Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Message to Embrace

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
Habakkuk 1:2-4

Isn't it easy to get emotionally distraught over all of the negative news around us.  It appears that demonic forces are working overtime universally.  At times, there is the temptation to get angry when one sees the seemingly overwhelming victories of those who are trying to push godless lifestyles on humanity.  In short, it just seems like evil is winning in the fight against good and evil and the LORD seems to be doing nothing about it.  This pretty much sums up the opening of this prophet's oracle.

It seems that Habakkuk did this on purpose as a part of the delivery of his message of hope.  Yes--message of hope!  He wants his reader who understands and sees the ensuing chaos to relate to what seems like circumstances of despair.  It doesn't let up none too quick either.  He immediately tells us about the enemy--the Babylonians.  If God is omnipotent then why is He allowing the enemy to run roughshod over His people?  God informs the questioning prophet that it is all a part of his ultimate plan which sends the prophet complaining again. 

Notice the emphasis the seer places on the Chaldeans.  They are overtaking the whole earth.  Their horses have the speed of a leopard and the ferocity of  wolves.  Their army flies in anticipation like vultures on a fresh kill.  Kings and nations are overturned and yield in the wake of their onslaught.  Like a mighty wind they advance and they take captives as numerous as the sand.  What a picture.  No wonder Habakkuk is questioning.  There is nothing but bedlam, confusion, catastrophe, and God is doing nothing!  Or is He?

This book actually is very prophetic about the Tribulation and the return of Christ.  Think just for a moment.  Who is in charge of the world just before Jesus returns?  The Antichrist--and he is in control of Babylon--mystery Babylon.  His power seems unmatched.  He successfully makes war on the Tribulation saints.  His glory, like that of the armies of the ancient Chaldean Kings, spreads around the world in minutes.  He takes over the earth and its people like sand on the sea.  Like a ravenous wolf or a bird of prey, he overcomes everyone.  Even the two witnesses fall to his intrigue.  Now that is scary!

So where is the message of hope?  

It comes with the desperation of the prophet's prayer!  "O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy."  Habakkuk 3:2  The devil, the Antichrist, the false prophet, and the 10 kings have had their day.  Now it is time for the return of Christ whose coming is incomparable!

With a speed greater than that of the armies of Mystery Babylon--Jesus comes in Habakkuk chapter 3.  He comes from Teman and Mt. Paran where the beleaguered remnants of the children of Israel are in hiding.  He swiftly destroys their persecutors.  Unlike the Antichrist whose power originates with the earth--Christ comes down with the Armies of Heaven in tow.  His light invades the demonic darkness that has been so prevalent for the last few years.  Flashes of power emanate from His hands. Pestilence is before Him and plagues upon the godless follow Him.  His great white horse charges into battle as no other steed in human history.   His garments are stained with blood and upon the thigh is a garment with the title, "KING OF KING AND LORD OF LORDS".  Mountains shudder and split at His rebuke and the hills hide from His glory.  His saints follow singing praises to the LORD of Salvation!  The sun hides its light and the moon flees from His presence.  Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.  Habakkuk 3:12-13  Hallelujah!!!  The KING has come!!!  Let all God's saints shout, "Glory!"

Habakkuk now beholds the "Amen" since it is Jesus who gets the last word!  "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops."  Habakkuk 3:16  His fear of God is now greater than his fear of what the devil is doing!  He sees the King in all of His shekinah!

Seeing the fierceness of Christ who is Soon2Come, the prophet shares hope for those who are focused more on what the devil is doing than what Christ will do!  Embrace the words of the prophet whose name means embrace!  What began with confusion ends with serenity as the Prince of Peace reigns!

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

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