06 The Prophet’s Response

Habakkuk 2 v 1-4

Habakkuk responds in Piety (godliness) and Patience, not seeking to exert power and wrath. He was in deep pain because of what was happening – the Chaldeans sweeping across the land.

When you have a pain like that, you must pray like Habakkuk, and once you’ve prayed respond correctly to the crisis, namely “The righteous shall live by his faith”.

How do you do it?

  1. Respond with a Spiritual Posture.
    a. Find a secure post and keep it.
    Find someone who is weak in the faith and strengthen them. Face this thing like a man in full armour.  ‘Keep your post!’ is what generals says to soldiers in the battlefield.
    b. Find a safe place. It’s a strong tower – remain in the Lord.
    Don’t go anywhere without Him. You’ll get lost, lured and deceived.
    c. Look out to see what He will say to you.
    We tend to listen more to the government and financial pointers than to God.
    Psalm 40:1-3 – Waiting is important.
  2. Wait for the Sovereign Perspective of God.
    a. The Lord’s Response:
    The Lord said write the vision, not wanting what He said to go lost. The Bible is God’s word – we must read and heed what is written.
    b. The Lord’s Resolve:
    For His word to be plain – not difficult for the spiritual mind to understand, but impossible for the unspiritual mind. It will make the wicked run away, but the godly run better.
    c. The Lord’s Revelation:
    The Lord revealed to Habakkuk the problem of the human soul – pride (being puffed up).
    It’s the embrace of the promise of Eden: “you shall be as gods”.  Pride is at the heart of everything that is wrong with us. It’s the desire to be God – Narcissism, together with Hedonism and Materialism.
    Walter Chantry says: “You get two kinds of people in this world – Godly people and proud people.”
  3. Realize the Seriousness of Pride.
    It has caused such devastation that God can give no law to keep, no plan, ideology or philosophy to follow nor policy to practice in order to solve our problems, because the devastation that has been caused in and among humanity is too great for that. As the word says that every imagination of their evil hearts are only evil – continually (all the time)! That is what pride does.
  4. Embrace the Salvation Principle.
    The soul’s problem needs the Salvation principle: The righteous shall live by his faith.
    Living means to be walking, leaping and praising God. Blessedness and happiness, togetherness in joy and fellowship with the righteous.  
    Faith is knowing what God says (understanding the sovereign perspective), assenting to it (letting it settle from the head into the heart) and trusting it.
    Only the righteous can do this, who do what is just – giving to God and their fellow human beings what is due to them.
    a. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength and all your soul.
    b. Love your neighbour – even your enemies – as yourself.

What does it mean that the righteous shall live by his faith?
a. To emphasise that people are saved by grace through faith alone (Rom. 1:16-17).
b. No one is justified before God by the law (Gal 3:11). Emphasises that Christians should live by faith (Heb. 10:38-39).

In the midst of the crisis, we can have Habakkuk’s pain and want to rise up or shrink back. But we are reminded that the righteous shall live by his faith, and if we shrink back His soul will have no pleasure in it.  But we are not like those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve our souls – faith that keeps on trusting God and His promises, even in the darkest of days and circumstances.

Jeremiah’s lamentation:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness!
The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one waits quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lam. 3:22-26)