Monday, October 6, 2008


Personal paraphrase of Habakkuk 3:17-19:

17: Though my investments should not bear interest, And there be no funds in my IRA,
Though the yield of the market should fail, And the mutuals produce no funds,
Though my job should be laid off from work, And there be no gas in the car,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, He is my security, He is my success.

I think God is up to something. Could it be much the same as he said to Habakkuk:

“Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days—
You would not believe if you were told.” (1:5)

This past week as I sat reading God’s Word, praying, thinking about the things of the Lord and the troubled economic times we are in, I was filled with a compelling urge to preach Sunday on Habakkuk (I hesitate to say “God told me” because of the trite way so many use that phrase. I believe God led me in my thinking). Though I have been teaching through the book of Acts on Sundays for a while now, I was unable to put aside the idea of speaking a word from the Word to the folks that would help us get our heads on straight about life, especially in tough times. God is in control and we should cling to Him even though all else might fail.

But here’s the really unusual part. A dear pastor friend in Kentucky also preached on Habakkuk yesterday. I also attended a wedding yesterday. One of my good friends who had driven from Fresno to Southern Cal for the wedding stopped in Bakersfield to visit the church of another friend. This pastor friend told of being compelled to interrupt his sermon series and preach from (you guessed it) Habakkuk yesterday morning. The friend at the wedding also told of hearing from his son-in-law who visited a church in Sudan on Sunday. With no previous warning he was asked to stand and preach as a guest. As he moved to the front he felt led to preach from Habakkuk, and so he did.

Four seemingly isolated places. All on the same Sunday being filled with the desire to preach from Habakkuk. I have no way of doing a wider survey, but I’m really curious if this was a phenomenon repeated in many other places.

The message of Habakkuk is very simple. God is going to use a wicked nation to punish Judah because of the deep sinfulness of the people of Judah. Habakkuk (whose name means “cling”) gets the message and waits for the impending doom. While he waits he reiterates his resolve that though all the normal worldly evidences of security and prosperity should fail, he will still cling to God.

Why? Because God is his strength. God is his security (“feet like hinds’ feet). Watch the deer as it runs through the forest with feet that never falter and never stumble. Every step is secure. And God is his success (“walk on my high places”). A victorious military leader climbs to a high place and parades before his troops as they cheer his successful victory.

The simple message is: take the long look, the eternal perspective.

“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.” (2:14)

It hasn’t happened yet, but it will. You have God’s Word on it.

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