Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation 01. Introduction God is asked more questions than anyone else! These questions don’t simply change from person to person but from age to.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Presentation 01. Introduction God is asked more questions than anyone else! These questions don’t simply change from person to person but from age to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation 01


3 Introduction God is asked more questions than anyone else! These questions don’t simply change from person to person but from age to age. The problems troubling most thinking people today are personal and historical. Questions such as: “Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Does God involve himself in history? Why is there evil in history? How can I believe in a loving, personal God when he allows bad things to happen to me?” Habakkuk had a question. He asks, “Is God in charge of history?” The book of Habakkuk speaks as directly to our own times as any comparable portion of the Word of God. Presentation 01

4 The Problem Of History We know little about Habakkuk the man, for he is mentioned nowhere else in the O.T. He seems to have written sometime after the fall of Nineveh to the Babylonians in 612 B.C. [as prophesied by Nahum] and before the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 587 B.C. If Habakkuk was a mature man when he wrote he must have spent his childhood in Judah during the reign of the boy king Josiah. Josiah had been crowned at the age of eight (in 639 B.C.), and when he was sixteen he began a religious reform that changed the nation’s life. Presentation 01

5 The Problem Of History The chronicler describes the eighth year of Josiah’s reign, “he began to seek the God of his father David. In the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images. Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles, the idols and images. These he broke to pieces and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem.” 2 Chron. 34v3-7 Presentation 01

6 The Problem Of History In the eighteenth year of his reign Josiah began to repair the temple, which had been allowed to fall into ruin. In the process of this repair, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the Law and brought it to Josiah. When it was read, Josiah and those with him were convicted of their sin and a reform process began. Some lives were spiritually transformed but the reform was spiritually superficial as far as the majority of the nation was concerned. This is evident from the fact that after the death of Josiah, Judah reverted to her former evil ways until Jerusalem eventually fell in 587 B.C. Presentation 01

7 The Problem Of History Habakkuk lived and wrote immediately after Josiah’s reforms but before the fall of Jerusalem. It is against this background that we must understand the questions the puzzled prophet raised. The first verses describe the period of spiritual and moral decay that followed after Josiah’ death: “How long O lord must I call for help but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds, Therefore the law is paralysed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted”. Hab. 1v2-4 Presentation 01

8 The Problem Of History It’s the anguished cry of one who loved justice. He’d seen justice perverted and had cried out to God against the evil. It is the kind of cry we might utter over the deplorable state of the church in our own day or over the moral decline of our nation. Habakkuk must have waited a long time for the Lord’s answer for his complaint begins with the words, “How long, O Lord must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?” At last the Lord did answer, but the answer was an unexpected one and created for Habakkuk new and even greater problems. Presentation 01

9 The Problem Of History “Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honour”. Hab. 1v5-7 No doubt, Habakkuk had expected God to send revival building upon what had been done in Josiah’s day. But when God answered, he said he would send the Babylonians to scourge his people. Presentation 01

10 The Problem Of History Habakkuk had questioned God’s inactivity in the face of increasing injustice in Judah. God’s answer was the promise of judgement. Now Habakkuk faced a situation in which the ungodly Babylonians, would be used to judge Israel, God’s special people. Habakkuk cries out, “Wait! Hold on just a minute! I understand why you are judging us. We deserve it. But I don’t understand how you can use the Babylonians as instruments of judgement. They are even more wicked than we are.” Habakkuk’s own words are: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? Hab. 1:13. Presentation 01

11 The Four Lessons Four lessons emerge in this opening exchange: 1.First, history [regardless of how it seems to us] is under God’s control. This is seen in God’s reply to Habakkuk. He tells him: “I am going to do something in your days.... I am raising up the Babylonians” Hab. 1v5, 6. One commentator writes: “Every nation on earth is under the hand of God, for there is no power in this world that is not ultimately controlled by him. Things are not what they appear to be. It seemed to be the astute military prowess of the Chaldeans that had brought them into the ascendancy. But it was not so at all, for God had raised them up. God is the Lord of history. Presentation 01

12 The Four Lessons 2.Second, history follows a divine plan. The events of history are not accidental, though they may appear so to us. They follow God’s plan. Again I quote “There is a purpose in history, and what is now happening in this century is not accidental... Never forget the pride and arrogance of the church in the C19 th. See her sitting back in self-satisfaction, enjoying her so-called cultured sermons and learned ministry, feeling just a little ashamed to mention such things as conversion and the work of the Holy Spirit… How constantly he denied the very spirit of the New Testament! Yes, the church needed chastisement”. Presentation 01

13 The Four Lessons 3.Third, history follows a divine timetable. This comes out at several places in Habakkuk’s prophecy. In ch. 1 God says, “I am going to do something in your days,” that is, not before or after but precisely when God wanted it to happen. In ch. 2 v3 the point is made even stronger: “The revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” Presentation 01

14 The Four Lessons 4.Fourth, history is bound up with the divine kingdom. The key to the history of the world is the kingdom of God. The story of the other nations mentioned in the O.T. is relevant only as it bears upon the history of the Christian church. What really matters in the world is God’s kingdom. We must not be thrown into confusion when surprising things happen in the world. Instead, we need to learn to ask, ‘What is the relevance of this event to the kingdom of God?’ Presentation 01

15 The Four Lessons Or, if strange things are happening to you personally, don’t complain, but say, ‘What is God teaching me through this? Is there something in me that needs to be corrected? Or have I gone wrong in some way and is God therefore allowing these things for my benefit?’ There is a meaning in them if only we can see it. We need not become bewildered and doubt the love or the justice of God. If God were unkind enough to answer some of our prayers at once, and in our way, we should be very impoverished Christians. Presentation 01

16 The Four Lessons Fortunately, God sometimes delays his answers in order to deal with selfishness or things in our lives that should not be there. He is concerned about us, and intends to fit us for a fuller place in his kingdom. We should therefore judge every event in the light of God’s great, eternal and glorious purpose. When we approach the events of our time with this outlook, we are following the advice Jesus gave His disciples: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come”. Matt. 24v4-6. Presentation 01

17 Exchange Panic For Assurance Alarm and panic rise in our hearts when we fail to reckon on God’s control of history. Habakkuk’s world was about to experience a momentous upheaval. Invasion was on the horizon and God was preparing his servant for that event so that he might not be alarmed. The words of Jesus, ‘see to it that you are not alarmed’ are designed to return our thinking to the fact of God’s control not only of history on the international arena but in the personal arenas of our own lives. The shadow of unemployment, chronic illness or bereavement falls across our lives threatening the collapse of the future as we saw it and into that situation the God of Habakkuk whispers, ‘see to it that you are not alarmed’. Presentation 01

18 God takes a choice servant, whose influence in the life of the congregation has been significant, home to be with himself, and into that situation the God of Habakkuk whispers, ‘see to it that you are not alarmed’. There will be many situations in our personal, congregational and national life where all we can see is loss and heartache. We are tempted to lose sight of the God’s control in history. It is then that the God of Habakkuk whispers, ‘see to it that you are not alarmed’. God calls us all to trust in the fact that he knows what he is doing! Presentation 01 Exchange Panic For Assurance

19 Text here Presentation 01 Template

Download ppt "Presentation 01. Introduction God is asked more questions than anyone else! These questions don’t simply change from person to person but from age to."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google