New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

Habakkuk: Two Problems — Two Solutions — One Prophet's Prayer.

Most all of the Old Testament prophets direct their messages to God's people — Israel — who were transgressing the Law: not upholding their part of the covenant. This "minor" prophet has a major message, however: What do we do in the face of injustice, violence, and how do we cope with the fall out of God's justice?

Habakkuk's oracle — his burden — is a record of one's godly man's conversation with his God. Over the next three weeks we will eavesdrop. Therefore, figuring out who is speaking is important. Habakkuk begins, "Oh God, why do You let wrongdoing go unpunished?" When God graciously reveals His plan, Habakkuk is shocked. Finally, the prophet reconciles his mind and heart through prayer. The record we have of his complaints and his prayer illuminates the frustration and fear that the remnant must have felt because the approaching Babylonian terror. Moreover, it also is contemporary commentary for believers who tremble because of the onslaught of modern moral wretchedness and depravity. Could God be planning to chastise uswith our worst nightmares?
This man wrestled with God about the problem of evil and human suffering. We know very little about him. He may have been associated with the Temple, and a few scholars say Habakkuk lived as late as 300 B.C. However, most scholars believe he was a contemporary of the prophet Nahum and Jeremiah. He witnessed the last days of the Davidic kings — and may have lived through the awful siege of Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah. In 605 B.C. Daniel and many other nobles were taken captive. Eleven years later in 586 B.C. Jerusalem was completely overwhelmed; her walls breached and the Temple destroyed. Can you imagine how you would feel watching corrupt rulers, confused people and fierce conquerors overrun Washington, D.C.? (See 2 Chronicles 36)

Read Chapter 1. A Prophet, GOD, and the Babylonians (Chaldeans)

1. In verses 1- 4, what is vexing Habakkuk? (What is vexing you that you believe has escaped God's notice?)

2. List every reference to God in chapter one. What do they mean to you?

3. What do you think God's purpose was in using the ungodly Babylonians to punish Israel?

4. Describe what they are like.

5. What in our culture might become a rod of discipline in God's hands?

6. What problem do the Babylonians pose for Israel and for Habakkuk?

7. What puzzles you about the Lord's answer to Habakkuk's complaint?

8. In verse 12, Habakkuk says, "we will not die." Look at the cross-references to this verse — Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 90:2; Malachi 3:6 and Numbers 23:19. What do these verses say and what do they mean to you?

9. What is Habakkuk's second complaint in verse 13
?

10. What does the image of the net mean?

11. What symbols of power do we worship in our culture? How so?

12. How could you reword Habakkuk's question in verse 1:17 to convey your uncertainties?

13. Which verse did you commit to memory this week from the first chapter of Habakkuk?

(Read it in several translations if you can.) How did this verse take root and grow in you this week?

Sources for questions: The Inductive Study Bible, The NIV Serendipity Bible


Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by Doug Smith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:38 a.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

Doug Smith, here. Looks very interesting. Any other men interested?


Good Morning to You Sir!

Posted by monica on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:57 a.m., in response to Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by Doug Smith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:38 a.m.

Hi Doug! While I am printing the study, I thought I would poke my head in here and say HI!--monica :)


Thanks Barb! :) nt

Posted by monica on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 7:23 a.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

mg


Will there be daily installations...

Posted by Laurie Rambo on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 7:32 a.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

or is this to be a once a week thing? I wasn't too clear, but maybe I've missed something, not having been onl line too much this week.

Laurie


Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 8:42 a.m., in response to Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by Doug Smith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:38 a.m.

Hi,

I'm one!

I spent some time yesterday studing Habakkuk. I plan on posting some of my own "picky questions" as promised when I get the time (IF I get the time).

By the way, can we also include 2:1 in this week's discussion, since it is part of the section starting in 1:12 (at least, in my opinion)? We can include it in the chapter 2 week as well, of course ...

I'm assuming I should post questions as I come up with them, rather than waiting until Friday/Saturday. Someone correct me if I've misunderstood!

In Him,
Kevin Megill


We will discuss what we learned from doing the questions on Friday/Saturday. If you have questions about the material -- POST those, of course. Also, Kevin M said he would try to be following with insights, observations and overall insight and wisdom. (nt)

Posted by BWSmith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 8:49 a.m., in response to Will there be daily installations..., posted by Laurie Rambo on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 7:32 a.m.

80)


Re: "Picky" questions

Posted by BWSmith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 8:53 a.m., in response to Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 8:42 a.m.

ABSOULTELY post qustions to keep us prodded and picky!
Yeah 2:1 should be included, I think too.
Tamara told me there's always enough time to do the will of God -- I am *hoping* this study IS in God's will for you this week, friend!
BWSmith


Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by William Eaton on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:06 a.m., in response to Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by Doug Smith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:38 a.m.

Hi Doug,

I'm looking forward it!

William


Re: This is so wonderful!

Posted by Robin P (TN) on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 10:37 a.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.


I really need this. As someone posted above, I tend to be one who reads rather than digs into the Scriptures. Our pastor is beginning a class on "Studying the Bible for all its worth". Looks like I may get some hands-on experience here.

Blessings (and "see ya" on Friday)

Robin P


Re: Good Morning to You Sir!

Posted by Doug Smith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 11:03 a.m., in response to Good Morning to You Sir!, posted by monica on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:57 a.m.

Hi, Monica. Doug


Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by Steve on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 12:08 p.m., in response to Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by Doug Smith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:38 a.m.

Doug,

I'm interested and already studying.
Steve


Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by Susan on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 2:44 p.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

Yes, I will join in, this is just what I need right now!! This study needs to soak into my spirit man so that flesh and negative attitute can no longer have its way in my life. Looking forward to this ongoing study!!

May God open the eyes of our understanding so we can shine better for him!

God Bless your efforts!!!


Re: New Bible Study -- Ok, I'm here, but I hope I can keep up w/ u all! nt

Posted by Kimberly B. on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 2:48 p.m., in response to Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by Doug Smith on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 6:38 a.m.

ntntnt


The Picky Question List

Posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:27 p.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

Hi everyone!

Questions on Habakkuk. 1:1-2:1

My sources: NASB, NIV, and a small commentary.

As promised, here are some picky questions! I am asking about interpretation here more than application. Some of them are probably unanswerable, but I find that just thinking about them helps me notice little details I would otherwise miss -- but, by all means, if uncertainty about details bothers you, don't worry about these questions! Some of you may also say "I don't get these questions!!" That's OK — it won't hurt my feelings if you just ignore them. :-) By the way, some of these I have already answered to my satisfaction, but I include them because others might prefer to chase down their own answers.

H stands for Habakkuk

--- verse by verse (NASB) ---

Is the oracle mentioned in v 1 the whole book? or just the first chapter or so?

In 2-4 was H worried about personal threats to his safety in a violent society? or about the backslidden condition of his fellow Israelites? Or about threats to the nation from outside powers?

In v 5, why would they not believe it? Because of its intensity? Or because of the oddness of God using a wicked nation to carry out his judgment?

In v 8, why in the evening? Are wolves hungrier then or something?

In v 11 it says, "Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on." Pass on to capture more people? Or fade away when their strength wanes?

5-11 Was God saying "the answer to your prayer will be the Chaldeans", or was he saying "before I answer your prayer, it will get even worse — the Chaldeans are coming"?

In v 12 the "we will not die" seems out of place to me. I don't understand where it fits in the flow of what H is saying. Is he saying that because God never dies, His people have protection for their own existence? Something else?

In v 13, "those more righteous than they" refers to the same people H was calling unrighteous in verses 2-4, right? That is, the inhabitants of Judea are unrighteous, but not as much as the Chaldeans?

In v 14, does the phrase "creeping things without a ruler over them" refer to the fact that they have no protector or to the fact that they have no restrainer?

In 2:1, why does H refer to a guard post and a rampart? Is he simply using imagery which pictures God's response as approaching like an army or a caravan? Is it possible that H worked as a guard or something similar?

--- questions based on different translations ---

I read this in the NASB, then reread it in the NIV and (as usual) noticed several differences. In each case, which is the most accurate (the NIV generally makes the most sense, but that doesn't automatically mean it's the most accurate, since it tends to take more liberties with the text in order to make it make sense)?

The most significant are these:

In v 11, NASB says "but they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god." NIV says "guilty men, whose own strength is their god". These are very different. In the NASB, God concludes his description of the Chaldean attack by promising that, nonetheless, they will be held guilty one day. H's response seems to ignore this promise. In the NIV, the phrase "guilty men" only refers to the Chaldeans' character, with no promise of eventual judgment (in this passage). If the NASB is right, why doesn't H seem to notice the promise in his next response?

In 2:1, the NASB says "how I may reply when I am reproved". NIV says "what answer I am to give to this complaint". In one version, H speaks of God reproving him, in the other, of his complaint to God. If the NASB is right, what is his reason for expecting a reproof from the Lord, and does he get reproved?

Other differences include:
In v 4, NASB says the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. NIV says the law is paralyzed and justice never prevails. The first makes it sound as though people aren't pursuing justice, the other as though those pursuing justice can't win out.

In v 7, NASB says "their justice and authority originate with themselves", stressing that there is no court of appeal when they attack. NIV says "they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor", stressing their arrogant attitude.

In v 9, NASB says "their horde of faces moves forward". NIV says "their hordes advance like a desert wind". I think I read somewhere that this phrase is obscure, no one is sure what it means. The NIV has the advantage of making sense of the next phrase "they gather captives like sand" — because it would be like the wind piling up sand dunes as it sweeps over the desert.

In v 14, NASB says "creeping things without a ruler over them". NIV says "sea creatures", making it parallel to fish.

In v 15, NASB says "the Chaldeans", NIV says "the wicked foe". Wait a minute, in the NASB the phrase "the Chaldeans" is in italics, which means it is not literally written in the original, but placed there by the translators. Maybe there is not question here after all. (*grin*)

In v 16, NASB says "their catch is large and their food is plentiful". NIV says "he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food".

--- a question concerning application ---

Many people compare Israel to America today, and the Chaldeans to invading armies or other catastrophes in America. We as Christians are in H's place, looking with dread to the possibility of God's judgment on our nation. But another approach is to consider the church as Israel's modern- day counterpart, and America itself (along with the rest of the world) as the Chaldeans. The Chaldean attack would be similar to the way the church has lost so much influence and favor in America today, and has been generally trodden down by secularism and humanism as a judgment on its departure from Biblical truth and lifestyle. What do you all think?

Boy, would I love to be able to take Biblical Greek and Hebrew some day! (My secret dream!)

In Him,
Kevin


Barbara. you have blessed me in more ways than one!! I am looking forward to delving more into the Word of God!! nt

Posted by Nicole in Seattle on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 10:16 p.m., in response to The Picky Question List, posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:27 p.m.



Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by Deborah on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 5:14 a.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

I look forward to doing a Bible study with all of you and just soaking up your wisdom. Will Friday be the first part of the Bible study?


Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?

Posted by BWSmith on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 7:09 a.m., in response to Re: New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by Deborah on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 5:14 a.m.

Yes -- if you have comments or were excited about what God showed you -- please share on Friday -- If you don't understand something, feel free to ask for "clarification" or opinions during the week.
BWSmith


Re: The Picky Question List

Posted by Steve on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 11:45 a.m., in response to The Picky Question List, posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:27 p.m.

Kevin,

I would be more than happy to teach you what I can (I have 43 cr. hrs of Gk and 14 of Heb). The main issue of course is time. If you're ever interested, let me know and we can work something out. I'm going to concentrate on your questions concerning the differences in translation and see what I can find out.

Shalom, Steve


Re: The Picky Question List

Posted by Lucia on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 11:55 a.m., in response to Re: The Picky Question List, posted by Steve on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 11:45 a.m.

I hope you share your answers with the rest of us.

Lucia


Yes, I will. (nt)

Posted by Steve on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 12:25 p.m., in response to Re: The Picky Question List, posted by Lucia on Tuesday, 6 October 1998, at 11:55 a.m.

nt


Question for Doug or Barbara...

Posted by Midge on Wednesday, 7 October 1998, at 7:11 a.m., in response to New Bible Study -- 3 weeks on Habakkuk. We'll work on these questions and "discuss" them on Friday/Saturday -- OK?, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 4 October 1998, at 9:11 p.m.

Could this be divided into 5 sections, since there are 5 days of the study. It seems to me it needs to be longer. If someone misses a day, they could just do more sections to catch up.
I really needed a good Bible study program to do daily. And I think this is it.
Is there an easier way to find this? I have to go to Intros & Chats & find the question from Tamara about this Bible study to get to it.
Thanks for doing this & thanks for reading my questions.

Love, Midge


Dear Midge, To go into the study, go to Bible Issues (see link at top of page) and scroll down...that way you can also find all of the responses to the study that may be on a separate thread. nt

Posted by Kevin Megill on Wednesday, 7 October 1998, at 8:49 a.m., in response to Question for Doug or Barbara..., posted by Midge on Wednesday, 7 October 1998, at 7:11 a.m.

.


Verse 11

Posted by Steve on Wednesday, 7 October 1998, at 11:00 a.m., in response to The Picky Question List, posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:27 p.m.

Kevin,

The crux of your question concerns the Hebrew word 'ashem. It is an ambiguous form representing both the 3rd pers., sing., perfective verb and also the masc., sing. adj. 'guilty'. (Many of the plurals in the various translations of these verses are actually singular in the Hebrew.)

I would have to agree with 3 translations (KJV, NASB, & Keil) against the NIV whose rendering would make the Hebrew an awkward construction.

Our decisions are not over, though, even if we take 'ashem to be a verb. It can have 3 meanings. The 1st of these is 'to commit an offense' (Num 5:7). The 2nd is 'to be or become guilty' (Jer 50:7). The 3rd is 'to be held guilty or bear punishment' (Prov 30:10).

A translator is often faced with decisions that are not clear-cut. You get some idea of this when you compare versions. Different translations are the result of different approaches and choices. As you noted, the NIV is more of a thought for thought translation, whereas the NASB is more word for word.

In response to your question "Why doesn't H. seem to notice the promise?", perhaps instead of a promise it is a simple statement of (eventual) fact. "Then it passes along, a wind, and comes hither and offends: this its strength is its god." (Keil)

Even if this is a promise, I'm not surprised at H.'s reaction. He is like a child who fears some threat, and in response to his father's assurances says, "But aren't you going to do something?"

Steve


v. 7

Posted by Steve on Thursday, 8 October 1998, at 9:58 a.m., in response to The Picky Question List, posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:27 p.m.

"... memenu mishpato us'eto yets'e."

from himself(1) his justice(2) and his authority go out(3).

(1) the masculine, singular suffixes are used throughout this verse (and throughout the chapter for that matter). They stand for either "The Chaldean/Babyonian" as representative of them all, or as the nation. The translations treat these as collective references and make them plural.

(2) or judgment

(3) or forth

The point here seems to be that the Bablyonians do not consider God to be the ultimate authority. They make their own rules. (cf. The Humanist Manifesto II)

Steve


Kevin, My thoughts on v.11

Posted by Kristi (formerly known as Mrs. Carroll) on Thursday, 8 October 1998, at 11:44 a.m.

I’m not sure I feel the NASB is correct in it’s translation nor the NIV. The KJV says,
“Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power
unto his god.”
I think the change of mind is that God stops ‘him’ from further distruction of the
inhabitants of Judea. “And he shall pass over” may mean to move on away from Judea.
Offend means: to transgress the moral or divine law. to cause difficulty, discomfort, or
harm. THis may be what the NASB is translating that they will be harmed because of
their transgress of destroying the people of Judea(?) But I don’t feel it specifically says
that judgement will fall on the Chaldeans because of what God used them for.
“imputing” is referred to Daniel 5:4 which says, “They drank wine, and praised the gods
of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” Thus saying that the
Chaldeans will credit the strength they had to their gods. That they will worship their
gods rather than God. This could imply that God’s rath will come because they do not
acknowledge His power was upon them. But again it does not say this specifically means
future judgement on the Chaldeans. If you look ahead in ch 2 that is where judgement to
the Chaldeans is promised. Then in ch3 H says he then hears what God is saying.

I do not have a Strong's Concordance to look up what some of the words meant in the time the Bible was written. So this is what I get from reading the Bible, referrences, and dictionary meanings.

Please feel free to add your thoughts to this,
Kristi Carroll


Re: v. 7

Posted by Kevin Megill on Thursday, 8 October 1998, at 9:45 p.m., in response to v. 7, posted by Steve on Thursday, 8 October 1998, at 9:58 a.m.

Steve,

Just a quick note to say thanks so much for your information thus far -- it's helpful and kinda fun!

Someday I may take you up on your Greek/Hebrew offer, but as you suggested time isn't always as available as I'd like.

In Him,
Kevin


... and some that are not so picky

Posted by Kevin Megill on Thursday, 8 October 1998, at 9:59 p.m., in response to The Picky Question List, posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:27 p.m.

Hi everyone,

Haven't had as much time for this as I'd hoped, but I just wanted to mention that in addition to all those "picky questions", I generally also ask the following about passages I study. I mention them in case they are helpful to anyone else -- I'm sorry they aren't very specific.

-- What is a good outline of the passage?

The key here, for me, is to discover an outline which reflects what Habakkuk was thinking and writing, NOT to impose my own outline on the passage. I want to understand the flow of thought in the mind of Habakkuk and his original audience. I want to understand what the major sections of the passage are and what key idea or emotion each is attempting to convey.

-- What are the major principles of each section?

(By the way, usually these principles will not be new -- they will be found over and over in many different Scriptural passages.)

-- How do those principles correlate with other Scriptures, with life experiences? How do they contrast with the world's views?

-- Which verses and principles do I sense the Holy Spirit is putting on my heart?

Finally, I take the answers to the last question and spend time in prayer about those particular verses and principles, asking God to reveal to me what he wants to change in my thinking or my actions through those verses.

Until this weekend ..

In Him,
Kevin


The study..

Posted by Lily on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 5:13 a.m.


Hi!! I have been really enjoying the study...and the questions and insight s others have put up(Thank You Kevin for more *meat to chew on* as Lecia says! My dear parents and Nanny are coming after lunch...to stay with our dc as my dh take a trip away from the weekend!! Halleluiah!!!! It has been years . We are going to a wonderful Christian camp for their Fall Foliage weeken. So I wont be able to join in ...But I cant wait to see what everyone posts!!
Blessings on your weekend!!!
Lily


Have a great weekend!(nt)

Posted by Kristi (formerly known as Mrs. Carroll) on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 8:33 a.m., in response to The study.., posted by Lily on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 5:13 a.m.

NTNTNT


H. 2:1

Posted by Steve on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 10:09 a.m.

The question was asked whether H. was speaking of his reproof or his complaint. The Hebrew at the end of 2:1 is "uma 'ashiv al-tokhachti" (1). It literally says "and what I will answer unto (upon) my tokhachat." So, the question really is "What does tokhachat mean?"

Throughout the Book of Proverbs, this word is rendered reproof (1:23, 25, 30; 3:11; et. al.). Wisdom reproves scoffers, and the Lord reproves those whom He loves. There is, however, another meaning that we find in Job 13:6 and 23:4. In the former verse Job speaks of his arguments to his "friends", and in the latter of the arguments he wants to present to God. I believe this is the meaning that H. intends in 2:1. He is not expecting a reproof (and he doesn't appear to receive one). What he does expect is a response to his argument against using the Chaldeans to punish Judah.

Steve

(1) ch "is the strongest gutteral sound, a deep gutteral ch, as heard generally in Swiss German, somewhat as in the German Achat, Macht,..." (Gesenius). The i is like the i in machine.


OK Guys -- here's a start . . .

Posted by BWSmith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 5:55 p.m.

Habakkuk: Two Problems — Two Solutions — One Prophet's Prayer.
Read Chapter 1. A Prophet, GOD, and the Babylonians (Chaldeans)

1. In verses 1- 4, what is vexing Habakkuk? (What is vexing you that you believe has escaped God's notice?)

Habakkuk *saw* unpunished inequity. For an indefinite time, he couldn't avoid seeing destruction and violence; strife existed and contention arose. These were not filtered through third and fourth - hand accounts for God did not allow Habakkuk to avert his eyes. He couldn't shut out the wantonness with the ease that we can lay aside today's paper or turn off the news. Everywhere he looked, Habakkuk *saw* the fruit that Manasseh — and other Kings had planted; he saw the result of centuries of defiled worship (in spite of the wholehearted devotion of some Judah's kings and prophets who clung to God). And God seemed obdurate.

God did not appear even to hear Habakkuk's cries, for HE did not act. These were not the good old days! Because God was apparently not responding, the law was ignored and justice was never upheld. The wicked surrounded the righteous, and, justice comes out perverted. This theme is a repetition of Isaiah's heartbreak. (See Isaiah 52:5, 57:1-2, 59:1-15)

Why did God put HIS people over such jumps -- and what does this have to do with me, I live under GRACE, not the Law, right? As an aging "Boomer" baby, raised in the US of A, I have never seen the garbage that daily assaulted the remnant — never! I *read* Anne Frank's diary; I didn't have to live it. The closest I have come to such fright is listening to stories about the Depression — or watching old movies about WW II — or footage from Vietnam — or Pol Pot's annihilation of Cambodians — or what I read about in Bosnia. God has spared us that trauma.

So, having escaped Habakkuk's unenviable position, do we still have anything in common? Well — it appears my beloved country is ceasing to be "good," therefore, I believe it is only a matter time until we cease to be great. (See Alexander de Tocqueville's _"Democracy in America_") We are not found in our churches Sunday morning, and ours is what sociologists designate the post-Christian era. We risk the distinction of becoming the first generation of Americans to be certifiably biblically illiterate! But is rescuing my nation from this distinction the passion that overrules my prayers?

Hmmmmmm . . .

It does not vex me that we slaughter millions of children in abortion mills; or allow many more to be abused, so that I will cry out to God. It doesn't vex me that Christians are persecuted and violated. Nor does it so burden me that I beg God to act because the Bible is still untranslated for thousands of language groups. No, what vexes me is that my God, although HE made incredible promises to me, might be overlooking my personal piece and affluence, thus jeopardizing my comfort zone. See a few of these promises: Matthew 6:25-34, 9:2,5; Mark 2:5,9; Luke 5:20, 12:4-8; 1 John 2:12. What do they free me to do — to get *holy* vexed about? Yet He encourages me to keep on talking to HIM.

Oh God, let me have just a portion of YOU heart For I think Habakkuk knew what broke your heart: ruthlessness, violence, strife, injustice, lawlessness, persecution, and perversion of YOUR laws. Let my heart break over the events in this old world that break your heart. God, let me pray against the evil that engulfs us, instead of worrying about how to swim with the tide!

2. List every reference to God in chapter one. What do they mean to you?

* O Lord (1, 12) The troubles are not about *me* and my troubles! Instead — the real lament is for what is being done against God — who is LORD.

*I am (two x in v. 5, 6) God *IS* real, whether HE is acting or waiting to act — HE is!

*My God, my Holy One (12) The intimate, omnipotent God who is HOLY — without a shadow of turning or deception. Brilliant, beautiful and personal — why do I seek satisfaction from any other idol?

*O Rock (12) — like Mt Everest or the Great Smokies — or the Grand Canyon — God is bigger and better and unmovable — though the mountains will, one day, fall into the sea — HE will rise up?

Who is like unto God — Who is like Thee among the gods, O LORD? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders? (Exod 15:11) All my bones will say, "LORD, who is like Thee, who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, and the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him? (Ps 35:10) For Thy righteousness, O God, {reaches} to the heavens, Thou who hast done great things; O God, who is like Thee? (Ps 71:19) Who is like the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high, Who humbles himself to behold {the things that are} in heaven and in the earth? (Ps 113:5-6)

*He has pure eyes (13) and by implication, HE has a voice — for HE is silent (13) And since Habakkuk asks HIM, "how Long," God has ears. We can communicate — I am built in HIS image.

*He created (14) — what do I need that is too hard for HIM to provide?

*God is real to Habakkuk and worth waiting upon. (2:1)

So why do all too frequently look for LOVE in all the wrong places?

3. What do you think God's purpose was in using the ungodly Babylonians to punish Israel?

I do not like to think about the implications of this question! Judah had slid into despicable apostasy — worshiping idols in disgusting ceremonies. God was going to give them a little tour of duty in the most idolatrous of the ancient nations: Babylon. "You want idol-worship Israel," asked God? "I will give a close up and personal view of how idol-worshipers live." God was as good as HIS word! (See Leviticus 26)

4. Describe what they are like. (Hab 1:6-17)

God knew them and where to find them and what they were capable of doing! Yet, HE remained in control (6, 11) They were fierce and impetuous people who could overpower and seize what did not belong to them (6) They did not fear God — but were a terror to their neighbors who quickly became their captives (7-9) Conventional power amused them as they swept over it. (10-11) They stripped their captives and marched them back to Babylon with fish-hooks in their noses!

5. What in our culture might become a rod of discipline in God's hands?

* Computers might take us over some jumps: The Y-2K problems, that is.

* Abortion rates have destroyed the population base that we need to fund Social Security for the generations approaching sixty-five.

* Movies, music and culture affect our minds and spirits.

*Even education is driving us to pursue unrealistic goals — We gotta get kids into college at any price, even if we have to shave a few edges and even skip Bible study to get math done.

*Sexual promiscuity is producing disease and death.

*Our new best friends, the Chinese, might not be so great to be in bed with during next year or two.

* The media may really not be as smart as they pretend they are.

* Even the US Constitution cannot protect us from the onslaught of evil — it can just slow the persistent drips

6. What problem do the Babylonians pose for Israel and for Habakkuk?

They are a well-known, real and dangerous threat — and God who said it was gonna happen is biding HIS time. (Again check Leviticus 26 and Isaiah)
7. What puzzles you about the Lord's answer to Habakkuk's complaint?

God seems fascinated with Babylon's power — He *knows* what they are going to do to Israel! Again, I wonder? Do I trust God's control of the BIG picture when my tiny segment is fuzzy and frightening?

8. In verse 12, Habakkuk says, "we will not die." Look at the cross-references to this verse. What do these verses say and what do they mean to you?

Knowing God's promises is the important step in trusting HIS character when we cannot *see* the next step in our lives:

Deut. 33:27: "The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He drove out the enemy from before you, and said, 'Destroy!'"

Num. 23:19: "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"

Ps 90:2: "Before the mountains were born, or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God."

Mal 3:6: "For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

9. What is Habakkuk's second complaint in verse 13
?

How can a PURE God look upon evil -- How can HE therefore save when HE cannot see?

10. What does the image of the net mean? A fisherman's net caught a bounty of fish — few escaped. Who and how can Israel escape this fierce antagonist?

11. What symbols of power do we worship in our culture? How so?

Power and wealth absorb even Christians — we equate *Success* in the world's terms with mature spirituality — Military might can blow nations apart — so strongly they do not regroup, so we "worship" might. We are afraid of confrontation with ungodly, powerful nations, too.

12. How could you reword Habakkuk's question in verse 1:17 to convey your uncertainties?

Will our national enemies triumph? Will my personal "demons" destroy me, crippling my witness? Will YOU not rise up and defeat my "foes," God?

13. Which verse did you commit to memory this week from the first chapter of Habakkuk?

(Read it in several translations if you can.) How did this verse take root and grow in you this week?

I did not commit to memory but I enjoyed reading the names of God — I like thinking that God has special names that reveal HIS character and purposes — and I like know that from everlasting to everlasting, HE is God. He lives forever and by faith in HIS son, so will I.


Hope these picky answers are ok

Posted by BWSmith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 6:46 p.m., in response to The Picky Question List, posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 9:27 p.m.

In 2-4 was H worried about personal threats to his safety in a violent society? or about the backslidden condition of his fellow Israelites? Or about threats to the nation from outside powers?

*I think all three -- and I think maybe he worried most about his nation, even before his own safety -- that is just an opinion.

In v 5, why would they not believe it? Because of its intensity? Or because of the

oddness of God using a wicked nation to carry out his judgment?

*I think maybe sin had dulled their hearts -- and even Israel had become arrogant, having lived through a few "near Misses." And yes I think they may have thought, "Oh God would never do *that* to us."

In v 8, why in the evening? Are wolves hungrier then or something?

**YIKES! Good point! Israel also didn't have good lighting -- No flood lights -- they might even attack themselves in the dark, making the enemy's job easier! Death and darkness are an unnerving combo.

In v 11 it says, "Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on." Pass on to

capture more people? Or fade away when their strength wanes?

*Interesting and poignant imagery is it not? Babylonian continued to over-run nations -- until they we overrun by the Persians -- drunken and in a stupor, gloating over their success -- they couldn't see the handwriting on the wall!

5-11 Was God saying "the answer to your prayer will be the Chaldeans", or was he

saying "before I answer your prayer, it will get even worse — the Chaldeans are

coming"?

*Hmmmmm: Was He saying, "I got an answer even before you finish complaining and it's gonna knock your sox off, H?"

I tremble to think "the answer to your prayer will be the Chaldeans" -- BUT many good preachers have observed noting like a little persecution to stiffen the spines or Christians. (My little paraphrase . . . )

In v 12 the "we will not die" seems out of place to me. I don't understand where it fits in

the flow of what H is saying. Is he saying that because God never dies, His people have

protection for their own existence? Something else?

*Was H rehearsing what he believed about God's promises? I think the hardest experience is living through trouble -- really awful trouble -- and seeing others suffer and succumb. Keeping our eternal destination firmly in mind -- like Stephen did will a trick!

In v 13, "those more righteous than they" refers to the same people H was calling

unrighteous in verses 2-4, right? That is, the inhabitants of Judea are unrighteous, but

not as much as the Chaldeans?

*Yeah I think so --

In v 14, does the phrase "creeping things without a ruler over them" refer to the fact

that they have no protector or to the fact that they have no restrainer?

* Well, who comes to the protection of sea creatures who form each other's food chains? Predators attack and are driven off rarely by bigger fish, right? Either way -- it's a scary picture!

In 2:1, why does H refer to a guard post and a rampart? Is he simply using imagery

which pictures God's response as approaching like an army or a caravan? Is it possible

that H worked as a guard or something similar?

*Standing watch — could also mean being a prayer warrior? In Isaiah, watchmen on the walls mean prayer warriors, too. So — will I watch and pray though terror stalks? Will I wait for God to talk — a long time? . . .

In v 4, NASB says the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. NIV says the law is

paralyzed and justice never prevails. The first makes it sound as though people aren't

pursuing justice, the other as though those pursuing justice can't win out.

*That is an interesting point, Kevin, with many counterparts today, huh? . . .

You said: Many people compare Israel to America today, and the Chaldeans to invading armies or other catastrophes in America . . .
*I do believe we are in H's place — after reading this chapter, I am convicted I have not shown his pure passion for God's purposes, even if it includes painful chastisement. Lots of prompts this week, from our pastor's sermon forward to pray like I mean it.

You then said: But another approach is to consider the church as Israel's modern day counterpart, and America itself (along with the rest of the world) as the Chaldeans.
*I believe God doesn't "owe" America anything, especially if we continue to shake our fist in HIS face — Years ago — and I do mean years — my HS history teacher said civilization advances westward. Is China the next seat of civilization and perhaps the springboard of Christian faith?

You said: The Chaldean attack would be similar to the way the church has lost so much influence and favor in America today, and has been generally trodden down by secularism and humanism as a judgment on its departure from Biblical truth and lifestyle. What do you all think?
I think you are so right — and I grieve for how we stumble — that's why I like the comfort of
Isa 52:10: The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.
Isa 59:16-18: And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no one to intercede; then His own arm brought salvation to Him; and His righteousness upheld Him. And He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself with zeal as a mantle. According to {their} deeds, so He will repay, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the coastlands He will make recompense.

Bye for now
BWS


Re: H. 2:1

Posted by Doug Smith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 7:20 p.m., in response to H. 2:1, posted by Steve on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 10:09 a.m.

I believe our hero Habakkuk, in ch. 1, vv. 1 to 4, does what people often do; asks for relief of distressing symptoms while mistaking the symptoms for the disease. He expects God to respond and address the symptoms.
However, God doesn't waste time on the symptoms and instead responds to H's complaint by saying, vv. 5 to 11, I'm going to extirpate the underlying disease and then throw aside the bitter medicine I use to cure it.(I imagine chemotherapy is something like this. I hope I don't have to find out.)The medicine is Babylon.
I see 2:1 as H's acknowledgement that he now understands how God is going to deal with Judah's ills, accepts it, and intends to stand watch and learn more.


Re: Kevin, My thoughts on v.11

Posted by Doug Smith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 7:33 p.m., in response to Kevin, My thoughts on v.11, posted by Kristi (formerly known as Mrs. Carroll) on Thursday, 8 October 1998, at 11:44 a.m.

I don't see how the Chaldeans could avoid the future judgment of God: "They whose strength is their god." 1:11 NASB. They who, "offer a sacrifice to their net. And burn incense to their fishing net; because through these *things* their catch is large, and their food is plentiful." 1:16 NASB. Babylon would mistake God letting them run loose, for real power. Judah would not die (1:12) because God would sustain them even in humiliation by His power.


I didn't mean they would not be judged...

Posted by Kristi (formerly known as Mrs. Carroll) on Sunday, 11 October 1998, at 8:41 a.m., in response to Re: Kevin, My thoughts on v.11, posted by Doug Smith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 7:33 p.m.

Maybe I didn't word it right. What I was basically saying was I didn't feel v11 indicated specifically that God was promising they would be judged. I felt that did not happen until ch2.

Kristi


Re: Thanks!

Posted by caroline in Ca on Sunday, 11 October 1998, at 10:37 a.m., in response to OK Guys -- here's a start . . ., posted by BWSmith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 5:55 p.m.

to everyone who shed some light on this weeks study! I have been following and studying!


Bible Study-- Questions about Habakkuk 2 -- Please work on these and see how the Lord directs you this week. Questions and comments welcome!

Posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 11 October 1998, at 9:28 p.m.


Hab 2:1-20
Questions adapted from the "Serendipity Bible" and the "Inductive Bible"

To recap — Habakkuk asked God how come HE was so slow in answering prayers; God revealed some of His plans; Habakkuk didn't think this was such a great plan — but agreed to station himself and wait for God's answer. (2:1)

CHAPTER 2
Adjusting our attitudes —
When told, "Wait for it," how do you respond? What's so tough about waiting for a special dinner? What's hard about waiting for all the training you are lavishing on your children to take root? Why is it hard to "do nothing"?

Understanding what The Lord replies —

1. Mark every reference, including pronouns to the "proud" or "haughty" man. Describe what he is like.

2. How are the righteous to live in contrast to him? Does Habakkuk mean the nation or Israel — or individuals were to live by faith? Explain, please.

3. In verses 6-20 find the five "woes." Observe to whom the woe is going to come, why it will come, and what will happen when it comes. Ask God to search your heart. Would any of these woes be applicable to your lifestyle? (See John 1:9 for the comfort and cleansing God has for you when you confess and repent!)

4. What new theme does verse 18 introduce? How is it related to the fifth woes (vv 19-20)

5. What ironic point do you see here in idols silent before the people and people silent before God?

6. Compare Habakkuk 2:4 with Romans 1:16-18 and Galatians 3:10-14. How does Paul make use of this passage to a new generation? How is Paul's emphasis like and unlike Habakkuk's words?

7. Do you know someone who is "puffed up'? How do you live in their presence without also becoming "puffed up"? Is there any element of pride or haughtiness in your life that you need to deal with now?

8. What — or who — builds an empire today like Babylon — with stolen goods, unjust gain, bloodshed, is drunk with power and encourages others to do likewise? What do you learn from Habakkuk that you might do to impact a world in which such things happen?

9. What help are the affirmations in verse 14 and 20 to you?

10. What do you learn about God? His ways, His word, His character? If HE is the same yesterday, today and forever, how does such an insight influence you today — or affect your response to homeschooling your children?


Re: A great beginning. .

Posted by Deborah on Monday, 12 October 1998, at 8:07 a.m., in response to OK Guys -- here's a start . . ., posted by BWSmith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 5:55 p.m.

This passage just seemed to speak of the going-ons of today. It makes you wonder what God has planned for America to punish it for the way it has become. And then bring it closer to home, how we my family be punished for allowing the world to come in as much it does. Look forward to this week.


Re: some questions!

Posted by caroline in Ca on Monday, 12 October 1998, at 11:03 a.m., in response to OK Guys -- here's a start . . ., posted by BWSmith on Friday, 9 October 1998, at 5:55 p.m.

vexed about unpunished iniquity or inequity? God is God...he doesnt have to be equitable but He is just! Sometimes I find myself fretting over unpunished(or not dealt with...I dont really need to see punishment) sin and then remind myself that chastisement is not usually seen to the outsiders or even all parties!

Reading back on II Chron...Josiah (I like him) was an 8 year old king...and a very good or wise one. later on, there is another 8 year old King(I think) and he is considered "wicked". Is foolish another meaning for whatever word was used there? I ahve trouble with that label in an 8 year old...who probobly needs training by a Godly person. (just some thoughts)


Wicked Jehoiachin

Posted by Steve on Tuesday, 13 October 1998, at 10:10 a.m., in response to Re: some questions!, posted by caroline in Ca on Monday, 12 October 1998, at 11:03 a.m.

Caroline,

If I've understood you correctly, you were speaking of the references in 2 Chron 36:9,10 & 2 Ki 24:8,9. The relevant Hebrew in these verses is literally, "he did evil in the eyes of the Lord". The word for evil is ra'. It is very often, but not always, translated 'evil' (especially by KJV). Evil for us usually implies moral corruption, but there are other meanings for this word.

One easy way to see this is by looking at Is 45:7. The KJV says, "I make peace, and create evil...." We know that God is holy, so what does this mean? The contrast with peace is a good clue. The word ra' can mean disaster or calamity, adversity or injury (cf. Ps 10:6 & 94:13 - adversity; Jer 7:6 & 25:7 - hurt).

Unethical activity of one man against another is also referred to as ra'. In Micah 7:3 princes and judges accept bribes from the rich and pervert justice. They do ra' with both hands. Then there is plain ol' evil, abstract but clear in meaning nonetheless. It is contrasted with good in 2 Sam 14:17 and Is 5:20.

Now back to Jehoiachin. It is said that the evil he did was "according to all his father had done." If we trace the line back to Manasseh (2 Ki 21), we see that idolatry and other prohibited practices were the evil perpetrated by this line of kings. We don't have to imagine an 8 yob who is the personification of evil. We simply need to realize that his promotion (or toleration) of idolatry was an evil thing in the sight of the Lord.

In Christ,

Steve


Re:A background question

Posted by caroline in Ca on Tuesday, 13 October 1998, at 4:08 p.m., in response to Bible Study-- Questions about Habakkuk 2 -- Please work on these and see how the Lord directs you this week. Questions and comments welcome!, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 11 October 1998, at 9:28 p.m.

As you can tell, my historical background is lacking!

Did Babylonians physically harvest Lebanons timber and kill their wildlife to build Babylon? Did Babylonians and Lebanese co-exist or did Babylonians annialate the Lebanese? Were the Lebanese Godfearing people or otherwise?


This may only be as clear as mud . . .

Posted by BWSmith on Wednesday, 14 October 1998, at 8:30 p.m., in response to Re:A background question, posted by caroline in Ca on Tuesday, 13 October 1998, at 4:08 p.m.

Dear Caroline:
I skimmed through some study notes --I am not much of a scholar -- so these were OTHER's words.

You asked: Did Babylonians physically harvest Lebanon's timber and kill their wildlife to build Babylon?
Well, 2 Kings 19: 20 -28 is an interesting record of the Prophet's Isaiah's word to Hezekiah. This is a foretelling of what will happen to Israel and why — And it looks the even the remotest parts of Lebanon are gonna have company. Alas, they will lose their tall cedars {and} their choice cypresses. Its timber was used in palaces and temples and also for Phoenicians' masts and ships. (Ezra 27:5)
You asked: Did Babylonians and Lebanese co-exist or did Babylonians annihilate the Lebanese? I think the Babylonians were the rod of God's chastisement — and you may want to check Bible dictionaries and maps — I must plead ignorance.

"This territory has been an important trade center linking Europe and Asia for more than 4,000 years. Over the years, these city-states were conquered by Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, and the Greeks under Alexander the Great. Later still, Lebanon became part of the Roman Empire, and many inhabitants became Christians. But when the Arabs conquered Lebanon in the seventh century A. D. many turned to the Muslim religion. Early in the 16th century, the Arabs were overthrown by the Turks. Then in 1918 the British and French forces broke up the Turkish or Ottoman Empire and placed Lebanon under French rule. In 1943, Lebanon achieved independence. The country has continued to be the scene of strife and turmoil involving Israelis, Syrians, and Palestinian guerrillas. Civil war at times between Muslims and Christians has also added to the strife of this war torn country. (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
(Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

You asked: Were the Lebanese Godfearing people or otherwise?
Hmmmmmm. What do you mean? The nation is often used as a symbol of pride — And according to Isaiah was ripe for judgment —
"It was a "nation of the Middle East which includes much of what was ancient PHOENICIA in Bible times (see Map 9, C-1).In ancient times the Phoenicians used the citystates of Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre as the base of a great sea-trading empire in what is now Lebanon.

The Lebanon Mountains formed the northwest boundary of the land of Palestine, the "Promised Land" to the Hebrew people . The original inhabitants of Lebanon were independent, warlike tribes of Phoenician stock. Further north were the HIVITES and the GEBALITES. It is occupied today by various sects of Christians and Muslims.

Archaeological discoveries have thrown light on the Canaanites who settled in neighboring Lebanon after Israel's gradual conquest of Canaan. Hundreds of clay tablets, dating from the 15th to the 14th centuries B. C., were uncovered in the ancient city of UGARIT, now modern RAS SHAMRA in Lebanon. Inscribed in wedge-shaped letters, the tablets reveal an advanced culture with depraved religious practices.(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
(Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

"Figurative. Lebanon is used to symbolize that which is great, strong, beautiful, as: (1) the army of Asshur ; (2) a proud people ; (3) the Jews ; (4) perhaps of the Temple, in which was timber from Lebanon; (5) the mourning of Lebanon, of deep affliction ." bibliography: P. K. Hitti, History of Syria (1951); id., Lebanon in History (1957); M. K. Khayat and M. C. Keatinge, Lebanon, Land of the Cedars (1967); J. P. Brown, Lebanon and Phoenicia (1969). (from New Unger's Bible Dictionary)
(originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988.)

Now -- Howz the study helpin ya princess?
BWS


Re: Thanks!

Posted by caroline in Ca on Wednesday, 14 October 1998, at 9:50 p.m., in response to This may only be as clear as mud . . ., posted by BWSmith on Wednesday, 14 October 1998, at 8:30 p.m.

still studying!


Re: Bible Study-- Questions about Habakkuk 2 -- Please work on these and see how the Lord directs you this week. Questions and comments welcome!

Posted by Karrie on Friday, 16 October 1998, at 5:32 a.m., in response to Bible Study-- Questions about Habakkuk 2 -- Please work on these and see how the Lord directs you this week. Questions and comments welcome!, posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 11 October 1998, at 9:28 p.m.

Hi. Just a comment here. When I read Habakkuk 2 this week, verse 20 just jump up at me.....let all the earth be silent before him. Wow! There seems to be so much noise every where you go. Even in church. And please, I'm not knocking my church, but there seems to be so little time given to being silent before Him. We are taught to pray, ask for forgiveness and be forgiven but I don't recall ever being taught to just be still, really still before God.
I looked up temple in the Strong's concordance and if I'm not mistaken the root of this word means still also.
I was a little intimidated after reading some of the other posts on this study, but just felt really led to post what I received from Habakkuk 2.
With His love, Karrie


Re: That took me to Psalm 46!

Posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 16 October 1998, at 8:45 a.m., in response to Re: Bible Study-- Questions about Habakkuk 2 -- Please work on these and see how the Lord directs you this week. Questions and comments welcome!, posted by Karrie on Friday, 16 October 1998, at 5:32 a.m.

where it says--be still and know that I am God and goes on to say how he will be exalted! This leads me to an issue I have on "Church Behavior".

In addition to the actual being still for a moment to worship our Lord, I'm being led to the attitude changes that need to be made permanent in myself! I am not a gossiper, mumbler, grumbler or murmurer BUT my thoughts are never still....I just dont say them! I get impatient with His timing and I like reasons but as it is pointed out here to me...GOD IS GOD! It is encouraging me to do a study on those who waited on God!


Habakkuk 2 (a start, kind of)

Posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 16 October 1998, at 2:29 p.m.

On Monday when I started reading, I immediately thought..."ok, pride isnt an issue for me". Wrong! He seems to contrast that with a man who lives by faith. Do I live by faith??? Do I worry??? Do I try to find ways to "fix" things before the need actually arises? Is there a certain kind of pride that arises from being forgiven? From being one of the chosen? From appearing to live a righteous life? Excuse me? whos righteousness do people see, if they in fact, see any at all? Is there a certain pride in being humble? What is the feeling behind the fact that we are able to homeschool and know that WE are doing the best for our children?

Later on, it says that the Lord will destroy the evil...Zachariah basically says the same thing but his phrase is something like ...those who wear foreign clothes will be destroyed...foreign clothes as opposed to 'His righteous robes'?

Could it be that we may be rubbing elbows in heaven with people who lived the Habakkuk way for 90 years and then in a death bed changed their foreign clothes for His righteous robes? Us? After 40 or 50 years of walking the narrow way?

Psalms says "be still and Know that I am God!" similar to verse 20!

Am I faithful in praying for the ungodly? Am I faithful in praying for the Christians that may do ungodly things or have ungodly attitudes? Do I pray that the Lord convicts ME of my ungodliness? Do I rejoice when God changes people, attitudes, me, my husband? How do I react when he changes my husband and my husband expects me to follow? Do I get comfortable in His righteousness forgetting whos it is?

In my homeschooling, am I preparing my childdren to live in Gods righteousness or am I sending well educated young adults towards destruction? Am I raising children with compassion to be compassionate?


What I learned from Habakkuk 2 -- made me uncomfortable.

Posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 17 October 1998, at 9:20 p.m.


Hab 2:1-20
Questions adapted from the "Serendipity Bible" and the "Inductive Bible"

My thoughts about this chapter — It makes me ill at ease. I want to avert my eyes and perhaps my heart from why God has preserved this minor prophet's message. Which may be why the first question bugged me.

The cross references in my Bible for 2:1 include Isaiah 21:8 and Psalm 3:5-6: I do not stand continually, nor am I " stationed every night at my guard post." I forget that I can lay down and sleep, and then awake, for the LORD sustains me. What's more, little fears get me — let alone fear of "ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about." (Which is what Habakkuk faced!) But it is the perfect lead in for understanding that the righteous will live by [her] faith — not her fear.

Adjusting MY attitudes —
I hate waiting — no matter what my pretense of "patience is — I anticipate delights, but the daily disappointments war with my composure — Having to wait underscores how out of control I really am — yet Habakkuk waited during times I would have high-tailed it out! The depth of his confidence in the goodness of GOD kept him anchored, even knowing a reproof might come.

Understanding what The Lord replies —

The vision of the haughty man — a symbol of Babylon — that God wanted recorded: "his soul is not right within him . . ." The righteous must not look like him. "Wine," perhaps a symbol for license betrays an insatiable appetite for unrestrained passions and how deadly they are. Just a glimmer of how I look without Christ . . ."Surely, not I, Lord?"

The righteous is to live by his faith — Israel was to trust God although the most dreadful nation of the ancient world was fixing to invade. And so am I — no matter what I fear — or fail to fear — that will invade my personal peace and affluence. So I think Habakkuk meant both his nation and himself. It would be commendable if my country would live by faith in the Living God,
but my nation is not Israel's descendent — so I read this passage for me, personally and for the Church. Both of us falter here, forgetting what God's command is: LIVE by faith and not by fears.

Does anybody else get afraid — of failing with homeschooling, to love like Christ, to serve, to stand — ? This week I see how opposite world I think most of the time, even on a good day.

Just for the record: I *hated* the question on woes. I am sorry I copied it from the Serendipity Bible! I think the woes generally refer to Babylon who gets caught in its own net. I think about that dinner in Babylon when the handwriting was on the wall — this is how a woe plays out.

What could this possibly have to do with me? This week, I remembered some corners I conveniently cut: no big deal — but certainly the foundation of potentially big deals.

2:6-7 — being slow pay on bills that are due

2:8 — forgetting to pray for the Middle East and Bosnia —

2:9-10 — refusing to become better informed and vocal about how my local and national government serve and protects its citizens.

2:11 — Getting lazy about extolling God — HE will make the stones cry out.

2:12 — "Forgetting" that a portion of what makes my nation go comes from bloodshed, real-life (abortion) and make-believe (violent media), and asking God to forgive my generation.
(Isaiah 6 and Daniel 9)

2:15 — "Forgetting" confession and repentance for my generation's foolish dependence upon disgraceful amusements that entrap others.

Am I "over-reacting"? If I get a belly-full of this nation's silliness reported on the evening news, what does God feel like? Yet, I skip over contrition and confession, I neglect to ask for mercy and restoration of a healthy fear of God for my nation and its leaders from the President on down to the county council! This week I think I thought about the fact, if God decided to shake this nation shortly — He's not necessarily gonna place me in a band-box and cover me with gauze so I don't fall and break!

And I hate thinking about my idols! (2:18) Stuff that occupies my time and seems so innocuous — yet robs me of thinking about God and serving Him. I spend too much time looking at machines, whether they are electronic connections to friends, or labor-saving devices, or traveling conveyances — and all the while THE Living God waits for my attention. This week I think I heard HIM clear His throat while studying this chapter.


Sounds like this chapter got to you, too! (nt)

Posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 17 October 1998, at 9:22 p.m., in response to Habakkuk 2 (a start, kind of), posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 16 October 1998, at 2:29 p.m.

*


Re: What I learned from Habakkuk 2 -- made me uncomfortable.

Posted by Lori Barre'/WA on Sunday, 18 October 1998, at 11:58 a.m., in response to What I learned from Habakkuk 2 -- made me uncomfortable., posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 17 October 1998, at 9:20 p.m.

EXACTLY...God seems to be bringing awareness of our actions, thoughts, etc. to a new level.
I have also heard him clearing his throat lately and it isn't a good feeling. Just a little bit convicting. But also knowing he has his finger on you at all times has some security to it.
Thank you for sharing.
Lori Barre'


Mountain-mastering Faith: This week's Bible Study: Habakkuk 3.

Posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 18 October 1998, at 10:06 p.m.


Habakkuk Chapter 3:1-19
Questions adapted from the "Serendipity Bible" and the "Inductive Bible"

So, if YOU heard the Living Lord clear His throat this week — if you got a glimpse of what is gripping your heart and stumbling your walk — are you ready to study how Habakkuk prayed?
Did Habakkuk share a vision similar to the one that hushed Isaiah, when that prophet saw the Lord high and lifted up? (Isaiah 6)

The Serendipity Bible begins this section by asking, "What's your favorite spot from which to view the sunset?" Who has *time* for sunsets when you're homeschooling and homemaking, right? Maybe that's part of our problems. We get so enmeshed in fears and frustrations, we forget to look up and see our salvation draws nigh. If you haven't looked at a sunset — or sunrise; if you haven't looked at the moon and stars and marveled about the God who names them and keeps them in their appointed places, maybe today is the day to "wonder."

The Inductive Study Bible points out that this prayer is in the form of a poem: "a statement is made and then is followed by a similar statement which heightens the meaning or repeats the truth in another way."
1. Speculate upon when you think Habakkuk may have written this poem.

2. Read and see who is doing what — to whom, when and why? What does Habakkuk's prayer teach you about God? About Habakkuk's relationship to God?

3. Why can the once woeful prophet afford to be so joyful? How has his situation changed?

4. How do you think Habakkuk is going to live?

5. How are wrath and mercy related?

6. To what historical events do the poetic allusions refer?

Verses 3-5, see Exodus: 7-12

Verses 6-7, see Exodus: 19:16

In verses 8-10, what do you see poetically created?

Compare this verse with Psalm 74:12-17 and 77:16-19

7. How does reciting God's past deeds energize your faith today?

8. What evidence doe Habakkuk have for rejoicing? Is it evidence enough for you -- what more do you need? Why?

9. When and how has God worked in your past that remembering, gives you confidence for tomorrow?

10. How does Habakkuk get his sure-footed confidence?

11. Where do you want God to renew His work in your life — Where are you still waiting?

12. Any speculation on why you are still waiting?

13. How did studying Habakkuk's prayer change your prayer life this week? Try rewriting Habakkuk's prayer — in your own words.


Re: What I learned from Habakkuk 2 -- made me uncomfortable.

Posted by Lily on Monday, 19 October 1998, at 5:13 a.m., in response to Re: What I learned from Habakkuk 2 -- made me uncomfortable., posted by Lori Barre'/WA on Sunday, 18 October 1998, at 11:58 a.m.


WOW!! yes, this chapter brought alot of *stuff* to the surface! Pride.....seems like pride is the root of many things....when i am upset about something or miffed...I have really been looking into this and it seems like it is a pride issue...Please help me and forgive me Lord! The patience of Hab. struck me as awesome.He pleaded(or complained) to God. But then he KNEW!!!! That once he asked all he had to do was wait patientlt for Gods answer. He didnt only wait patiently , but in the best possible place the watchtower!! Where he knew he would *se* Gods answer. Am I always waiting patiently ? And if I am is it in the best possible way?? Hmmmmm. Question 5 was an interesting one...People worship idols that cannot answer back or have a relationship with them...God is there just waiting with open loving arms to have a relationship with people and they are silent!! I loved vss 14and 20. It just goes to show that in EVERY situation there is a reason to praise god and to have hope in Him!!! He certainly is wonderful and faithful.
One of the idols that popped in my mind was curriculum.We are always sooo concerned with that, How often do we spend money on a curr. and find out later God had other ideas for us.Another way to go..We need to be reminded of why we are homeschooling in the first place.
This has been been very good.
Thanks BW. for your stepping out and putting this together.
Blessings!!!!


OK ... here are my thoughts on Habakkuk 1 ... What's that? LAST week? (*** sheepish look ***) Sorry, I guess I'm a week late. Oh well - with luck, by the time you all finish the James study, I should be about done with Habakkuk!

Posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 19 October 1998, at 7:22 a.m.

Hi,

This may or may not be of interest. It's long, long, long. I am posting it anyway, hope no one minds!

Anyway, here's what I've seen since last week. The major portions of the first section seem to go like this.

Habakkuk 1-2:1

H = Habakkuk

v. 1 -- introduces whole book
Note: interestingly, the "oracle" is not just God speaking but a dialogue between God and H.

2-4 H's first prayer
Theme: distress over the injustice he sees in Israel.

5-11 God's first response -- that He will raise up the Chaldeans to judge unrighteous Israel. Most of the passage is devoted to a description of the ruthlessness and arrogance of the Chaldeans.

12-2:1 H's response. He understands and accepts the judgment of Israel, but is disturbed that in bringing that judgment God will be using someone even more godless.

It's interesting that while in our day we mainly ask "why do you allow us to suffer", H was actually asking "why don't you judge the wicked". This partly reflects a shift in the NT, but mainly a shift away from the concepts of sin and judgment in our day, I suspect.

It's also interesting that the bulk of the passage is devoted to describing the wicked, while the major theological points are made in verse 1, 2, 5-6, 12-13, 2:1. I think it's not too hard to see the meat in the latter verses, but I'd like to learn more about God's view of wickedness from the rest.

===========

Anyway, I sometimes pretend I'm putting together sermon outlines on various passages, as an aid to study. Of course, I never really get to preach these (perhaps I will someday)! I'm a little reluctant to admit that I do this, it sounds arrogant to me. I ask you to take my word for it that I wasn't so much looking for a soapbox as just trying to understand the implications of the passage a little better. :-) The sermons range beyond the book of H, but the theme of each was motivated by H and I tried to keep somewhat connected with it.

========

Sermon outline 1

The book of H doesn't just show us a prophesy from God but lets us glimpse H at prayer. We can learn from the book about developing our own prayer life.

Key idea — H's prayer was a DIALOGUE, involving both talking to God and listening to Him.
(An important foundation for anyone seeking effective speaking ministry for God.)

Four keys to developing this kind of dialogue-oriented prayer life.
1. Simple honesty and trust. (Don't worry about being eloquent.)

H's prayers in 1:2, 2:1 — note the bold honesty. He is REAL in his praying.

What kind of praying is important to God?
God looks at worship inwardly, not based on externals. John 4:19-24. It's the same for prayer. Matthew 6:5-8. Avoid worrying about how you sound to others, or how eloquent you are, when you pray. God doesn't answer our prayers based on how well we phrase them, but based on our simple trust that He hears us.

So don't aim at eloquence. Do aim at a simple trust in God. Do aim at honesty and authenticity.

2. Learn to listen to God.
Read 1:2 (H asks a question), 1:5 (God answers), 1:12-14 (H asks another question). Emphasize 2:1.

First question is, are we willing to hear what God has to say.
The key to hearing God speak is having open hearts (Matthew 13:3-23, Heb 3-4). Usually we don't want to hear, because He is trying to convict us of sin or wants us to change something. Psalm 81:8-16. So first, settle that we are willing to hear from God.

Secondly, how do we hear God?
It's not usually a voice from the sky! (probably not even for H.).
-- First, His Word, second, His Spirit.

His Word:
Read 1:12 -- H is rehearsing Scriptural truth in his mind, remembering what he knows God has already said. Learn to accept what God has already said, even when it doesn't feel true.

His Spirit:
The Holy Spirit speaks to us as we pray ...
He speaks to us in our own thoughts. That is, He brings things to our minds which we wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Usually God speaks to a) convict us of sin or b) encourage us with a Scriptural promise. We need to double check that whatever we think God told us is Scriptural. 1 Thess 5:21-22; 1 John 4:1. But usually, it's obvious once we see it — we were just closing our minds to it before.

3. Desire
Read H's prayers a little -- hear the passion? Sometimes prayer is best when it comes from fervent desire

Two Scriptures I've found practically helpful:
-- Matthew 20:32 — It sounds like a strange question. Wasn't it obvious what they wanted? But they needed to recognize it and be willing to ask for it.
How I've found this helpful: Sometimes I pray around and around a subject, never really getting to the point. It helps to clarify and settle my faith if I imagine the Lord asking me, "Kevin, just what exactly do you want me to do for you?"

-- Romans 8:26-27. Explain the context and the meaning. (Note: this verse is NOT, repeat, NOT talking about tongues, but about deep longings in our hearts that are beyond any utterance. Just like the groanings of creation. It means that the Spirit in us yearns for the image of Christ to be formed in us, and expresses this longing in constant prayer for us.)
How I've found this helpful: Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by a situation and unable to pray for it. I remember that the Spirit within me is praying for it, with a deep desire for the Lord's will to be accomplished. I align my prayers so that I am merely agreeing with Him.

4. Time
v 2 — "How long ..." — proves H has been praying about the situation for a long time now.
Compare 2:1 also. Sometimes we pray for a long time before we get much of an answer — we have to keep praying, not give up — Luke 18:1-8.

Two aspects
-- Consistent, persistent prayer
-- Sometimes we need a long time in prayer at one sitting

I used to read about people praying for, say, an hour, and wonder how they could do it. What was there to say that takes an hour? For example, if I am praying for a friend to be saved, I can say "Lord, please save my friend." What am I supposed to say for the next 59 minutes and 55 seconds, I'd wonder!

That just shows I wasn't thinking of prayer as a dialogue. Once I start letting God convict me of my role in that friend's salvation, and my motives for the prayer — once I start letting Him remind me of promises I can cling to — once I ask myself what my real desires are, and why, and start opening up honestly about what I hope will happen, and what I fear won't happen, and what frustrates me in my attempts to make a difference ... all of a sudden, I've got TONS to pray about!

-- Is 40:31 and other verses refer to the faith that waits for God's answer even when it seems slow in coming.

============

2. Evil in chapter 1
Intro: H's basic question is "Why don't you judge the wicked?" because he knows that evil people are all around. Our basic question these days is "Why do you let the good suffer?" because we don't really believe in evil...

a. Depravity of man
Today's views — that man is basically good, just messed up because of his environment — if we had a perfect society, man would be shown as basically good.

Biblical view — that (unredeemed) man is basically evil. Because of the various authority structures God has placed on the earth, his evil is restrained to some degree, but if we had true anarchy, so that every man did what was right in his own eyes, man would be shown as basically evil.

Total depravity means every aspect of a human being is created by God, but twisted by evil.
For example, physically: we are fearfully and wonderfully made, but we also see death and disease and tragic mutations, etc. Intellectually and emotionally and in every other way our basic God-given design has been warped by sin.

b. Abuse of power
Take a look at the descriptions of evil throughout this passage.
2 — Violence
3 — Iniquity and wickedness; Destruction and violence; strife and contention
4 — Law is ignored and justice defeated. The wicked surround the righteous and twist justice.

6 — fierce, impetuous; seizing what is not theirs
7 — dreaded, feared; self-claimed power
8 — power and destruction — hunger for plunder
9 — violence and power
10 — arrogant mockery
11 — offense to others; THEIR STRENGTH IS THEIR GOD
That last phrase is the key to the whole description.

13 — treachery, swallowing up the righteous
14-15 — the unrestrained aggressiveness of the wicked
15-16 — their joy and blatant arrogance in disregarding the true God and true morality
16-17 — their greedy appetite to continually attack and gain more plunder; without sparing

What picture is described?
Violent and destructive;
Ruthlessness (they have no mercy or compassion)
Unrestrained power
Unrestrained greed
Arrogance based on the fact that their strength is their god.

The point is: the emphasis in this chapter is on the evil of those in power. Normally, the government is designed by God to keep evil under restraint. The rulers are supposed to protect the powerless from injustice and ruthlessness. But when the powerful are unrestrained, things really get bad.

The parallel to us should be obvious — we need to take very seriously how we deal with those we have authority over (or power over in more informal ways). As parents, as fathers, as pastors, as employers, as disciplers, as board moderators, as wealthy people, as White Anglo Saxon Protestants, etc.

It's interesting to consider the opposite of the items above. As we lead, are we characterized by being:
Gentle, bringing healing
Full of compassion and mercy
Accountable to God and other authorities
Content with what we have
Humble before God

c. The Scriptural response to rulers who abuse their power is never to rebel, but to wait for God to judge.

==============

3. The paradox — In this passage, the emphasis is that God uses the wicked to accomplish His own purposes, and how strange this seems.

Foundation — it's definitely true that He does this. Compare Rom 8:28, Gen 50:20. Consider the cross — God used the injustice of the Romans, the Pharisees, the mob, Judas to bring about our redemption. God is constantly using the evil of men for his own purposes.

We may be able to explain this intellectually, and yet still have trouble grasping it emotionally.

Look at God's actions dealing with the wicked in 6 ways.
-- Sometimes he hears and saves the righteous (v 2), rescuing them from trouble. He didn't in H's case, but there are many cases where He did. (Give examples ... )
-- Sometimes, he preserves the righteous (v 12), so that they endure the trouble and survive it.

-- Sometimes He raises up the wicked (v 6) -- emphasize the inevitability of what He raises up, that we can't escape it
-- Sometimes He appoints and establishes them (v 13) -- emphasize his purposes in it

-- Sometimes he is silent (toward those we'd expect him to reprove -- v 14)
-- but sometimes he explains (to those who ask -- 2:2ff)

=============

Let me comment on one final thing. I believe the most direct application of these principles is not to our nation, but to the church; that in such an application the Chaldeans represent not other nations, but the unbelievers in our own nation. Last week I heard part of a broadcast on Focus on the Family. Dobson was talking about the concerted effort across the nation (and even the whole world) to paint Christians as the bad guys — to see them as the villains for almost all the evils of society. He expressed real concern that we may be in for increasing persecution in the future.

I see this as part of a larger trend. From about 300 AD to about 1500 AD, the real enemies of Christianity were other religions and corruption within its own ranks. But gradually in the last 5 centuries, a remarkable change has occurred — an atheistic, scientifically oriented philosophy has arisen, taking various forms in various centuries, which has been successfully challenging Christianity in arena after arena. Gradually, the world is being converted over from a Christian world view (which they didn't really believe, but just inherited) to an atheistic and materialistic one. A truly secular viewpoint has been fighting against any belief in God, spiritual absolutes, or the supernatural, and it's been winning. We are seeing a general conversion to that philosophy.

It's inevitable that as that philosophy gains in popularity, it moves to attack Christianity.

I think this new challenge is something the church must learn to meet — and so far, in 5 centuries, we've not done all that great a job. I think that God may use this secular attack on us, especially in this country, to wake us up — to correct us. The arrogance and self-claimed authority of secular humanism, its power to claim credibility and leave Christianity on the fringes, and its growing ruthlessness as it begins to live by its claims that morality is relative are already starting to look like a movement whose strength is its god.

Perhaps our greatest need is not to call the nation to repentance, but the church to repentance — and not repentance from the obvious sins only but from the complacency and materialism and divisiveness that keep distracting us from the things that really matter. Sometimes it seems like the church is simply trying to find better methods to win the world back, instead of seeking the Lord for conviction and direction.

Now on to chapter 2 !! :-)

In Him,
Kevin Megill


Habakkuk 2

Posted by Kevin Megill on Monday, 19 October 1998, at 7:28 a.m., in response to Re: What I learned from Habakkuk 2 -- made me uncomfortable., posted by Lily on Monday, 19 October 1998, at 5:13 a.m.

Hi,

So, maybe I missed it, but who did we decide is talking all through chapter 2? Is it all spoken by God, from verse 2 on (even verses 14, 20)? With 2-3 saying "Record this vision" and 4-20 giving the vision?

In Him,
Kevin Megill


Re: Mountain-mastering Faith: This week's Bible Study: Habakkuk 3.

Posted by Kelly, MO on Friday, 23 October 1998, at 7:30 p.m., in response to Mountain-mastering Faith: This week's Bible Study: Habakkuk 3., posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 18 October 1998, at 10:06 p.m.

I have been keeping up with the study even though I haven't been a contributor here!

The most awesome thing that I found in chapter 3
is the solid faith that Habbakkuk had in God. When Israel was a baby nation just starting out with Jacob (Genesis 28 18-21); he said this in verse 20-21: "*If* (italics mine) God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God." Then as we know Israel grew to a giant nation and had many ups and downs and God proved Himself to them time and again. In Hab. 3 we see the grown-up Israel saying in vs 17: "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food...Yet I will rejoice in the Lord..."

So many times my faith is built on the things that I can physically see God doing. If it's good I'm happy - if not - weeellllll.... I want to have the faith of Habukkuk and rejoice in the Lord *always* in every situation.


Wrapping Up Habakkuk: Habakkuk Chapter 3:1-19

Posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 24 October 1998, at 11:00 a.m., in response to Mountain-mastering Faith: This week's Bible Study: Habakkuk 3., posted by BWSmith on Sunday, 18 October 1998, at 10:06 p.m.

Finally! I checked out a time-line in the "Inductive Bible Study" and found my friend with the funny name lived in the time of King Josiah. (See 640 - 609 BC) These were great days for Judah: They had rediscovered the Law in 622 BC.

Her king, Josiah, was serious minded; he was more devoted to God than Solomon or David: "And before him there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him." (II Kings 23:25) Moreover the people responded: "And Josiah removed all the abominations from all the lands belonging to the sons of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel to serve the LORD their God. Throughout his lifetime they did not turn from following the LORD God of their fathers." (2 Chr. 34:33)

Couldn't Habakkuk have come up with a more benign message than a bunch of complaints and woes? Remember Manasseh? God did and HE had a belly-full of HIS people's foolishness. (See 2 Chr. 34:24-28: ". . . thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I am bringing evil on this place and on its inhabitants, {even} all the curses written in the book which they have read in the presence of the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place, and it shall not be quenched . . . " ) The mercy and wrath of God go hand-in- hand. He mercifully sent a man to rule whose heart was soft; HE let His people rediscover the word and enabled them to worship. However, He is as good as HIS word and meant to pour out HIS wrath on rebels.

Yikes! I did hear an "Eh-Hem" — more than once these past few weeks — And I see that I do
often "presume" upon the grace of God with an attitude that is not always humble reliance.
Such an attitude is ruinous — and I can say with the prophet Isaiah: "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a [woman] of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." (Isa 6:5) I am sorry that I too often mix my praises and petitions with peevishness!

So I needed this study — to take time and remember that although I live in a historical time of "peace"; although I do not "suffer" for my faith — and although I do have freedom to study my Bible and worship without fear, a time is coming . . . when the world *will* be turned upside down, as surely as the promise of the Babylonian invasion threatened Habakkuk! Therefore, taking time to remember God — His majesty and power and grace and beauty — is not just a privilege but a responsibility and a precaution — for the days are evil, even if they are calm and familiar.

1. Speculate upon when you think Habakkuk may have written this poem.

Hmmmmm. Maybe Habakkuk prayed when he reread Leviticus 26-27?

Maybe when he understood that what happened to the Northern Kingdom would be playing in theaters near him? Maybe after hearing Jeremiah preach?

2. Read and see who is doing what — to whom, when and why?

God acts — in history, and all creation reacts. God rescues His people. (3: 13) He acts for the sake of His reputation which is known (3:1)

What does Habakkuk's prayer teach you about God?

He acts so that we all can see — He commits Himself to be described; we can check and see if He is as good as HIS word! When HE acts, nothing can withstand His power — NO created thing. (So, why am I worrying?) His actions are determined — for salvation of His people and destruction of His opposition. He is *not* a quixotic god, like the idols that kept alluring His people, Israel -- and me.

About Habakkuk's relationship to God?

Habakkuk's relationship to God was more real than the terror that was about to engulf his people — Is my relationship to God more real than my frustrations and disappointments? Can I recall God's actions of old, and are they as real to me as they were to Habakkuk? Or do I discount HIS wonders and relegate then only to Sunday school lessons?

3. Why can the once woeful prophet afford to be so joyful? How has his situation changed?

Prayer changed his mind — it renewed his heart with truth, though his situation did not change. Prayer does not automatically mean I get a pass from my troubles — But prayer can be a path through my troubles. (Read Isaiah 43!) Prayer "righted" his soul — so. . . .

4. How do you think Habakkuk is going to live? I think Habakkuk will live by his faith, which he "informed" by rehearsing the mighty deeds of his mighty God.

"Mighty is our God; Mighty is our KING; Mighty is our God — He's the RULER of *everything*!" Now act on that, Barbara!

5. How are wrath and mercy related?

Like love and marriage — you can't have one without the other, period. What good is God's wrath unless it is restrained by HIS holy purpose: Redemption? What good is forgiveness of debtors apart from justice for afflicted? If I covet God's forgiveness for my transgressions, then God requires BLOOD. (See Heb 9:22: "And according to the Law, {one may} almost {say} all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.") If I seek justice — God promises His own that HE will act "on that day." (Another interesting word study.)

6. To what historical events do the poetic allusions refer?

Verses 3-5, see Exodus: 7-12 — The EXODUS

Verses 6-7, see Exodus: 19:16 Moses brought the people to meet God (19:17, too.)

In verses 8-10, what do you see poetically created?

Is this a vision of God acting in history, poetically delivering His people? Or is this a picture of the Flood, in which God preserved Noah and his family? Verse 11 might suggest the battle where the sun went backwards — I am not sure, but Habakkuk was. Is that how real God's power is to me? That I could write word pictures of HIS mighty actions - word pictures that would be my sure defense when the enemy assaults and my flesh fails?

Compare this verse with Psalm 74:12-17 and 77:16-19

These whole Psalms are great! Today when blustering "bullies" strut and puff — when I lapse into the lie that somehow I am in charge of even a fraction of my life — the psalmist reminds me in Psalm 74:12-17: Though I can't part dishwater, God divides the seas. Though I can barely catch fall crickets, the God who shed HIS blood for me: "didst break the heads of the sea monsters in the waters. Thou didst crush the heads of Leviathan; Thou didst give him as food for the creatures of the wilderness." Though I languish, blinded by "griefs" and disappointments — God works. I sometimes have trouble making a cup of decent coffee and "Thine is the day, Thine also is the night; Thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast established all the boundaries of the earth; ***Thou hast made summer and winter.***"

So why do I think He can't handle rascally kids and wretched finances and ruined relationships? If He didn't lose His people, but led them like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron — will He not lead me? Maybe it refusing to come to grips with what this kind of faith is that underscores the distress that punctuates so much of contemporary Christian "conversation?"

7. How does reciting God's past deeds energize your faith today? WHAT will I face today that God's people have not already faced? Well — cancer, AIDS, nuclear winter, anorexia, abortion, euthanasia, bankruptcy, Y-2K, children who marry unbelievers, corrupt leaders — Hey! Could all this just be other words for Babylon and all her terrors?

Yet HE did not misplace one soul in the Remnant — His eye is on the sparrow — and if I know HE watches me — why am I so prone to slide into discouragement? Not today, by HIS grace — not today.

8. What evidence doe Habakkuk have for rejoicing? HIS-tory! The word of God, who cannot lie.

Is it evidence enough for you -- what more do you need? Why? God forgive me for "demanding" more — what more can You say than YOU have said in Christ Jesus?

9. When and how has God worked in your past that remembering, gives you confidence for tomorrow?

God, You were under no obligation to rescue such a rebel as I and give me such a hope and an inheritance that can never be shaken — no matter who knocks at the door with bad news. Thank you and keep that knowledge foremost in my brain and heart.

Make it the refrain of every conversation I have -- every lesson I plan and every opportunity I have to serve.

10. How does Habakkuk get his sure-footed confidence?

First, he "waited" — in the face of devastation, he waited. Maybe my propensity to rush in — where angels fear to tread — is why I fall down so often.

Then he simply trusted God — when it was the hardest thing to do. When God's people who had enjoyed a revival of major proportions under Josiah — who had gotten rid of the idols and turned back to God, God allowed the Babylonians to call on Israel. When loathsome people with debauched habits invaded the Temple and murdered and looted — and God did "nothing,"

Habakkuk trusted the unseen heart of God. He *willed* exultation in the LORD; he willed to rejoice in the God of his salvation. Maybe my will gets in the way of my climbing higher for God? Exultation and rejoicing are the result of a heart that is overflowing with the knowledge of God — if my heart is uninformed by Truth, how can I *will* to magnify God — it becomes hollow — like the echo of one who is falling *off* a mountain instead of climbing higher!

11. Where do you want God to renew His work in your life — Where are you still waiting?

This is private — but I can see that I wait because my flesh gets in the way — and my unbelief. (Mark 9:24)
12. Any speculation on why you are still waiting? Again Mark 9:24 — and the insistence on relinquishing my way.

13. How did studying Habakkuk's prayer change your prayer life this week? Try rewriting Habakkuk's prayer — in your own words.
Hab 3:1-19

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, rewritten, according to BWS 80)

LORD, I studied your prophet this week -- and read his words of faith. As I read, holy fear griped my heart -- but the constriction was life-giving! O LORD, rekindle Thy work in the midst of my life. In the midst of thy church ignite a blaze that burns away our dross and makes us shine in beauty. In your righteous anger over my sin, thank you for the blood of Jesus Christ by which we may enjoy Your mercy.

God, You are ever present — indescribable — resplendently breathtaking, for without YOU -- air, life, does not exist!

You have acted in history so that we might know YOU and see your footsteps with eyes of faith.

Nothing formed can come against your people or your enemies that does not serve YOUR glory — Nothing. No undone lesson, unfaithful spouse, rebel, or sin — will stand.

Yet, You are everlasting. The record of YOUR might acts are wholly trustworthy, although at times they seem fantastic -- Your actions are real: leveling mountains, parting the seas, literally stopping the sun in its course so that your people prevail. You fought and will fight for your people — You are unwilling that any should perish!

Learning the lengths to which You will go to deliver and preserve Your own shakes the core of my being — No plan that man forms will stand, yet deliverance is YOUR business, not mine. Therefore, Habakkuk teaches me to wait quietly.

I will watch — and pray — though a foreign invasion beset us.

O God, though famine stalks because the computers implode our world; though crops wither and natural resources dwindle, I will look to YOU for that which I need to sustain me. (I will practice that today by *waiting* for hunger and STOP eating when I am full. I will by your grace eschew greed!)

I will trust YOU God — although my cupboards are bare — though the grocer is without produce — and though all appears lost in a snarl of useless computers, Yet I *will* delight in the LORD, I will enjoy the God of my salvation.

It is YOU Lord GOD who is my strength, not what the world says is strength — but YOU. For YOU will make my feeble ankles to stand; You will lead me to limits which were
unimaginable — YOU will prepare me to walk on my high places.

Hallelujah, I am ready! Help thou my unbelief!


Hi Kelly! You've made some good points. (nt)

Posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 24 October 1998, at 11:02 a.m., in response to Re: Mountain-mastering Faith: This week's Bible Study: Habakkuk 3., posted by Kelly, MO on Friday, 23 October 1998, at 7:30 p.m.

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Re: Wrapping Up Habakkuk: Habakkuk Chapter 3:1-19

Posted by Lily on Saturday, 24 October 1998, at 1:39 p.m., in response to Wrapping Up Habakkuk: Habakkuk Chapter 3:1-19, posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 24 October 1998, at 11:00 a.m.


You bring up many wonderful things....I do appreciate you doing this study .It has been an eye opener in many ways. It has refreshed my soul. I cannot tell you the number of people I have shared the study,the questions and my thoughts. Thanks so uch!!! Much of the answers to the questions are personal...but it was very thought provoking.
Question 2- What does H. prayer teach me about God. That He is just, merciful(Yes, I feel that anger and mercy go hand in hand also.) loving ,caringfaithful..That we may have confidence and hope in Him. And that no matter what is going on we will be able to have faith in Him, Praise Him...He is worthy of all that!
3. Why can the woeful prophet afford to be sooo joyful? He has a wonderful relationship with the loving God. He knows God will answer Him.We shouldnt be afraid to address our questions to God directly. We need to expect to receive a whole new understanding when we ask.He understands that once he has prayed and let it all out ..that God has heard asnd will act. Oh , i pray that I can show my faith always like that ..instead of letting the little frustrations and annoyances take over. Hab. trusts God to show His powwer. ..and take hold of the situation.
4. H will live by faith.
7. Remembering all that my Heavenly Father does for me indeed reenergizes my faith...He has always been incredible in my life. Oh Lord, help me to remember sooner. Before i get irritated.

Why am I still waiting?? Well, there may be many reasons... one I am sure has to do with my relationship to Him and being where I need to be
I also need to be listening to Him,and rejoicing in all that He has done and continues to do in my life. To see how He is working daily not only to wonder about future events!!!
Well, to whoever reads Thanks for listening.
I am ready for the next one!!!
Blessings,


Some Links on Habakkuk

Posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 24 October 1998, at 6:55 p.m., in response to Wrapping Up Habakkuk: Habakkuk Chapter 3:1-19, posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 24 October 1998, at 11:00 a.m.

Calvin's Commentary upon Habakkuk
http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-cvhab.html
Ray Stedman on Habakkuk
http://www.pbc.org/dp/stedman/adventure/0235.html


A day late and a dollar short, but

Posted by Becky C. on Monday, 26 October 1998, at 11:51 a.m., in response to Some Links on Habakkuk, posted by BWSmith on Saturday, 24 October 1998, at 6:55 p.m.

I enjoyed going through this study. The black ran out of my printer, I might have to use purple on the next one. :o)
Anyway, chapter 2 really applied to my life and prideful attitudes therein. Hab 2:9 hit me between the eyes: "setting a nest on high to be delivered from the power of evil". As I have been confronted with the less than angelic behavior of my "perfect little hs ds's" towards those "usuitable ps kids", I have been humbled. My pride and superior attitude paved the way for their unkind actions. But God has been good and after we appologized, one family even came to church on Sun!
Thanks BWS, I'll try to jump on before the train pulls out of the track next study :o)
-Becky C.


Re: And later and shorter!

Posted by caroline in Ca on Monday, 26 October 1998, at 5:50 p.m., in response to A day late and a dollar short, but, posted by Becky C. on Monday, 26 October 1998, at 11:51 a.m.

I was cleaning my bookcase today and found a book called...The Acrostic Bible Summarized...(this book is copyright-free) It presents a word or phrase for each book of the Bible. The word or phrase has as many letters and there are chapters in the book! Each letter stands for the main thought in the chapter.

Habakkuk
WHY?
1. Why is evil unpunished
2. Haughty Chaldea will fall
3. Yielding to Gods sovereignty