The Book of Habakkuk

“Lord, Send A Revival”

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Lesson 6 - “That’s Not Yours”

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

Habakkuk 2:4-8, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.”

We’ve been doing a series from the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was living in the southern kingdom of Judah. He was told by God to warn the people of the coming judgment. The wicked and cruel Babylonians were about to come down and take Judah captive and this caused Habakkuk to cry out to God.

Remember that God answered Habakkuk and told him of the coming captivity. He also told Habakkuk some things concerning Babylon. Look again with me at Habakkuk 2:6 where God says, “Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his!”

There are five times in the second chapter of Habakkuk that God says, “WOE.”  This word means calamity and destruction. In Habakkuk 2:4 God spoke about people living by faith. If we live by faith, then we are trusting God. He sees all things from beginning to end and the God Who sees all things will take care of us. AMEN!

And so God pronounces these calamities and judgments upon the nation of Babylon. He says that this will come to pass.

In Habakkuk 2:6 he says, “Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his.”

In Habakkuk 2:9 he says, “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness.”

In Habakkuk 2:12 he says, “Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood.”

In Habakkuk 2:15 he says, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink.”

In Habakkuk 2:19 he says, “Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, arise.”

God is telling Habakkuk that judgment and calamity is coming to Babylon and he lists five WOES and the reasons for the judgment. Remember Babylon was a wicked and cruel nation headed by the infamous King Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar reigned on the throne of Babylon for 63 years and had gained his power, strength and prosperity in evil ways.

This king who thought he was the greatest that ever lived would someday be brought down to his knees as an animal grazing on the grass of the field. He would face calamity and judgment by the hand of almighty God.

We want to look at each of these five woes in the weeks ahead, but today I want us to look at the first one in Habakkuk 2:6 which involved stealing or taking that which is not yours. Again God said, “Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his!”

The nation of Babylon was running over everyone else and taking all the spoils. God said that they have built a kingdom on thievery and I am going to judge them for this. Let’s look at some things here,

#1) The Lust.

In Habakkuk chapter two, God mentions the lust of these people. Remember that the Word of God says the problem is a problem of pride. Pride tells us that we don’t need God. It tells us that we are self-sufficient and that we can run our own lives and do as we please. We all have an enemy inside of us known as the “old nature.” This old nature is lusting for what is not ours.

The Babylonians had built themselves into the strongest nation in the world at that time by thievery. They built a city sixty miles in circumference. They had walls built around the city that we 300 feet high and 60 feet wide. So wide were the walls around the city that they held chariot races on them. They had the engineers who could channel a river through the middle of the city that would go under and around the roads they built. They had the most beautiful gardens that King Nebuchadnezzar had built for his wife. So beautiful were these gardens that they were considered one of the ancient wonders of the world.

Yet for all that intelligence and supposed power and might, these Babylonians and their King were so perverted and so far from God that their darkness led them to worship rocks and they believed that the world came into existence through a giant monster who spit on the ground and created human beings! What I am trying to say to you is that men in their lost degenerate states and with the lust of their wicked hearts have no limit to how far they can degenerate and how deep their evil hearts go.

Jeremiah 17:9 says that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Paul writes about nations and people like the Babylonians in Romans 1:19-32 where he says, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

You see folks, because of the wicked lust of the human heart; men who call themselves intelligent and genius refuse to allow God to be God and will go to any length to deny God. The human heart lusts for what God does not want us to have and this lust is founded in pride.

#2) The Lure

Why did these Babylonians take from other nations things that were not theirs and why did they heap up things that God did not intend for them to have?

The point is that there is not only a lust on the inside, but there is also a lure from the outside. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life come from within our evil hearts, but the lure that tugs and pulls on our hearts comes from the outside from the Devil himself. He tells us lies like its okay to have what were not supposed to have, it’s okay to jump into sin and live it up. He tells us to “Come on in the waters fine!” Jesus said of Satan that he is a liar and the father of it! And he is!

And so do you know why Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar were not satisfied with their kingdom and all that they had? They were not contented with the beauty and wonder that was ancient Babylon because they were not living by faith in the true and almighty God that’s why! 

The lust of the heart and the lure of Satan says, “I want more and more because nothing satisfies and I have to keep trying something else. The truth is that nothing satisfies apart from a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. People can and will keep chasing things all their lives taking that which is not theirs until finally one day they die and are sent to an eternal hell separated from God forever and ever but yet still wanting more. The problem is that in hell, the thirst will never be quenched.

We looked at the lust and the lure,

#3) The Loss

Look with me again at Habakkuk 2:6-7, “Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?”

Notice the question in verse six, “How long?” God declared to Habakkuk that there was going to come a time when the Babylonians would reap what they had sown. “How long?” Habakkuk did not know how long it would be, but certainly the time would come for Babylon to reap what she had sown. Sometime we think that we are getting away with things when there is no one around to see us. But we must never forget that there is an omnipresent God who sees and knows all things.

God said in Habakkuk 2:8, “Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee.” Mighty Babylon, once the greatest kingdom of Mesopotamia, once the mightiest nation on all the earth, today is nothing but a howling wilderness. There was no place in all the world, before or since, that rose to such splendor as did Babylon. Today the once beautiful Babylon is covered by water and its ruins can hardly be found.

Jeremiah 51:33-37 speaks of Babylon and says, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshingfloor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come. Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out. The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.”

God will have the last word and He will judge the wicked nations and peoples of the world in His time. God promised that this magnificent place known as Babylon would become an astonishment because He would destroy it from the face of the earth and the ruins of the city would not be found. God promised that they would lose all that they had gained.

God also spoke of Babylon through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 13:17-22, “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”

God told Habakkuk that the Babylonians and all that they had gotten was taken by force and as He said in chapter 2 verse 6, “Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his!” God said that all would be lost. They would lose it all! We all need to learn that we have an inward enemy, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. We also have an outward enemy who entices and lures us as well to try and get more and more and never be satisfied. We will find that all we seek to obtain through that lust and lure will someday be lost.

The secret to contentment and peace in the Christian life is found in Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” According to His word, God has freely given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. We do not have to steal or rob and take that which is not ours. Through Christ, God has freely given us all we need. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Let’s pray.

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