The Book of Habakkuk

“Lord, Send A Revival”

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Lesson 4 - “The God of Habakkuk”

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

Habakkuk 1:12-17, “Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?”

We have been studying a series on Revival from the book of Habakkuk. The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk stood on the eve of the captivity of the southern kingdom of Judah. The burden of his heart brought him to God. As he spoke to the Lord about the sins of his own people, he said, “Lord, I don’t understand why Your people live as they live and You don’t deal with them.”

Do you ever wonder why God does not break through the heavens and bring judgment suddenly upon someone? As Habakkuk looked at God’s people, he said, “Lord, I don’t understand how they can live in sin, how they can have a King who says he wants nothing to do with God nor His word. I don’t understand how we can have a nation like that and You don’t judge it!”

Then God spoke to Habakkuk and said, “Habakkuk, I am going to judge Judah. The Babylonians are moving down from the north to invade the land.” Then the Lord began to describe the Babylonians and what they were going to do to Judah. Suddenly Habakkuk’s heart was filled with terror and he cried out to God, “Lord, I know that we are in sin, but they are worse. We know the true God and the Babylonians don’t. How can you come down upon us your people?”

Habakkuk was very troubled. He did not know what to do or where to turn. (Ever been there?) In answer to God, he recounted to the Lord the things that he knew to be true about God. He spoke to God about God. He could do that because he knew God. The question for us is, “What do we know to be true about our God?”

When God was about to judge the nation of Israel in the wilderness, Moses would oftentimes speak to God about the promises that He made concerning Israel and on many occasions was able to see God repent and change His mind concerning the judgment of Israel.

*Example from Exodus 32:7-14, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it forever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” Habakkuk was troubled and just like Moses he went to his God with his burden.

There are certain things that characterize the age in which we are living. We are living in a time when there is no fear of God. We are living in an age of great confusion about many things.

          -Parents are confused about what to do with their children.

          -Husbands and wives are confused about what to do in their marital relationships.

-The home is not a place of peace, bliss and a little bit of heaven on earth; it’s a place of turmoil and troubles.

-Churches and Pastors are confused running to and fro to see which way the theological wind is blowing or trying to find something new and exciting to attract a crown instead of doing things God’s way.

-The entire world seems like it is in a state of confusion!

God’s word says that the Lord is not the author of confusion. Our day is very similar to the day in which Habakkuk lived, and so we need to look again at the Word of God and the God of the Word, the God we know. And here’s the thing, He never changes! He promised in Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I change not!”

Notice the expression that Habakkuk uses in Habakkuk 1:12, “O LORD my God.” He uses the personal pronoun “my.” Just as you and I know the Lord as our personal Savior, Habakkuk knew the Lord as well. He is not some distant God millions of miles away that we can’t reach, but rather He is a personal God that we can call on anytime and anyplace. And we can call Him as Habakkuk said, “My God!”

Habakkuk placed his faith in his personal relationship with a God that he knew and who he could call upon in a crisis hour. What about you? Do you know the Lord? I am not talking about how many facts that you can tell me about God, but rather do you know God, do you know Him? Do you know Him as your personal Savior? Have you become His child?

Paul wrote this close personal relationship in Galatians 4:4-6 where he said, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

Do you know the Lord that way? When the disciple asked Jesus to teach them how to pray like John the Baptist taught his disciple to pray, He told them in Matthew 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

Just as Habakkuk lived in a time of crisis, we are also living in perilous times my friends. Let’s remember to look to the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Habakkuk did, we need to review some of the things that we know to be true about our God,

#1) God is eternal.

In Habakkuk 1:12 he says, “Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One?” You see folks, the God that we know and the very same God that Habakkuk knew is eternal! He had no beginning and He will never have an ending. He is eternally existent. In Genesis 1:1 the Bible says, “In the beginning God created.”

Commentator Albert Barnes says that Genesis 1:1,

“Assumes the pre-existence of God, for it is He who in the beginning creates. It assumes His eternity, for He is before all things: and since nothing comes from nothing, He Himself must have always been. It implies His omnipotence, for He creates the universe of things. It implies His absolute freedom, for He begins a new course of action. It implies His infinite wisdom, for a cosmos, "an order of matter and mind," can only come from a being of absolute intelligence. It implies His essential goodness, for the Sole, Eternal, Almighty, All-wise, and All-sufficient Being has no reason, no motive, and no capacity for evil. It presumes Him to be beyond all limit of time and place, since He is before all time and place.”

When you and I come to know the Lord as Savior, we come to know the Lord Who is Eternal! This means that what God was able to do in generations past; He is able to do today! He is the God of this present hour because He is eternal!

Habakkuk anchored his soul in this fact and said, “I don’t understand why God is bringing down Babylon to judge us, but I know God and I know that God is eternal,” and we need to know this fact as well!

#2) God is self-existent.

The expression Habakkuk uses in verse 12, “O Lord my God,” means the God (elohiym) who is self-sustaining and self-existent. In other words, He depends on nothing to exist. He is eternally existent! We, on the other hand, are dependent. We are dependent upon other people and things. As a matter of fact, the only way we get into this world was through the relationship of a man and woman we call mom and dad. Our very beginning in this life started with dependence!

We are dependent upon the air we breathe, upon the water we drink and the food we eat to survive. There is not a man or woman, though he may raise his voice against God and declare that he needs no one, who is not dependent. This is simply not so with God. He is self-existent. Without everything and without everyone, God still exists.

In Habakkuk’s hour of crisis, just about the time that the cruel Babylonians were about to sweep down over the kingdom of Judah and carry away the young of the land to captivity, this man of God was happy to know the Lord Who was eternal and self-existent.

#3) God is holy.

Once again Habakkuk 1:12, “Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One?”  Leviticus 11:45 says, “For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Peter quoted from the Old Testament when he said in 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Our God is a Holy God! His Spirit that lives in us is God’s Holy Spirit!

We may say that God makes no mistakes and the truth is that He cannot make a wrong decision. Why? Because He is a Holy God! He is perfect and just!

The song writer wrote:

“I know God makes no mistakes

He leads in every path I take

Along the way that’s leading me to home

Though at times my heart would break

There’s a purpose in every change He makes

So that others would see my life and know

That God makes no mistakes!”

Listen, I don’t know how strong your human relationships are. I don’t know how strong your family is. But I do know that we are all going to go through many hours of trials and testings and in the lonely and awful hours when the sun seems like it won’t shine and when we feel all alone, I want you to know that our God remains the same, He never changes, He is Holy and He will do right! Abraham had it right in Genesis 18:25 when he was wondering if God would destroy Sodom if there were ten righteous people there and he said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

Like Habakkuk, when things seem bleak and times are troubling and distress is all around us, we need to cry out to our God and remember what we know to be true about Him. He is eternal, He is self-existent and He is Holy!

You may be here this morning and you do not know of a time in your life when you prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to come into your heart and life and save your soul. You do not know this morning that if you died that you would be in heaven. You have never been born again or saved. You can know that this morning based on the Word of God. In a moment we are going to sing a hymn of invitation and we invite you to come and we’ll have someone take God’s word and show you how you can be saved.

Maybe you are a Christian here today and you’re saved and you, like Habakkuk are concerned not just about your own situation but the situation all around us. We must do as Habakkuk did, and go to the Lord and remember the many things that we know to be true about our God.

Let’s pray.

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