sustain life, live forever, be restored
to life or health
This is the same word translated “shall live” in 2:4 “the just shall live
by his faith”
The word can also carry the idea of being “revived”.
I said, “O my God,Your
“in the midst of the years”
Habakkuk is asking God to give new life to his nation in the middle of all
the trouble they will be going through.
It almost sounds to me like he’s asking God to
give “revival” to “middle age”.
I think that after a person has been a believer for a few
years, the fire and passion of first coming to the Lord begins to recede a
We too ought to ask God for “revival”, for a renewal of
passion for Him.
The word (chayah)
is translated “revive” several places in the O.T. –
When Jacob found out that his son Joseph was actually still alive in Egypt,
45:27 NKJV) But when they
told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts
which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.
Revival is about hope when there was none.
When Samson had fought a great battle and was dying of thirst, he prayed
15:19 NKJV) …God split the hollow place that is
in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he
Revival is about refreshment for the thirsty.
When Elijah’s landlord lost her son, Elijah went
and prayed for the dead child…
Kings 17:22 NKJV) Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child
came back to him, and he revived.
Revival is about new life to things that were dead.
The longest chapter of the Bible, which is all about how wonderful God’s
Word is, says,
119:107 NKJV) I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
Revival has a very real connection with God’s Word.
I suspect this next video is in Chinese.
Watch how they react to the gift of the Bible.
Do you need to be “revived”?
Have you lost hope? Are you
thirsty? Do you feel dead inside? Do you love God’s Word?
Maybe, like Habakkuk, we ought to pray for revival.
:2 In wrath remember mercy
mercy – racham – to love, be compassionate, have tender affection
Habakkuk is asking God to remember His great love for His people, even when
they are going through judgment or troubling times.
And you have forgotten the exhortation
which speaks to you as to sons:Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;And scourges every son whom He receives.”
for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? if you are without chastening, of which all have become
partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but
painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness
to those who have been trained by it.
3:3-15 God’s majesty
The background to this next section is connected God’s deliverance of Israel
from Egypt with what God will do in the future.
:3 God came from Teman,
The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise.
:3 God came from …
The verbs in this entire section (vs. 3-15) are
translated as something that has already happened.
God has already acted in these ways.
But they can also be translated as something in
What God has done, He will do again.
“God shall come from Teman”
:3 …Teman … Paran
These were places where God led Israel when they came out of Egypt.
Towards the end of his life, Moses recalled coming out of Egypt and wrote,
NKJV) And he said: “The Lord came from Sinai, And dawned
on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came with ten thousands of saints; From His
right hand Came a fiery
law for them.
“Seir” is like “Teman”,
are names for Edom. (more on this later…)
:3 Selah – celah – to lift up; a technical musical term probably showing
accentuation, pause, interruption
We think it carries the idea of a musical interlude, like a guitar solo,
but for the purpose of the people to be stopping and thinking about what has been sung.
Think about how God has rescued and saved His people in the past. He will do it again.
Habakkuk has been thinking about how the Babylonians will bring judgment,
while God wants to remind Habakkuk that He will bring salvation.
:4 His brightness was like the light; He
had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden.
:4 brightness was like the light
Our God is surrounded with light.
(1 John 1:5 NKJV) This is the message which
we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no
darkness at all.
who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light,
whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be
honor and everlasting power. Amen.
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.
:4 His power was hidden
As majestic as this description of God is, He is greater. The light only hides His greatness.
I came across something the other day showing a solar
eruption or “filament”, caught by a NASA camera, and then compared to the
size of the earth.
We think the earth is big. The solar
filament was HUGE. The sun is HUGER.
God is even bigger.
:5 Before Him went pestilence, And fever followed
at His feet.
:5 Before Him went pestilence
One of the things God used to get Israel out of Egypt was the “plagues” He
put on the nation of Egypt.
We’ve seen in the book of Revelation (chs. 6-19) that much of what happened in Egypt will happen
again to the earth before Jesus comes back.
:6 He stood and measured the earth; He looked and
startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains
were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.
:7 I saw the tents of Cushan
in affliction; The curtains of the land of Midian
:7 Cushan … Midian
These were two of the nations that lay on either side of the Red Sea,
nations that were witness to the awesome thing God did when
the Red Sea parted.
When we think of the Red Sea we just think of God
parting the Red Sea and Israel crossing over.
But God also destroyed the pursing Egyptian
army as well.
Video: Ten Commandments - Red Sea
:8 O Lord, were You
displeased with the rivers, Was Your anger against the rivers, Was
Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, Your chariots of
:8 rivers … sea
God not only parted the Red Sea to get Israel into the Promised Land, but the
Jordan River was also stopped so Israel could cross
:9 Your bow was made quite ready; Oaths were sworn
over Your arrows. Selah
Stop and think about how God has delivered and will deliver His people.
:9 You divided the earth with rivers.
:10 The mountains saw You and trembled; The
overflowing of the water passed by. The deep uttered its voice, And lifted its hands on high.
:11 The sun and moon stood still in their
habitation; At the light of Your arrows they went, At the shining of Your
:11 The sun and moon stood still
When Joshua fought at the battle of Gibeon, he prayed and the sun stood
still for twenty four hours. (Josh. 10:12-14)
And you think your day seems long while you’re at
Then Joshua spoke to the Lord
in the day when the Lord
delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the
sight of Israel: this not written
:12 You marched through the land in indignation;
You trampled the nations in anger.
:13 You went forth for the salvation of Your
people, For salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of
the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck.
:13 for the salvation of Your people
In the past, God fought to save His people.
In the future He will fight for His people.
He died for us
Ultimately, our greatest need for salvation is for salvation from the
consequences of our sins.
At the beginning of Jesus, ministry,
1:29 NKJV) The next day John saw Jesus coming
toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away
the sin of the world!
Jesus took away our sin by dying in our place.
Corinthians 5:21 NLT) For God made Christ, who never
sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God
Have you received this most important salvation?
You may think that the most important salvation is being
rescued from the problem you’re in, but I am here to
tell you that the biggest salvation is to be rescued from an eternity in hell.
Open your heart to Jesus.
He will fight for Israel
Just as God fought for His people in the Old Testament times to save them
from their enemies, He will one day fight for His people.
Isaiah records what happens when Jesus comes back the second time:
63:1–3 NKJV) —1 Who is this who comes from
Edom, With dyed
garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in
His apparel, Traveling
in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is
Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3
“I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was
with Me. For I have
trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have
stained all My robes.
When Jesus Christ returns, He will come to rescue the
nation of Israel from the antichrist. He
will come from Edom.
:13 You struck the head from the house
of the wicked
This is like saying that God will cut the head off the snake.
Stop and think about how God saves.
:14 You thrust through with his own arrows The
head of his villages. They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me; Their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret.
God has Israel’s enemies turn on each other and destroying each other.
:15 You walked through the sea with Your horses,
Through the heap of great waters.
Again, the Red Sea.
3:16-19 Response to Majesty
:16 When I heard, my body trembled; My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entered my bones; And I trembled in myself, That I might rest in the
day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, He will invade them with his
:17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though
the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock
may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—
:17 Though the fig tree may not blossom
Habakkuk and was facing the coming devastation of the Babylonian invasion.
Things were going to get worse and worse.
We too will face times when things don’t go the
way we hope.
Your baseball team loses a game they should have won.
Our country goes through an economic recession and some of you have lost
your jobs and are going through difficult times.
A loved one disappoints or even betrays you, and the marriage you had
counted on is in ruins.
You lived your whole life in good health, and now suddenly things have
changed and you are faced with terrifying news from
How do we survive these times?
Last week we saw part of the answer:
(Habakkuk 2:4b NKJV) …But the just shall live by his faith.
The seasons of disappointment we go through are like
walking through a strange room when suddenly the lights go out.
You don’t know where to turn or
where to walk because everything is dark.
That’s why we need to live by
“faith”, by trusting in the One who is there, even if we don’t see Him.
:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my
:19 The Lord
God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will
make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.
:19 make my feet like deer’s feet
The picture Habakkuk is painting is that of being sure-footed in rocky
places. Being able to walk in places
where others stumble. Kind of like the
:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord
Stability from faith
Too often we get our “joy” when we have lots of “fruit”
on the vines.
Habakkuk found that he could find joy by trusting in God, even when the fig
tree didn’t blossom.
(Philippians 4:4 NKJV) Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say,
Our rejoicing is in the Lord, not in our
I can rejoice because God is awesome and He loves me. That doesn’t change,
even if I don’t win the lottery.
Paul wrote this while he himself was in chains in a Roman
Paul’s letter to the Philippians is known
as Paul’s letter of “joy”.
Paul expressed his faith in God while in prison by
“rejoicing” and encouraging others to rejoice too.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
I found an interesting story about a magazine cover about to hit the newsstands
Video: Turia Pitt
Turia’s story reminded me of
While on a short-term missions
trip, Pastor Jack Hinton was leading worship at a leper colony on the island of Tobago. A woman who had been facing away
from the pulpit turned around.
“It was the most hideous face I had ever seen,” Hinton
said. “The woman’s nose and ears were entirely gone. She lifted a fingerless
hand in the air and asked, ‘Can we sing Count Your Many Blessings?’ “
Overcome with emotion, Hinton left the service. He was
followed by a team member who said, “I guess you’ll never be able to sing that
“Yes I will,” he replied, “but I’ll never sing it the same
On a balmy October afternoon in 1982, Badger Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin,
was packed. More than 60,000 die-hard University of Wisconsin
supporters were watching their football team take on the Michigan State
Spartans. It soon became obvious that Michigan had the better team.
What seemed odd, however, as the score became more
lopsided, were the bursts of applause and shouts of joy from the Wisconsin fans. How could they cheer when their team was
losing? It turns out that seventy miles
away the Milwaukee Brewers were beating the St. Louis Cardinals in game three
of the 1982 World Series.
Many of the fans in the stands were listening to portable
radios--and responding to something other than their immediate circumstances.
Habakkuk could praise God because he was “tuned in” to the bigger
picture. He knew that God was ultimately
Corinthians 4:16–18 NKJV) —16 Therefore
we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man
is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we
do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.
For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are
not seen are eternal.