Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When everything goes wrong

Habakkuk 3:17 – 19
“When noting goes right.”

I.    Desperate Circumstances.

    A.    The reasons:

        1.    An invading nation.

        2.    Habakkuk saw what was happening as the judgement of God.

        3.    The self-inflicted result of sin.

    B.    The physical reality.

        1.    There was no food.

            a.    No fruit: no sweets, no indulgence.

            b.    No grain: no basics, no stability.

            c.    No meat: no proteins, no luxury of wealth.

        2.    The political picture:

            a.    There were no extras or luxuries to indulge.

            b.    There was no stability, it takes time to produce crops.

            c.    There was no wealth, symbolized by a high protein diet (privilege of wealthy societies).

    C.    The Spiritual reality:

        1.    There are plants without fruit. (See John 15:1 – 6)

            a.    It means they have not “remained.”

            b.    Branches without fruit are pruned, dried and thrown into the fire.

        2.    Oil and grain are the staple of like – for bread and other things.

            a.    Even the basics of spiritual life are missing.

            b.    Oil is often the symbol of the Holy Spirit.

            c.    Grain for bread.  Bread is the symbol of the Word of God and the broken body of Jesus.

What would happen if God sent a “famine” of the Word or the Holy Spirit?

        3.    No sheep in the pens, no cattle in the stalls.

            a.    Cattle were food, also a source of sacrifice.

            b.    Sheep are a biblical picture of God’s people.

When we wonder off we miss the blessing and care of our God.

This is a picture of a desperate situation that effects the righteous and the unrighteous.  It is a picture of judgement due to sin, of empty meaningless lives, and fruitless spiritual lives.  Yet when there seems to be nothing, for Habakkuk, God is enough because he understands joy is not dependent on circumstances (good or bad).

II.    Overriding circumstances:

    A.    God’s names reveal His nature and in this case, hope.

        1.    “LORD” is the sacred name of God, “I am, I am.”

            a.    The Hebrew is “Yahweh” and the Latinized is “Jehovah” (Hebrew does not have the “J” sound.)

            b.    Pick a question, the answer God gives is “I am.”

Does God care? “I am your provision.”

Does God love? “I am love.”

Does God save? “I am your salvation.”

        2.    “God my Savior” (KJV “the God of my Salvation”)

            a.    The Hebrew is “Yeshua” (literally “Yahweh saves”) or in Greek it would be “Jesus.”

            b.    The Vulgate says, “exultabo in Deo Iesu meo” (I will exult in Jesus my God).

        3.    “The Sovereign LORD.” (KJV “The LORD God”)

            a.    The Hebrew is “Yahweh Adonai” (literally “Yahweh rules”).

            b.    Genesis 2, this name is used.

                1.)    [2:4b] “When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.”

                2.)    [2:7] “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

                3.)    [2:16a] “And the LORD God commanded...”

                4.    [3:23] "So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.”

The Creator had power to create, the right of ownership, the authority to command, the obligation to judge.  All this is unquestionable.  Is it a wonder that evolutionists work so hard at their godless (literally) religion?

    B.    Joy is beyond circumstances.

        1.    We submit to God regardless of what is happening.

        2.    Have you ever gotten tired of working for yourself?  Joy allows us to have confidence that whatever happens will ultimately bring glory to God.

        3.    Joy is our best and final response to God’s victory.

Lessons: God’s people will suffer, either because of sin or their society’s sin.  God’s people will see beyond ugly/bad circumstances.  God’s people will have joy in the most difficult circumstances.


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