< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Habakkuk 1:5 - 11

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Habakkuk 1:5 - 11

Let’s see how God answers:
Habakkuk 1:5 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.

He says, “Look around! I am doing something! And it’s BIG!” For a minute maybe Habakkuk thought, “Great! Maybe the Messiah is finally coming! Or maybe we’ll have a huge revival…”

But, then the next verse:
Habakkuk 1:6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own.

God’s not sending the Messiah yet! He’s sending the Babylonians! (Chaldeans) And He clearly says He’s the one sending them!

OK, so God heard the prayer, that’s good, God answered the prayer…and He showed He is concerned about injustice and violence. That He can do something about it, and will, but it wasn’t exactly an answer Habakkuk wanted to hear was it?

To get a feel for what this might have been like: picture Christians in America praying for the nation to turn back to God: to stop abortions, get rid of pornography, put prayer back in school, stop the political corruption and the oppressing of the helpless and all of a sudden God answers saying, “Watch! I’m going to do something so big you won’t believe it. I’m going to raise up a group of Muslims and have them crash 2 planes into your World Trade Center, which will crumble to the ground before the world’s eyes.”

How might we respond? “I know we’re in bad shape, but don’t You think that’s a little drastic?”

Here are the unbelievable things Judah would see:

1. Their own independent and prosperous kingdom, Judah, would suddenly become a vassal nation.
2. Egypt, a world power for centuries would be crushed, almost overnight.
3. Nineveh would be so ransacked that people would forget where it had been.
4. The Babylonians would rise to power.

The next verses describe the Babylonians. They were wicked people:
Habakkuk 1:7-11 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor. Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like a vulture swooping to devour; they all come bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand. They deride kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; they build earthen ramps and capture them. Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—guilty men, whose own strength is their god.

“Whose own strength is their god": So different from a Christian isn’t it? Our strength is the God who created us.

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