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The Questioning Prophet
The Prophets 2nd Question: Habakkuk 1:12-17 NKJV
“Are You not from everlasting, O LORD my GOD, my HOLY ONE?
We shall not die.
O LORD, You have appointed them for judgment; O ROCK You have marked them for correction. You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.
Why do YOU look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?
Why do You make men like fish of the sea, like creeping things that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with a hook; they catch them in their net and gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their dragnet; because by them their share is sumptuous and their food plentiful.
Shall they therefore empty their net and continue to slay nations without pity?”
As I read through Habakkuk, I thought of how often I, myself, had questions for God. I was reminded of the question of John the Baptist who, while imprisoned; asks the question of Jesus,” Are You the Anointed One or shall we look for another?” Throughout Scriptures, many servants of the Lord had questions. I have heard people say that we should not question God yet the Scriptures are full of questions and many of those questions, God was gracious to answer. However, it seems that many of our “Why” questions cannot be answered until we reach heaven. With that consideration, we must place our trust in God’s wisdom and sovereignty.
With that being said, I return to the 2nd question of the prophet, Habakkuk. Habakkuk lived in a time when Judah was backslidden. The heart of the people of Judah was far from God and pagan worship and perversions abounded. In his 1st question, the prophet asks God why so much iniquity and violence surrounded the righteous and God did nothing to deliver them. God responded but not as Habakkuk expected. When God said that He would send a more wicked nation, the Chaldeans, to humble Judah; the prophet was taken aback which lead to his 2nd question: Why would God chose to use a more wicked and perverse nation to bring justice and punishment to His own people? This is a “why?” question that may not be fully understood until this world is passed but much can yet be learned.
Habakkuk recognized that Judah had been marked by God for correction. He understood that iniquity and violence had destroyed the peace and prosperity of God’s people and that the spiritual adultery being committed by Judah could not go unpunished. As I read through the list of iniquities committed by the wicked, I recognized many that are occurring today, especially in our government. Here, I want to discuss the sins of some of our government leaders before I continue with the question and God’s answer.
Habakkuk questioned why God would “hold HIS tongue” while the more wicked ones devoured the more righteous? Why HE made men to seem as though there was no ruler over them? In other words, how could a sovereign God allow men to do such wickedness and allow even the most wicked to rule over the others? It is a question asks in many ways by many people today. As we look at the state of our government in the US, we wonder how those who are blatantly wicked and self serving could be allowed to make rule over those more righteous than they. See how the prophet said, “they take up all of them (the more righteous) with a hook, and they catch them in their net and gather them in their dragnet.” Clearly, this describes what is happening right now. We see a branch of our government setting traps with the bait of equality and easy money. We see those making promises they cannot nor do they intend to keep. We watch as they create lawlessness even while they increase their own power to rule. Such a cauldron of lies and manipulation! We can see the strife they create among people and then use it to obtain power. They feed on the bounty of working people and build storehouses of wealth and privilege for themselves while condemning others for having the same. It is amazing how well they set the trap and how easily people are snared. I watch and wonder how intelligent people could be so brainwashed, so blind to the truth. Yet, iniquity breeds iniquity and lovers of self will sell their neighbors and compromise their families to be at ease and find comfort and pleasure for themselves. Habakkuk’s final question, the ultimate 2nd question comes to the heart of the matter: “Shall they therefore empty their net, and continue to slay nations without pity?” The prophet wanted to know how long God would allow wickedness to prosper and how long the innocent would suffer. O how I have prayed for justice against those who harm children! How often has my heart searched God to understand how such horrible things could exist and such innocent suffer! Free will of all men, given by Creator God and the sinful nature of fallen man is the answer. But the wicked will not go unpunished forever. Psalm 91:8 “Only with your eyes shall you look and see the reward of the wicked.” The righteous and the innocent may suffer at the hands of wicked and perverse people but they will not suffer nor be condemned with the wicked at the judgment of God. Hallelujah!!! The righteous and the innocent will be found rejoicing for eternity in the presence of God!!!
Habakkuk recognizes that he has taken great liberty with God and he makes this statement in 2:1: “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart and watch to see what HE [GOD] will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected.” I just love that transparency. The prophet understands the righteousness and sovereignty of God and he knows that God will answer and that he will be corrected. Such a beautiful example of relationship with GOD and how wonderful it is to know GOD ALMIGHTY and to walk in HIS ways!
The LORD GOD answers HIS prophet and tells him: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak and it will not lie.” As I was reading this, Holy Spirit pointed out the phrase, “at the end”. There is a difference between “at” and “in” and in that difference, we see confirmation of the Psalm 91:8. The word “in” expresses a period of time during which an event takes place and the word “at” expresses arrival to and a time when an event takes place. There is a difference between being “at” the door and being “in” the door. In other words, at the beginning of the very end; we will see judgment begin on the wicked. God follows up HIS answer with a list of woes that will fall upon the wicked and perverse of the earth. The wicked will be captured by the traps they have set for others. Those who oppress will become the oppressed and those who covet evil gain for themselves will suffer disaster. Woe to those who shed blood and cause his neighbor to sin. He will endure shame. Those who worship images and false gods will see they serve lifeless and powerless objects that can’t save them from destruction.
GOD tells Habakkuk in 2:20 “But the LORD is in HIS holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before HIM.” GOD is saying I AM sovereign and I see all things.
Ezekiel 33:11, “Say to them: ‘As I live, says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die O house of Israel?’ Here GOD is speaking directly to Israel who had turned her back on HIM and walked in wickedness. From this Scripture we learn that GOD’s heart is for no one to suffer and for none to die in their sins and be condemned for ever. Yet, HE has given each of us free will to choose the path we would take. As Creator, HE didn’t have to do that but love is who HE is and it motivated HIM to offer us the freedom to choose HIM over the fleeting and empty pleasures of this world and the lies of Satan. When we choose Christ as our Savior and Lord of our life, we choose GOD. Though we may suffer in this dying and perverse world, the LORD is our help and the promise of HIS return and our glorious eternity with HIM sustains us. Habakkuk 2:4 the LORD GOD says, “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.”
I don’t always understand the ways and means of GOD but I know too much of HIM to not believe that HE is good. PSALM 27:13 “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Hold fast to faith and remember all of the Goodness of GOD. For those of us who know JESUS as SAVIOR and LORD, we must keep believing for JESUS said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. (John 20:29) We may not be able to see how the promises and provision of GOD will come but we must always believe that they will indeed come.
I recognize and experience the struggle to remain full of faith during these trying times yet HIS WORD remains true: “I will pour out MY SPIRIT on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on MY menservants and on MY maidservants I will pour out MY SPIRIT in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29) Let faith arise!
Remember when John the Baptist questioned if JESUS was indeed the MESSIAH how JESUS responded; “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Blessed is he who is not offended because of ME.” (Luke 7:22-23) JESUS is who HE says HE is: the SON of GOD, the SAVIOR, the KING OF ALL KINGS and LORD OF ALL LORDS; HE is eternal and HE is returning. HIS love is shed abroad for ALL who will receive HIM. HE will sustain ALL who will be faith-filled.
We must remember our first love in CHRIST JESUS and we must testify of all HE has done for us and in us. The world that does not know JESUS wants to know if HE truly is the ANOINTED ONE and it is our responsibility to show that HE is the SON of GOD.
-Laura R Walker
REBUILD RESTORE RE-ESTABLISH
The word of the Lord for Henagar COG and the Body of Christ everywhere: "I will rebuild. I will restore. I will re-establish." Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!!! Get ready Church, God is on the move!
For approximately 6 months, the Lord has been speaking this Word to me. On February 16th 2020, He delivered it to HCOG.
God Himself has built the final temple. It was built in Jesus Christ and we are the temple, the habitation of God. Hallelujah! I CORINTHIANS 3:16: "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?" You see, the 3rd temple that will be built in Israel will be built by unbelievers who are still looking for Messiah. But, bless God, WE have seen Him and have believed, therefore His glory now dwells within us! When King Solomon finished his prayer of dedication of the temple in II Chronicles, chapter 7; verse 1 tells us, "When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple." After the Ascension of Christ we read in ACTS 2: " When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave the utterance. Praise God! Praise God! To further establish His word, EPHESIANS 2:19-22 says,"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grow into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."
The world, as we have known it, has suddenly changed. The world will not recover and be as it was before. The Church of Jesus Christ will not be the same. The Church is being rebuilt in the image of Christ. The Church will be restored in righteousness and truth. The Church will be re-established in power. For the fire of God will consume the temple offerings of holiness and worship and the Glory of the Lord will shine forth into the darkness.
May righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit fill the Church again in Jesus name. Amen!
Be Prayerful. Be Faith-filled
Love God. Love one another.
-Laura R Walker
April 22, 2020