As we transition from the Thanksgiving season to the Advent season, we continue to explore the prophets. This week we come to a lesser known prophet named Habakkuk. I am not sure if I have ever preached from this little book. Yet I cannot think of a more appropriate way to begin the season of Advent.
Have you ever wondered if God is paying attention to all the evil in our world today? Does God really care about the injustices in our community? Will He ever make them right? Perhaps you had a personal crisis, and you wondered if God was ever going to answer your prayers. How did you express your doubts to God? Were you afraid that such misgivings might offend God if you expressed them? Habakkuk has this sort of experience with God. And he writes it all down for us to consider.
Let me invite you to read these passages as you prepare for worship on Sunday. As we step into the season of Advent, we will explore Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4; 3:3-6, 17-19.
(Habakkuk 1:1-7 NIV) The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received. How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor.
(Habakkuk 2:1-4 NIV) I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—
(Habakkuk 3:3-6 NIV) God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps. He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed— but he marches on forever.
(Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV) Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.