The Book of Habakkuk
James J. Barker
OH LORD, REVIVE THY WORK
- Since we interrupted our
series the past two weeks on account of our special Christmas Eve and New Year’s
Eve service, I will briefly review.
- The book of Habakkuk can be
easily outlined into three parts.
CHAP. 1 - The prophet Habakkuk is
CHAP. 2 - The prophet Habakkuk is
CHAP. 3 - The prophet Habakkuk is
- In Chapter 1, we see the
PERPLEXED PROPHET who brought his problem to the Lord.
- In Chapter 2, we see the
WAITING PROPHET who received the answer from the Lord.
- In Chapter 3, we see the
REJOICING PROPHET who was strengthened in the Lord.
- In Chapter 1, the prophet
Habakkuk was perplexed, but thank God he is no longer perplexed. He has heard from heaven. Now he is
worshipping God. Let me ask you:
Are you worshipping God? Is
that why you are here this evening?
To worship God? I hope so.
- The third chapter of
Habakkuk is a poem, apparently a hymn, an anthem of praise (cf. 3:19). It includes praise, thanksgiving,
adoration, and most importantly - a plea for REVIVAL (3:2). Our church needs revival. Our nation needs revival. So tonight I would like to preach on the
subject of revival.
IN ORDER TO HAVE REVIVAL, WE
FIRST MUST HAVE THE FEAR OF GOD (HAB. 3:2).
- Notice what Habakkuk
says. “O LORD, I have heard thy
speech, and was afraid (3:2). Do you know why there is no fear of God today?
People are not hearing from God. Habakkuk heard from God. He said: “I have heard thy speech, and
- Romans 3:17 says this about
sinners: “And the way of peace have they not known.” Why is that?
- The next verse, Romans 3:18,
says, “There is no fear of God before their
- We can never have revival
without the Word of God. And we will not see souls saved without the
fear of God.
- And how can we expect to see
God bless our church and to see souls saved when Christians are not right with
God, when they are not reading their Bibles, when they are carnal and
- We have churches full of
people who are driven by their emotions, rather than by the Word of God. The Psalmist said, “Thy word have
I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11).
- “Stablish Thy word unto Thy
servant, who is devoted to Thy fear” (Ps.
- Jesus prayed for His
disciples in John 17:17. He prayed to God the Father, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is
- But many Christians today
are not devoted to the Word of God.
They are not being directed by the Word of God. We can expect this from the
unsaved, but God’s children ought to be devoting their time to the careful study
of God’s Word.
- Habakkuk said, “O LORD, I
have heard thy speech, and was afraid…” (Hab. 3:2). Habakkuk had the fear of God because he
heard from God.
- We need to hear from
heaven. Habakkuk heard from heaven
(3:2). The fearful report to which
he refers is the revelation in chapter 2, concerning Judah’s coming
chastisement. Are you afraid of
God’s chastisement? “O LORD, revive
Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in
wrath remember mercy” (3:2).
- In answer to his prayer,
Habakkuk received a glorious revelation of God. He saw what is described as a theophany,
i.e. a glorious appearing of God (3:3).
- This is a vision of the second coming of Christ. Isaiah saw
this vision. Daniel saw this vision. Zechariah saw this vision.
Many of the OT prophets saw this vision, including Habakkuk.
- The LORD is seen coming from
Teman, one of the great cities of Edom. He is “the Holy One” and He is coming from Mount Paran, between Edom and
- The LORD is “the Holy One”
(3:3). In Chapter 1, Habakkuk was perplexed. He kept thinking that the Babylonians
were so wicked and the Jews were so righteous. So why was God allowing these heathen
Babylonians to punish His Chosen People? (Cf. Hab.1:1-4).
- But now Habakkuk
understands. He has heard from
heaven. He has seen “the Holy One”
(3:3). Now he was no longer
thinking about how bad the Babylonians were. Now he was no longer thinking about how
good the Israelites were. Now he
was thinking about how holy God was!
- There is a direct connection
between God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. The more we comprehend God’s holiness
the more we abhor our own sinfulness.
- When we start thinking like
that, then God will start to move.
Let’s not worry about how bad the heathen are. God will take care of
them. Let’s just make sure that we are right with God.
- Let’s make sure we are right
with God, then God will take care of everything else.
- Habakkuk began to realize
that the distinction between the Babylonians and the Israelites was relatively
unimportant in the light of God’s holiness, in the light of God’s majesty, and
in the light of God’s glory.
- Now Habakkuk saw it - the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.
Do you see it? Your own sinful heart?
AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE
JUDGMENT OF GOD
- To properly understand the
second coming of Christ, we have to trace it out throughout the Bible. And when we do that we see it is a time
- For example, we see here
that our Lord will come from Edom (3:3; cf. Isa. 63:1-6).
- But yet, in the midst of
this terrible scene of judgment and anger and fury and vengeance, we read these
words: “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save” (Isa. 63:1).
- And Habakkuk asks God, “in
wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2; cf. 3:13).
- But the multitudes are
rejecting God’s mercy. They reject
salvation. They are determined to
do things their way. And so God
sends the pestilence (Hab. 3:5).
- You will recall Jesus said:
“And there shall be famines, and pestilences” (Matt. 24:7). This includes herpes and AIDS.
- The “burning coals” (Hab.
3:5) refer to burning plagues (cf. Num. 11:1-3; Ps. 18:12-14).
- Proud and arrogant men,
haughty unbelievers, knaves and fools are trying to bring in peace on earth
without the Prince of Peace. One of
the ways they are attempting this is through the UN and their New World
Order. But God is going to judge
the Christ-rejecting nations (Hab. 3:6).
- If Habakkuk knew that
judgment was sure in his day, how much more should we?
- God is looking down from
heaven upon a world that has rejected the Gospel. A world that has rejected the Lord Jesus
Christ and has deified man.
- A world that has thrown off
all restraints - restraints against adultery, divorce, homosexuality, abortion,
- Psalm 2:2 says, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take
counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us
break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from
- This world
hates Jesus. They are shaking their
fists at God and saying, “We will not have this man to
reign over us” (Luke 19:14).
THE PROPER RESPONSE OF GOD’S
PEOPLE (HAB. 3:16-19).
- Habakkuk said, “When I
- We have heard God’s Word
preached from this pulpit week after week. Now what do we do? (cf. Acts 2:37-41).
- Habakkuk trembled when he
heard from God. But he was “resting” in the LORD (3:16). Are you resting in the Lord? Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you”
- Are you abiding in Christ?
Or are you in a state of conflict?
Are you in the flesh? Are
you defeated? Griping? Murmuring?
- Habakkuk was rejoicing in
the LORD, in the God of his salvation (3:18). Is He the God of your
recently read an article about Florence May Chadwick
(November 9, 1918 - March 15, 1995), the American swimmer who was the first
woman to swim the English Channel from England to France in both
directions. She did this in
- In 1952, Florence was the
first woman to attempt to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the
California coastline. As she began swimming, she was flanked by small boats that
watched for sharks and were prepared to help her if she got hurt or grew
- After about 15 hours a thick
fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability, and she told her mother, who
was in one of the boats, that she didn’t think she could make it.
- She swam for another hour
before asking to be pulled out, unable to see the coastline due to the fog. As
she sat in the boat, she found out she had stopped swimming just one mile away
from her destination.
- Two months later, Chadwick
tried again. This time was different. The same thick fog set in, but she made it
the second time because she said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline
in her mind while she swam. The
second time, she was not distracted by the
- Spurgeon often preached
about revival, and he saw revival.
- In a message preached from
Habakkuk 3:2 (November
11th, 1856), Spurgeon said,
“Look at our
prayer-meetings, with here and there a bright exception. Go in. There are six
women; scarcely ever enough members come to pray four times. Look at them.
Prayer-meetings they are called; spare meetings they ought to
be called, for sparely enough they are attended. And very few there are that
go to our fellowship-meetings, or to any other meetings that we have to help one
another in the fear of the Lord.”
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