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Habakkuk’s Unique Calling Hab. 2:2-4

01/03/2016

Habakkuk’s Unique Calling

Text. Habakkuk 2:2-4

God answers Habakkuk’s second prayer: Then the Lord answered me and said. Habakkuk has been expecting that God would reprove him for his audacity! But God does not rebuke him or reprove him, instead he answers his prayer by giving him a task!

Write. “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

Habakkuk is to write the vision. Modern pastors (vision-casting leaders) will claim that God has given them a personal vision for the church – and they will have ‘vision-Sundays’ and they will write their vision down, and this text is misused by them. Let’s see some of the modern ‘vision’ errors…

  • Error 1. We are to get a vision and write it down! A modern ‘woman televangelist’ was recently exhorting her viewers to erect a ‘vision-board in their home or office. This is their ‘proof-text.’ Write the vision on tablets!
  • Error 2. We are to ‘Run with the Vision!’ When you get your own personal vision, you must put it into action. You see it’s all about you, setting your goals and putting them into practice. Get your sights set on your dreams and go with the visions, dream it, write it, aim for it, achieve it…
  • Error 3. If you don’t have a personal vision, given to you by God, you will wither and die, spiritually and financially and materially. Here’s another ‘proof-text’ Proverbs 29:18 KJV They have totally ignored the second part of the very same verse in fact the same sentence, (but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.) The VISION they are meant to keep is the WRITTEN LAW – the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. The NET puts it well, When there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,but the one who keeps the law, blessed is he!

So, to help us to understand VISION, let’s examine and exegete the text of Habakkuk:-

  1. This vision is to be written. It is to be inscribed on tablets. How did God deliver His written Word to us? Habakkuk gives us much insight. God is revealing his will and purpose to his servant, and has instructed him, that everything he has said to him is to be committed to writing so that it can be read and shared with others. God ‘breathed it out!’ 2 Timothy 3:16  This was how God inspired people like Habakkuk to write the word. Hebrews 1:1
  2. This vision is to be plainly written. This is part of the instructions given to Habakkuk by God. It must be readable by all  It is not just for great theologians, or linguistic experts or archaeologists, or students of ancient history… it is for you and for me, and it is for us all to be good students of God’s Word, as were the men at Berea.
  3. This written vision is to be read and shared. The vision is to be made plain so that they who read it may run. There are two other possible explanations of the phrase…
    1. It could mean to run away! When you read the words that Habakkuk has just written you should run, as fast as you can to escape from the coming devastation and destruction.
    2. It could mean to distribute it widely! To make God’s written word widely known. NET: ‘“Write down this message! Record it legibly on tablets, so the one who announces it may read it easily.’ The WRITTEN vision is to be ANNOUNCED.

Habakkuk is one of those human instruments used by God to pen His written word, – the words which he is to write are not his own words, it is God’s infallible and inerrant word to us.

 

Warn.For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

The nature of the vision is judgement. Judgement is sure, certain and appointed, so God gives Habakkuk a sense of the urgency required in putting the written word into the hands of His chosen people, that they would repent, and trust Him alone…

  1. There is an appointed time. This vision concerns events that are yet to occur.
  2. The vision is true.
  3. It is certain.

All through the Word there runs the warning of the final judgement.

 

Watch.“Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

What do we see when we look at other sinners? We see a great distinction. We will always see the world in terms of two separate groups of people. Not by sex or colour or language, – we are all the sons of Adam. We define mankind as being those who are relying upon themselves, proud, – people who are self-sufficient, and who believe that they do not need a saviour. Or we see people who have recognised their own sinfulness and insufficiency, and who in simple faith have believed and trusted in Christ for salvation. This is the distinction Habakkuk is shown here. See the similarities and differences…

  • Only one of the two groups has real life.
  • Only one of these groups is ‘upright in soul.’
  • One depends on works the other on faith.

Paul used this verse as the theme of the letter to Romans. He declares early in the letter, 1:16. In an interesting explanation of this in chapter 3 he further declares, “None is righteous, no, not one;11no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” No-one is righteous! We are all sinners! So how then can we become ‘just’ before God? By faith! By believing and trusting in Jesus, whose death on the cross has atoned for all our sins.

© Bob McEvoy

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