Failure to teach and preach the whole counsel of God has its consequences. One of these consequences has been the deception of believers into thinking that they can expect favorable treatment from God because He loves them so extravagantly. That followers of God do not deserve preferential treatment in life can be a rude awakening.
Most prophets speak God’s Word to us, but Habakkuk speaks our words to God. With the 70-years of Babylonian Captivity on the obvious horizon, the prophet was trying to make sense of it all. He faced God with his consternation and depression in Habakkuk chapter 1. In chapters 2 and 3, we see that his perception of who God is and his expectations of how God works required a comprehensive reorientation. This process of going from fear to faith is articulated beautifully and poetically throughout the message.
- He expressed his frustration in the first chapter. “How long must I ask for help and you do not listen?” (1:2)
- He regained composure as He “looked” and “listened” for what God continued to reveal, and he was even commanded to “write it down so that it might be proclaimed to others.” (2:1-3)
- In the last chapter, Habakkuk was praying and opening himself to a larger arena of God’s sovereignty in spite of what he saw as his present situation. This chapter is also written in the form of a psalm, with its sections divided by three selahs and a direction of musical background (shigionoth).
There are four comforting pillars of truth undergirding this incredible revelation from God:
- There is a God-man at the helm of the cosmos (2:20). All the prophets echo this fact.
- The kingdom of God is in our midst and will soon be brought to completion. (2:14)
- Those who know their God will live a life of faith and fidelity. (2:4) This is reiterated three times in the New Testament. (Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:10-11, and Hebrews 10:38)
- The God who is in total control strengthens His people. (3:19) And this is the truth Habakkuk “embraced;” … embraced is the meaning of his name… and the demonstration of his faith.