“His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden.” Habakkuk 3:4 Light belongs in darkness. We live in such a dark word. The only light of this world is the light of God. That light of God comes from His Son Jesus Christ. “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:4-5) “Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.” (Isaiah 60:1-3) As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to let our light shine in the world. The ministry that I share with you in these devotions is “Sharing the light and love of God to a dark world”. My prayer is that in my small corner of the world that my light will shine so that others can see the love and awesome power of God in our world. If you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ, are you letting your light shine in your corner of the world?
“I see God moving across the deserts from Edom, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise.” Habakkuk 3:3 God is moving! This is Habakkuk saying, stop, look and listen. He is moving in the world. God is in control. God is moving today. God’s Kingdom is here today. Habakkuk is talking in the following verses about the sovereignty of God. What is the sovereignty of God? “Sovereignty is God’s control over His creation, dealing with His governance over it: Sovereignty is God’s rule over all reality.” (Dr. Norman Geisler) The sovereignty of God means that He has total control of all things past, present and future. Nothing happens that is out of His knowledge and control. All things are either caused by Him or allowed by Him for His own purposes and through His perfect will and timing. He is the only absolute and omnipotent ruler of the universe and is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption. “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:36) But for us, there is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live.” (1 Corinthians 8:6) Paul is telling us in 1 Corinthians that for him there is only one God and He is the true God. God is moving and His splendor is filling the heaven and earth. If you don’t believe that He is moving in the world, just watch a sunrise or sunset. God paints us a picture every day. My prayer, “May your Kingdom come soon. […]
“This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk: I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy.” Habakkuk 3:1-2 Habakkuk was confused at the beginning of this book. He did not understand what God was doing. He did not understand, why? At this point in the book, gone was the need to figure everything out. Gone was his concern with his own immediate problems. He recognized that God is God and he was not. God can do whatever He wants and what He does is ultimately best in the big picture and in the long run. Habakkuk was seeing things God’s way and not his way. Habakkuk’s prayer was for God to remember mercy. This is similar to praying, “Your kingdom come; your will be done” (Matthew 6:10a) Habakkuk’s concern had shifted from himself and his issues to God and His will. Habakkuk was in awe of God and how God had answered his questions. Habakkuk knew that God was in control. What a reversal has taken place in the thinking of Habakkuk. At first he was saying, “Lord, you are not doing anything. Why don’t you do something? Why do you let them get by with their sins?” God let Habakkuk know that He was doing something and that He would judge sin. When Habakkuk realized that God was judging sin. Habakkuk cried out for mercy. If we really knew how much God was moving in His judgment, we would all be crying out for God’s mercy.
“But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.” Habakkuk 2:20 Being silent is something that some of us don’t know about. We just don’t know how to be silent. In the world that we live in it seems there is never any silence. Everywhere we go there is always noise. “It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.” (Isaiah 6:1) Isaiah was in the earthly temple when God allowed him to see His presence. His presence was so great that God’s robe filled the entire temple. It is difficult to know what to say to a Holy God. “Holiness on one hand creates distance between Him and mankind, on the other hand His holiness creates a renewed fellowship between God and mankind.” (S. H. Widyapranaws) God is holy and all we can do is worship Him. Lately in my prayer time I don’t know what to say. I asked God the other day what I needed to pray for and He told me that I should just be silent and listen for His voice. We can learn more about God just by being silent before Him. People who know God have great energy for God. People who know God have great thoughts of God. People who know God show great boldness for God. People who know God have great contentment in God. Do you know God? Try being silent before God and see what you can learn.
“What good is an idol carved by man, or a cast image that deceives you? How foolish to trust in your own creation— a god that can’t even talk! What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols, ‘Wake up and save us!’ To speechless stone images you say, ‘Rise up and teach us!’ Can an idol tell you what to do? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside.” Habakkuk 2:18-19 People who worship idols will discover that they are powerless. Idols cannot speak and they are lifeless. There are three steps in the downfall of a nation. First, there is abandonment of a religious belief. The second step is moral decay. The third step is political anarchy, a state of disorder due to absence or no recognition of authority. These are the three steps by which nations pass off the stage of human history. This has always been the way it has moved. The primary problem never was political anarchy. It never was moral decay. As bad as moral decay is, the root of the problem goes back to the abandonment of religious belief. Turning away from the living and true God. The downfall of a nation begins in idolatry. We would like to think that idolatry has gone out of style. This is not true. We worship many things. We worship money. We worship sex. We worship pleasure. We even worship ourselves. We worship everything but the one true God. This was the downfall of the Babylonians. Unless we wake up, it will be our downfall. “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and […]
“What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness. But soon it will be your turn to be disgraced. Come, drink and be exposed! Drink from the cup of the Lord’s judgment, and all your glory will be turned to shame. You cut down the forests of Lebanon. Now you will be cut down. You destroyed the wild animals, so now their terror will be yours. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence.” Habakkuk 2:15-17 Sexuality and drunkenness were two of the sins of the Babylonians. These are two of the sins of America also. Alcohol and sex have been a bad combination for thousands of years. It seems that we never learn. One of the major problems with America is the same as it was with the Babylonians. Everywhere we look today, we are being sold that sex and alcohol are the things that we need to do. God is telling Habakkuk that He will destroy the Babylonians for the very things that we are doing today. Do you think that God has changed? That just because we think we are great that God will look the other way when we sin? Drunkenness leads to gross immorality. It leads to divorce. It leads to breakup of homes. It leads to addiction. Addiction is our number one problem today. If it is not alcohol, it is drugs. In our addiction we believe that our chosen idol creates a world that is better. We all long for rest, relaxing, letting down, having someone else do the work. Like a magic carpet, our addictions allow us to disassociate from reality and connect us to a god that seems much better than any god […]
“For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord.” Habakkuk 2:14 The Babylonians and all self-reliant people since then have exchanged the glory of God for their own glory. Rather than living by faith in God, they are dying by human effort. Pride kills. Faith lives; no matter what the circumstances look like today. No matter how you are being oppressed by powerful people, God’s glory will fill the earth. God’s glory is the outward expression of God’s being. You can be absolutely assured that God’s glory will cover the earth and everyone will know His supreme majesty. “And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.” (Revelation 21:23) The revelation of God’s glory is possible because of Jesus Christ who came to show us God’s glory. Paul tells us, For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) Today we can know some of God’s glory through faith in Jesus Christ. “…may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18-19) Someday we will see the Lord face to face and personally know His majesty that will fill the earth. “For the Scriptures say, “as surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance […]
“What sorrow awaits you who build cities with money gained through murder and corruption! Has not the Lord of Heaven’s Armies promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain!” Habakkuk 2:12-13 The Babylonians built their empire on the backs of slaves whom they brutally treated. They thought they had accomplished a great achievement won by their hard work and power, but pride falls hard. “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) God was not impressed. In seeking their own glory, they saw their efforts go up in smoke. All of their human achievements gained by their exhausting work would be for nothing. They built huge temples, fortresses, cities and gardens, wonders of the ancient world. All up in smoke. Our life is not found in building our little empires. One day it will all go up in smoke. Many great nations have built empires that have all been a futile effort. Look at Greece, and their wonderful pieces of architecture, the statues, the art, and literature; but actually, the Greeks spent more time in destruction. If you follow the march of Alexander the Great as he crossed over into Asia, you will notice that he did nothing in the world but destroy one city after another. That was his legacy. All corrupt nations have gone up in smoke. God is in control!
“What sorrow awaits you who build big houses with money gained dishonestly! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger. But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives. The very stones in the walls cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint.” Habakkuk 2:9-11 We see everyone wanting to build their security. We want to build our security so that we will not have to worry about how we are going to meet our needs. Some people try to build their security by dishonest ways. They build their security by scheming. Some want to build large houses or have money in the bank. They think their schemes will build their dynasty, but actually it will bring shame to their families. “The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.” (Psalm 146:9) Yes, God brings down the plans of the wicked. It may at times look as if the wicked are doing well, but in the end they will fall. No matter what you see or what is happening, God is in control. Jesus tells us that we must build our house on a strong foundation or it will fall. “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat […]
“Suddenly, your debtors will take action. They will turn on you and take all you have, while you stand trembling and helpless. Because you have plundered many nations, now all the survivors will plunder you. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence.” Habakkuk 2:7-8 In the following verses, we see five warnings that will happen to the sinful. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7) This series of warnings show that ultimately sin, evil, crime, injustice, oppression and immorality are doom to destruction. In answer to Habakkuk’s questions, God essentially said, “I am in control. I do see what is going on and I am going to do something about it in a very serious way.” “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) This is the first of these warnings. Those who have robbed others will be robbed themselves. They exploited others, now they will be exploited. In our culture of obsession with money and what it can buy, we need to listen to this warning. The word suddenly means in the blink of an eye. God is patient, but at some point God will lose His patience and then it is done. We need to listen to God’s warning about greed. God’s judgment is surely coming.