Tag Archives: Habakkuk

September 27, 2017 Bible Study — The Righteous Will Live By Faith

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Nahum and Habakkuk.

    OK, I was mistaken the other day when I wrote that Obadiah was the only Old Testament prophet who had prophesied exclusively against foreign nations. I had forgotten that Nahum prophesied against Nineveh and the Assyrians. However, unlike Obadiah, Nahum does not describe the sins for which Nineveh is being punished. Instead, Nahum praises God for His power and warns that those who oppose Him will be brought low. The Assyrians had power and wealth which allowed them to lord it over other peoples, but when God chose to bring about their end that power and wealth was of no aid in preventing their destruction. The Assyrians had used their power and wealth exclusively for their own benefit so that when they fell no one mourned their destruction.

    Habakkuk prophesied about the same time as Nahum, possibly a few years later, but not many. Habakkuk cries out to God for judgment on the society around him. He sees that the people have twisted the law so that there is no justice. “Justice” has become a word with no meaning. People use it to gather power and wealth for themselves. Then when he sees what God has in store, Habakkuk fears that the judgment will be harsher than he wished. God’s second response to Habakkuk is the heart of the message. Those who trust in their own strength, wealth, and/or power will be brought low. The proud worship themselves or the tools through which they acquire wealth and power. The righteous live through faithfulness to God. Perhaps the most telling warning in this passage is that those who worship power and/or wealth can never have enough.They are never satisfied and will always seek more.As a result those who worship wealth and/or power will always oppress and mistreat the poor and the powerless. Seeking wealth and power for their own sake will always end in sorrow, but those who seek the Lord will find joy.

September 27, 2016 Bible Study — God Is Slow To Anger, But His Justice Is Sure

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

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Today, I am reading and commenting on Nahum and Habakkuk.

    There are several verses in the Book of Nahum which provide comfort for those who put their trust in God (“The Lord is slow to get angry,…”, “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.”, etc.). However, the main thrust of Nahum’s prophecy is that Assyria will be destroyed. For all of its power and wealth Assyria would face God’s judgment. The Assyrians had used their power and wealth to form alliances with other nations. Despite these alliances they had treated other nations in such a manner that no one mourned their destruction. This is a warning to any nation, or person which relies on its wealth and might to dominate those around them. The time will come when God will bring judgment for our sins.

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    The message of the Book of Habakkuk is that God’s judgment may seem slow to arrive, but it is sure and inevitable (see Nahum 1:3-6). The proud trust in themselves and believe that they will be able to rescue themselves from any trouble. The righteous, on the other hand, will live by their faith in, and faithfulness to, God. There are different ways that people use their wealth in their attempts to gain security. Some build big houses and create large estates for themselves using wealth they have acquired dishonestly. Some build institutions and cities (or take control of such things) using wealth acquired through corruption and evil. This last bit I may be reading more into than intended but it appears to me to refer to those who manipulate others into circumstances that can be used to coerce those others into doing the will of the manipulator. In each of these cases, God’s judgment will come down on these people. The security they thought they had gained will prove fleeting.
    Habakkuk concludes his prophesy with a prayer. In his prayer he acknowledges the fear which we all should feel when God starts to mete out justice on evildoers. However, in the face of that fear, we can and should rejoice in the Lord. We can and should be joyful to see God bring judgment on evildoers, even if we also suffer because of our sins, because God will be our salvation if we truly trust in Him.