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Habakkuk Prays Again. Habakkuk 1:12-2:1

25/02/2016

Habakkuk Prays Again

Text . Habakkuk 1:12-2:1.
Habakkuk is wrestling with God. Remember that his name means ‘embrace.’ Not a passionate, loving embrace, like a hug, but the embrace of a man who is being rescued, holding on to his rescuer… Genesis 32:24 Like Jacob, Habakkuk wrestles with God in prayer, – over great issues that he does not understand. How can a God whose essential nature is love and holiness and mercy and justice possibly conceive a plan to use a wicked nation to chastise a nation whom he loves. So once again, Habakkuk runs to God and wrestles with him in prayer.

1. Habakkuk Praises God for What He Knows.
Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.
It is good when we pray, to approach God as Habakkuk did, pleading His divine nature!

  • He remembers God’s immutability. God never changes! We change. In fact we must change, for God calls upon us to repent. Ps. 33:11 What he does in time, he planned from eternity. No part of his eternal plan changes. Lamentations 3:24.
  • He remembers God’s mercy.
  • He remembers God’s holiness. Perhaps of all the attributes of God, this instep one we must remember in our approach to God in prayer, we come to a holy God.
  • He remembers God’s justice. Underlying his worldview is the fact that one day, all these nations and the men who comprise them, from the highest King, down to the lowliest serf, will all one day stand before God in judgement, and give an account of their sinful lives, and that they will be condemned by the law they have broken. God’s justice will ultimately prevail.
  • He remembers God’s relationship with men. It is because of God’s holiness, his mercy, his unchanging nature, that Habakkuk is able to confidently affirm ‘WE SHALL NOT DIE.’ The only reason that we are not consumed is because of the mercy of God. Writing around the same time, the prophet Jeremiah cok melted, in Lamentations 3:22

You can see how all of this is important in prayer, especially for Habakkuk and those who (like us) are in a similar situation to him. We can totally trust the Lord who is the unchanging merciful God to always do what’s right, and we can take comfort from his holy justice. His truth will prevail.
So how do we approach God in Prayer? Remembering who he is, and what he is like? Reminding ourselves of his holiness and mercy and justice and immutability? We should. Hebrews 4:16

2. Habakkuk Trusts God with What He Doesn’t Know.
The second aspect of Habakkuk’s prayer is that he has the faith to simply trust God, who knows more than we know, and his sovereign.

  • He confesses his lack of understanding. How can a good God chastise a wicked people by using a people even more wicked than they are? Why are God’s ways so mysterious? He often works His will in the most unexpected, astonishing, and inexplicable ways.’
  • He Waits Upon the Lord for His Answer. 1I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. While he waits upon the Lord, Habakkuk’s attitude is an example for us…
    a. He continues his responsibilities and duties. Habakkuk is waiting for an answer from God, but he doesn’t lay down his tools! He is a watchman, and he continues his duties, remains at his his post, remains alert and watchful, simply trusting that in his own God time, God will surely reveal his purpose.
    b. He remains spiritually alert. He is listening for God’s word. Notice that Habakkuk doesn’t bury his head in the sand and pretend that wicked things aren’t happening. Neither does he try to gloss over the facts. He remains vigilant and alert, watching current events with a godly worldview.
    c. He prepares himself for God to rebuke him. Isn’t this an interesting attitude? He expects that God will ‘reprove’ him! He knows that he doesn’t see perfectly just yet, and he expects that God will bring him into line with his will and plan.
    In some sense, Paul expresses the same experience in Romans 8: 26 – 28

So, what can we learn from Habakkuk’s sincere prayer? Let’s praise God for the knowledge that he has given us, revealed in his word… when we are confronted by situations where we can’t make sense of it ourselves,, let us simply trust in Him.

© Bob McEvoy

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