Doesn’t it seem as if most people today just don’t care and won’t listen to God’s true message and warnings through His Church? Well, if you have ever thought this you’re not alone. About 2,600 years ago, the prophet Habakkuk had comparable thoughts and expressed them by way of questions to God. In this message we’ll seek to understand what God explained to Habakkuk—which can benefit and guide us today.
[John LaBissoniere] God, the Father called you and me into His Church to carry out a vital mission. Then His Son, Jesus Christ provided the mission's details. You don't need to turn here, but Matthew 28:19 Matthew 28:19Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
American King James Version×, this is from the Good News translation it says, “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them My disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age." Also, we read and you don't need to turn here either. I think we know these Scriptures very well. Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
American King James Version×, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come." As God's people, we are to announce the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. We're also to teach others about Jesus Christ and how He showed the way to salvation and eternal life in His divine family. The apostle Paul wrote about this critical obligation, I'll read this also to you from the New Living Translation. It's Colossians 1:28 Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
American King James Version×. "So we tell others about Christ, warning them, warning everyone, and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God perfect, and their relationship to Christ." So, that's our mission.
Paul talked about that, Jesus Christ did, the other apostles did. And in this regard, for many, many years, the people of God's Church have faithfully carried out these God-given duties and this mission. We've admonished the world, we've warned them. And prior to this, before our time, many people came before us doing this important work.
Thousands of others, equally faithful brethren have diligently performed these same responsibilities down through past ages. Indeed, all of God's people have devotedly placed themselves in this responsibility. They proclaimed God's mission and the consequences of sin and the urgent need for people to repent. In addition, the Church has warned humanity, especially in this age, as we've been a part of it, about the coming time of terrible destruction and horror described by Jesus Christ as Great Tribulation. Again, for several generations in the 20th and now the 21st century God's people, the message that we have been preaching to humanity has been preached and published in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and all other… many other nations around the world.
But what has happened over the decades as God's Church has carried out its commission, its teaching, and this spiritual wake-up call. Hasn't sinfulness and irreverence to our God continued on relentlessly and gotten worse? Think about that a moment. Doesn't that seem that most people just don't care and they don't want to listen to God's true message that His warnings are going out by the Church of God? Perhaps you wonder about that. I know I have. Maybe you've also said something like this in a prayer to God, how long, oh Lord, you know, we've been doing this, we've been doing what you've asked all these years. When will you finally intervene and stop the madness, the corruption, the violence, and send your Son to this earth? Have you ever thought that or prayed that? Well, if you have done that, you're not alone. About 2,600 years ago, a prophet by the name of Habakkuk had comparable thoughts, comparable feelings, and he express them in a prayer by way of a question. And we'll get to that question a little bit later. God answered his prayer, his question rather, but Habakkuk really didn't like the answer that he heard from God.
So, he boldly asked another question and in due course, he began to understand. Today we're going to cover Habakkuk's questions. And when we do, we'll see that God wanted him to learn something very important. And what he learned is something that you and I also need to understand carefully. The sermon today is entitled “Habakkuk's Dilemma”. So, let's go ahead and turn to the Book of Habakkuk in the minor prophets. And in this message, we'll seek to understand the answers that God gave to Habakkuk to his questions and how they can help us comprehend something very, very important. However, let's first gain a bit of background about Habakkuk, the prophet. The name Habakkuk means to embrace, which could refer to the prophet's close relationship to God. And perhaps it could refer to the future time when the Eternal God will embrace all nations when His Kingdom reigns on earth. Other than that, we don't really know too much about Habakkuk other than that fact that he was a contemporary with other prophets, Jeremiah and Zephaniah, and these men prophesied during the reign of Josiah from 640 BC to 609 BC in the Southern kingdom of Judah.
During that time, the nation was experiencing relative material prosperity. Sadly, however, idolatry flourished and God's way of life was ignored. Even though King Josiah did what he could to Institute spiritual reforms, crime and violence still filled the land. Plus, the poorer were oppressed and widows and orphans were forsaken. Moreover, the wicked prospered and there was greed and great lawlessness. It was endemic it seemed in society. As a result of all this, God raised up Habakkuk and the other prophets to call on Judah's leaders and their citizens to get their attention, to show them these escalating personal national sins and what they needed to do about it. Habakkuk warned the nation that God simply wouldn't tolerate this abhorrent behavior forever. And furthermore, unless that state changed, God would have no choice but to punish them. Sadly, Habakkuk faced what appeared to be a nearly hopeless situation. He saw the society, the people refused to heed God, heed the warnings that God gave through Habakkuk and the other prophets. Indeed, hardly anybody seemed to really care.
What was the result of Habakkuk's many years of conscientious teaching and preaching and warning? Well, little if nothing. Everything went on as before and nothing appeared to change for the better. Let's go to Habakkuk 1:2 Habakkuk 1:2O LORD, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear! even cry out to you of violence, and you will not save!
American King James Version×. After seeing all this, Habakkuk became frustrated, considering the growing lawlessness in his country, he couldn't understand why God didn't take action to deal with Judah's sins and establish righteousness in the land. Needing an answer, Habakkuk asks God this, here in Habakkuk 1:2 Habakkuk 1:2O LORD, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear! even cry out to you of violence, and you will not save!
American King James Version×. "O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You ‘Violence!’ and You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For a plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention before me. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds." Now, do you see, do you sense the frustration he had there? Doesn't what he's describing also sound familiar about what we're dealing with in our society today?
Habakkuk wanted to know when God would finally neutralize the growing evil in the country, deliver the oppressed out of the hands of the wicked and the oppressors. Moreover, he essentially asked God why he continued tolerating so much wrongdoing, so much strife, and violence. And the law seemed to be paralyzed. Justice was nowhere to be found. Can we perhaps feel a bit of that frustration and discontent a bit, perhaps we can identify with Habakkuk's dilemma? Do his feelings hit home with us as we see the increasing violence and perversion and lawlessness around us today, yet don't we sigh and cry when we see that? Sigh and cry over all the abominations taking place in society? Habakkuk felt that way and yet he just couldn't understand why the sins and scandals kept growing and growing at such an alarming rate. So, yes, the prophet was bold and blunt in his prayer to God, in that question he asked his Creator. Nevertheless, because God knew how dedicated Habakkuk was and that his attitude was right, He graciously responded to His prophet's question. So, God explained to Habakkuk that He was completely aware of the nation's sins. And He told them that he would certainly step in to punish the nation if the people didn't repent. And as we'll see this punishment would occur in a way that Habakkuk would find hard to believe.
Let's read how God answered His loyal profit here in verse 5, next verse, "Look among the nations and watch— be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it is told you." Here God tells Habakkuk something. He tells him that He won't most definitely will step in to take action, to carry out His words of warning. How? By allowing Judea to be invaded and conquered and its people removed from the land and placed into slavery. And all of this would take place by the hands of an extremely cruel and violent nation, the Chaldeans, better known to us as the Babylonians. God goes on and tells Habakkuk this in verse 6, "For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a better and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs. They are terrible, dreadful and their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. Their horses are also swifter than the leopards, and more fierce than evening wolves. Their chargers charge ahead; their cavalry comes from afar; they fly as the eagle that hastens to eat. They all come for violence; their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand." What an enemy that they're going to face.
Hearing this, Habakkuk was shocked. He was stunned. He was overwhelmed by what God told him. Being that the great powers of the day were Assyria and Egypt, Habakkuk thought that surely these nations would be the ones that God would use to punish Judea. Not these dreadful, murderous Chaldeans. Habakkuk knew that the Chaldeans had an appalling reputation for ruthlessness and cruelty beyond the measures of any other nation at that time. What Habakkuk I didn't know was that they were on their way to becoming the number one empire in the region. But then only a few years, they would break the power of the Assyrians and Egyptians and become the dominant regional player. To Habakkuk, just the thought, just the thought of his people, his own people being chastised by this despotic, depraved empire, these Chaldeans completely horrified him. He just couldn't believe it. So, his dilemma grew greater. He was already in a quandary and now, "What's this? What's this? I can't believe this.”
You know, at first, he thought, well, he'd wondered that if even God would even punish the nation at all, now he became frantic that God might entirely wipe out his people. Habakkuk answered, anxiously respond to God. He said this here in verse 12, let's go to verse 12. "Are You not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One?” He loved God, but he's like, "What's going on here? We shall not die. O Lord, You have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction." Let me read this to you from the message translation. Part of this passage, it says, "Holy God, we aren't going to die, are we?" In other words, you're going to wipe us out completely? Next, the prophet pleads with God that certainly his nation had done wrong, but were the Chaldeans so much worse? Using such a deprived nation to punish his fellow citizens didn't seem reasonable, didn't seem really fair to Habakkuk. Could God simply stand by and watch His people being devoured by a nation that deserved chastisement significantly more than His own nation? Habakkuk continued, he said this verse 13, "You are of purer eyes than them to behold evil." He's talking to God here, "And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?" Well, he's pretty bold there, isn't he, talking to God that way?
So, Habakkuk knew that Chaldeans had little if any respect for human life. In fact, they were so, get this, they were are so evil that they relished killing their victims. They plundered and pillaged them. And then they abused them and raped them and brutally enslaved them as if they were fish caught in a net. Verse 15, "They take up all of them with a hook, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad." He's talking about these Chaldeans here. That's how evil they were. So, yeah, certainly the Chaldean's conquests would put an end to Judah's sins and crimes, but the result would be even more suffering from Habakkuk's point of view. Perhaps Habakkuk thought, you know, "What kind of solution is this? I didn't expect this." So, it was very disheartening, so he was in a quandary. He was in a dilemma. Although he was deeply upset at first, this faithful prophet waited for God because he knew that God would help him out. And Habakkuk craved comprehension so he waited on God. He was a friend of God. He loved God and God loved him.
Habakkuk 2:1 Habakkuk 2:1I will stand on my watch, and set me on the tower, and will watch to see what he will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
American King James Version×. "I will stand and watch and set me upon the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me." He's waiting on God. "And what I answer when I'm corrected." So maybe he thought, "Well, listen, maybe I overdid it a little bit here emotionally." But he had a relationship with God and he could talk to him and God gave him straight answers. But Habakkuk didn't have to wait very long to get the answers because God helped him to come to full understanding. And since the questions that he raised to God would likely be asked in future days, God told him to write down what he learned from God so that others could comprehend later. Next verse, Habakkuk 2:2 Habakkuk 2:2And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it.
American King James Version×. "Then the Lord answered me and said: 'Write the vision make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.'" So then God told Habakkuk that he was aware, certainly aware that the Chaldeans were arrogant, they were cruel and brutal. God knew this. He knew they were idolatrous. They were greedy. They were ruthless. All that's made plain in verses 5 to 15. We won't turn there. You can read that later. But as God further explained, the Chaldeans themselves would in due time be themselves sorely punished. Their powerful kingdom would be demolished as explained in verses 16 and 17. You can also read that later. And this actually happened as prophesied in 539 BC. When the Chaldeans' capital Babylon was completely overrun by military forces of the Medo-Persian empire.
But there was more to the story that was to come. Since Bible prophecies are often dual in nature, God told Habakkuk this in verse 3. "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." Let me read to you that from a more modern passage, the New Living Translation, it says this, "This vision as for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed." This statement was a vital key in salving Habakkuk's dilemma. God showed him that he was what he was doing and it was not for his time alone, Habakkuk's time alone. Was also for a future period. The time of the end. And prophetic terminology the phrase time of the end refers to the coming in era just prior to when Jesus Christ takes control of the world's nations and installs the government of God on the earth, time of the end, just before Christ's return.
So, God gave Habakkuk a vital advanced bit of knowledge here that His great plan was to finally put an end to human risks misrule and its subsequent suffering. He's going to do it, but it won't be at that time. So, even though God reassured Habakkuk that the Chaldeans would ultimately be punished by the overthrow of their empire, again, it would not be the end of man's misrule. He made that plain to Habakkuk. But Habakkuk needed to know to completely resolve his dilemma was that he would allow advance to transparent down to through future ages until he was ready to intervene. God was going to let it go.
But Habakkuk didn't understand that at first, he didn't understand that right away. He only came to this realization when God opened his eyes to see beyond the narrow focus of his day in his time. The prophet simply wanted this, he just wanted things to be made right, right then and there. He wanted people to come to repentance then and there at that time. But honestly, isn't that how you and I feel? I mean, really. Don't we want people to repent and come to understand what you and I know? Don't we sometimes wish that our society would not have to endure what's prophesied, the violence that's coming? The horror that's going to happen to our nations.
Even though Habakkuk felt this way and perhaps we do too, nevertheless, God will allow humans to build the ultimate Babylon, you might say, so they can finally, finally learn that they are totally incapable of ruling themselves. Mankind cannot rule themselves. So, this ultimate Babylon is going to be built in the future. It's coming. This was incredibly important for Habakkuk to understand and it's important for us to understand that as well today. Bible prophecy explains that near the end of the age, a powerful Babylonian type governing system will arise in Europe. And we can see that the United States is being weakened and weakened more and more at this time. But this system is going to arise in Europe. It will become the most tyrannical, the most oppressive, and cruel, and demonic empire that has ever ruled the earth. So, God's warnings to His prophet long ago about the end time are for our ears today, for your ears and mind, and all people in our age today. That message is for us today.
God gave Habakkuk a small vision of the future, but many of us alive today may live to see the vision played out in real-time. We don't know when it's going to happen, but there may be people in this room today that are going to see this all played out. We don't know. The difficult fact is that because of our modern-day Israelitish nations, which are continually disobedient toward God, God will allow this coming resurrected Babylon to bring terrible punishment upon our nations. It's sad to think about that, but it's going to happen unless there's repentance. That coming devastating period is referred to as Jacob's trouble. Many scriptures talk about that. Habakkuk's prophecies of Judah's fall there's only a forerunner of what is to come. Bible prophecies, including those made by Jesus Christ, explained that God will permit terrible famine and pestilence in our lands. And then military defeat will occur resulting in the deaths of terribly, I had to imagine this, but two-thirds of our population. Take a look at Ezekiel 5:12 Ezekiel 5:12A third part of you shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the middle of you: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about you; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
American King James Version×. The remaining one-third of our fellow citizens will be forced into slave labor. And additionally, millions will suffer and perish after that. Many scriptures talk about that. It's hard to think about, but it's going to happen unless our nations repent.
God will allow the cruel oppression, this cruel oppression to take place at the hands of this coming European nation led by what is called the leader would be called the beast. It will be the most absolute horrible time in all human history. It's going to be like a living nightmare beyond all human comprehension. I know we don't like to think about it, but the prophecies are there. Such a situation is almost too ghastly, I mean, really think about it, it's too ghastly to even contemplate sometimes. Just like Habakkuk, there's no way we would ever want this to happen to our people. Would we? Of course not. If we truly understood the magnitude of this coming terror, we wouldn't want every one of our nations to be overrun and defeated. And its cities and towns and neighborhoods in flames, starving and suffering, dying people everywhere. I hate to be that graphic, but we need to be plain about what's going to happen. Even though God may protect us as His people. And we hope He will. We know He will. He will directly affect our neighbors, our relatives, our friends, and our family members. So we don't want it to happen. We wouldn't want that to happen.
But regrettably, unless repentance occurs, those dreadful punishments will continue speeding towards our people. Considering all of this, what should you and I be doing about it? Now more than ever, we need to fervently and strongly admonish the people of our nations to repent, to turn from their wickedness, and return back to God. We also must teach about the coming Kingdom of God and educate people in who Jesus is. The true Jesus Christ of Scripture. In addition, and most importantly… not most importantly, but importantly is that you and I need to pray daily for our immediate work, asking God to bless our efforts so that doors would open wide so that we can reach more people. Millions of people need to hear the message that the Church has been preaching.
It needs to go out now more than ever. For example, we could be praying about the need for a cable network for Beyond Today television. We could be praying about the internet advertising efforts through Google and Bing and Yahoo, that more people would click on that, get the magazine, get the booklets, and all these things. We ought to be praying about these things.
We have a major print advertising campaign coming up in October, it's going to 55 million households. We could be praying that people would respond to those ads and that they would order the booklet. This particular book that's going to be the booklet about angels, which people are interested in today, but then they would get the magazine as well. So we could be praying about that and praying about those, the international areas, and their immediate responsibilities. There is a very good article from Carmelo Anastasi about the Italian work and the previous, one of the most previous e-newsletters, very good. He kind of described everything that they were doing. So we could be praying about that. There's so many things we ought to be praying about the work of God that's going out from this very building and the offices around the world. Let's turn with me to Isaiah 58:1 Isaiah 58:1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
American King James Version×, if you would. Isaiah 58:1 Isaiah 58:1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
American King James Version×, you know, considering the stresses and strains throughout society today, I think we need to realize time is short, I mean, really. And we must be urgently about our Father's business, just as Habakkuk was in his day. And you see the emotion that he brought to that subject with His Father. We should bring that to our Father in heaven, that we can reach more people with the message that we have.
Here in Isaiah 58:1 Isaiah 58:1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
American King James Version×, God tells you and me, "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." That's our job. Indeed, those of us in God's church today have been given the matchless gift of this awesome truth that we have, knowledge of the Bible, knowledge of the true doctrines of God. And we have an obligation. We have a responsibility to share what we know with the people of this confused and dying world. That's our job, we've been given that commission. Of course, God's mission, His message, rather, which includes repentance from sin it's never going to be popular, no way, it's popular, but we have to preach it. We must preach it robustly as a witness, at least as a witness and a warning. Even if people don't respond, the message has got to go out. We can't let down. We should always resist the inclination to pull back at times and mostly take care of our own needs and fulfill what we need. What we think we need.
Jesus said this in John 4:35 John 4:35Say not you, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest? behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
American King James Version×, I'll just read it. "Do you not say there is still four months and then comes to harvest?" Behold I say to you, Jesus said this, "Lift up your eyes and look in the fields for they are already for harvest." There are people out there that need to hear the message of the Church of God. We need to stir up the Spirit within each of us just as Habakkuk did when he said, in Habakkuk 3:2 Habakkuk 3:2O LORD, I have heard your speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive your work in the middle of the years, in the middle of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
American King James Version×, I'll just read this, "O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known;” and then he says, "in wrath remember mercy." So, you know, he knows probably God is angry, "but please be merciful," he adds that, and we should do that as well. In this regard, we might recall, especially the old-timers here, the words of former Worldwide Church of God, pastor general, Herbert W. Armstrong, who often said, and I quote, this is from a 1974 issue of the Good News Magazine. He said, "God's work is a work of giving, giving the gospel of the Kingdom of God. I have observed," He goes on, "that only those whose hearts are in this great work are themselves growing spiritually.”
So, besides being zealous for God's work and passionate about helping the people of this chaotic world learn more about the truth of God, I love it. And I love the truth. Don't we? We want people to love the truth, just like we do. What else should we be doing besides that? Habakkuk's book is best known for the profound statement in Habakkuk 2:4 Habakkuk 2:4Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
American King James Version×, I'll just read this. The just shall live by faith. “The just shall live by faith.” And as 2 Corinthians 5:7 2 Corinthians 5:7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
American King James Version×say, "We must always walk by faith, not by sight." And referring to His second coming, Jesus asked in Luke 18:8 Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
American King James Version×, "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" It's a big question.
Could this mean that genuine faith will be uncommon, will be rare, will be difficult to find at that time when He steps on the earth? Could it even affect the people of God, will we become faithless? Unless we have absolute faith in God and His promises, it will be impossible to endure to the end. We're going to have to live by faith. Those days are going to be coming where you're going to need it, we're going to need it. All of us will.
So, today, what are we placing our faith in? You know, it can't be money, it can't be possessions, it can't be other people because these can always give us a false sense of security. Rather, we must live by depending literally on God for our daily bread, for all of our needs, both physical and spiritual. That's it. That's what He wants us to do. Like Habakkuk, we must act now to carefully safeguard and secure our spiritual condition. This is the time to do it. We can't wait for some future time so we can grow in faith and grace and knowledge at that time. No, this is it. This is the time we have to do it now. Luke 21:34 Luke 21:34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come on you unawares.
American King James Version×, this is from the voice, paraphrase version, it says this, "So be careful, guard your hearts. They can be made heavy with moral laxity, with drunkenness, and with the hassles of daily life. Then the Day I've been telling you about might catch you unaware and trap you." It says it very well. Doesn't it? Please turn with me to 1 Thessalonians 5:3 1 Thessalonians 5:3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail on a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
American King James Version×. So, just as Habakkuk was commissioned by God to preach to ancient Judah, we have the duty today to warn America and the other modern-day Israelite nations and the entire world of what lies ahead, again, unless repentance occurs. But importantly, you and I have no excuse if we don't personally heed the same warnings.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 1 Thessalonians 5:3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail on a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
American King James Version×says this, "For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren," you and me, he's talking to us here today, now, "are not in darkness, so that that Day should overtake you as a thief." So, there's no excuse for us that he tells us right there. So, therefore let's summarize everything. The faithful prophet, Habakkuk, faced a dilemma. As a diligent servant of God, he devotedly preached repentance to the sinful people of Judah. But after years of doing so, he became frustrated that the corruption and violence continued unabated in his country. And few individuals seem to really care about God or His messages of repentance and warning. Everything kept getting worse and nothing has seemed to be getting any better. All the years that he and the other prophets were preaching, it was getting worse. Habakkuk appealed to God asking Him why He didn't take action to deal with Judah's sins and establish righteousness in the nation. God explained that He was fully aware of this country's sinfulness. He told His prophet that He would ultimately bring punishment upon them and it would be very severe by the hands of the wicked Chaldean nation.
Of course, this shocked and stunned Habakkuk. At first, he didn't seem to understand any and he felt this wasn't fair. However later, he fully understood why God had to act in that way. He also learned that the end was not during his day, but that God had a long-term plan that He would implement fully when the time was right. Regarding our day today, the church has been faithful in preaching repentance, preaching about the Kingdom of God, and giving this prophetic warning to the world for many decades. Some of you have been around for 50, 60 years doing this. And some maybe just for a year, but we're all in this together. Aren't we? And just as faithful Habakkuk did, we must continue doing what we've been doing, carrying out the vital mission from Jesus Christ with great fervency, even when most people won't listen and won't care. Got to do it, don't matter what they do. We got to do our part. Habakkuk 3:18 Habakkuk 3:18Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
American King James Version×, if you would go there, through God's help and with Habakkuk's confidence restored, he expressed something very important about his Creator. And the final chapter of his book, Habakkuk spoke of the future time when God would intervene to powerfully rescue humanity from total destruction and lead all people in the way of righteousness.
In addition, he wrote about God's greatness, His compassion, and His strength with the following words, here in Habakkuk 3:18 Habakkuk 3:18Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
American King James Version×. "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on high hills." So, with his dilemma resolved, Habakkuk continued preaching repentance, living justly by faith, and giving honor to his Eternal Creator. All while confidently knowing that God will handle everything in His good time. As people of God's Church today, let's double down, let's double down to diligently follow the example of this wonderful prophet Habakkuk as he was faithful and trusting in God and His work. Let us do that. Let's continue to do this very same thing and let's continue to grow spiritually and faithfully every day.