Wednesday, January 11, 2017

From Frustration To Faith

Habakkuk 1:1-17 NIV

1The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

2How long, LORD, must I call for help,
but YOU Do Not Listen?
Or cry out to YOU, “Violence!”
but YOU Do Not Save?

3Why Do YOU Make me look at injustice?
Why Do YOU Tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.

4Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.

The LORD'S Answer

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.

6I AM Raising Up the Babylonians,a
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.

7They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.

8Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;

9they all come intent on violence.
Their hordesb advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.

10They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.

11Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12LORD, Are YOU Not from everlasting?
MY GOD, my HOLY ONE, YOU Will Never Die.

YOU, LORD, Have Appointed them to execute judgment;
YOU, my ROCK, Have Ordained them to punish.

13YOUR Eyes Are too pure to look on evil;
YOU Cannot Tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then Do YOU Tolerate the treacherous?
Why Are YOU Silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

14YOU Have Made people like the fish in the sea,
like the sea creatures that have no ruler.

15The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
and so he rejoices and is glad.

16Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
and enjoys the choicest food.

17Is he to keep on emptying his net,
destroying nations without mercy?

Habakkuk 1

The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see – The burden - המשא hammassa signifies not only the burdensome prophecy, but the prophecy or revelation itself which GOD Presented to the mind of Habakkuk, and which he saw-clearly perceived, in the light of prophecy and then faithfully declared, as this book shows. The word signifies an oracle or revelation in general; but chiefly, one relative to future calamities.

The prophet's name חֲבַקּוּק Chabaqquq signifies "strong embrace." The word in its intensive form is used both of GOD'S Enfolding the soul within HIS Tender Supporting Love and of man clinging and holding fast to DIVINE Wisdom Proverbs 4:8.

It fits in with the subject of his prophecy, faith, cleaving fast to GOD amid the perplexities of things seen. “He who is spiritually Habakkuk, cleaving fast to GOD with the arms of love, or enfolding HIM after the manner of one wrestling, until he is blessed, enlightened, and heard by HIM,” is the seer here. “Let him who would in such wise fervidly embrace GOD and plead with HIM as a friend, praying earnestly for the deliverance and consolation of himself and others, but who sees not as yet, that his prayer is heard, make the same holy plaint, and appeal to the Clemency of The Creator.”

He strengthens himself in pleading his cause with GOD as to the prosperity of Nebuchadnezzar as if he were joined with GOD for the cause of his people. He is called 'embrace' either because of his love to The LORD; or because he engages in a contest and strife and (so to speak) wrestling with GOD. For no one with words so bold ventured to challenge GOD to a discussion of HIS Justice and to say to HIM, “Why, in human affairs and the government of this world is there so great injustice?”

The title, "the prophet," is added only to the names of Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah. Habakkuk may have added it to his name instead because he prominently expostulates with GOD, like the Psalmists, and does not speak in The Name of GOD to the people. The title asserts that he exercised the pastoral office of the prophets, although not directly in this prophecy.

GOD Multiplied visions, as is written Hosea 12:10, and HIMSELF Spoke to the prophets, Disclosing to them beforehand what should be, and all but Exhibiting them to sight, as if already present. But that they determined not to speak from their own, but rather transmit to us The WORDS from GOD, he persuades us at the outset, naming himself a prophet, and showing himself full of the grace belonging thereto."

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