The Book of Habakkuk

“Lord, Send A Revival”

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Lesson 7 - “All We Want Is More”

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

Habakkuk 2:1-9, “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 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. (Verse 9) Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!”

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.

In our last lesson, we said that God pronounced five “Woes” upon the Babylonians in Habakkuk chapter two. This word means calamity and destruction. 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.

The first “WOE” we looked at last week was in Habakkuk 2:6 which said, “Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his.” We saw the lust, the lure and the loss. Babylon reaped what they had sown and lost everything they had. Today, Babylon is just a history lesson and not a remnant can be found of her past and faded glory.

Today I want to look at the second “WOE” found in Habakkuk 2:9 which says, “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!” Last week we saw God’s judgment upon Babylon for the way by which they increased, by stealing and taking that which wasn’t theirs.

This week we want to see God’s judgment because of Babylon’s covetousness. As you know, this deals with the tenth commandment. Exodus 20:17 says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's.”

Commandment number ten is unlike all the other nine commandments. It does not deal with our actions, but our attitude; it does not deal with our deeds, but with our desires. It deals with the motives behind the other nine. God summarizes the Ten Commandments with, “Thou shalt not covet.” Covetousness is a strong desire to want more and more of something that does not belong to you.

There is a good coveting and a bad coveting. In I Corinthians 12:31 Paul tells the church after explaining about Spiritual gifts that they should, “Covet earnestly the best gifts.” The coveting that Habakkuk is writing about is an evil covetousness. That is what God declares that the Babylonians are guilty of having. It’s a philosophy that is prevalent in our society today that more is never enough and that all we want is more! The fact is that if we neglect the true and living God, we are never going to be satisfied because only the Lord can truly satisfy our innermost need.

Let’s look at some things here,

#1) What We Pursue

Once again, the Bible says in Habakkuk 2:9, “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness.” Let us think about what we pursue. In other words, what are you giving your life to? Every one of us is on some path in life trying to get somewhere or accomplish something with our lives. All of us have a pursuit. We live in a world that bombards us with the idea that we must keep up with the Joneses. We’ve been told that what matters in life is how many material things we possess.

The truth is, we must place the real value on what is eternal and not temporal. As believers, what we should pursue with our lives is what the Lord Jesus Christ has for us, the true riches. Our goal should be God and following after Him. God told Habakkuk that he must keep His eyes on Him, no matter what was going to happen around him. The Babylonians were going to come down upon Judah and take away everything from everyone. Everything would be taken. It would seem as if all was gone, all was wasted and all was destroyed but through it all, God would remain the same.

 

All of us pursue something and we all are passionate about these things. We become what we pursue or what we think about the most. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:5-6, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

In other words, the Bible is saying that we should be content and be satisfied knowing that the Lord Jesus said that He would be with us and never leave us or forsake us. One of the more forceful verses in the Bible about covetousness is found in Colossians 3:5, “Mortify (Put to death) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

Most of us here today would not think about going home and setting up an altar and worshipping say a wooden statue or idol and look at it and say, “I worship you, I adore you, I belong to you.” But when we live our lives just to get more and more and when we pursue things to the neglect of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are saying those things by our actions! That is why God says in Colossians that covetousness is idolatry.

What are you pursuing in life? Where do your affections lie? Colossians 3:1-2 encourages us saying, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

We looked at what we pursue,

#2) What We Possess

Once again Habakkuk 2:9 says, “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house.”  He is pursuing this for his house. And then God says in verse nine, “That he may set his nest on high.” In other words, he is pursuing this so that he can say, “I am the best, I am the greatest, I am the highest!” This speaks to our pride and our possessions.

God never called anyone to be the greatest Christian among other Christians; he calls us all to be the best we can be for Him. Living for God has nothing to do with being better, bigger, higher or greater than someone else. Most people I know that have many possessions, soon find that those things don’t truly satisfy. I Timothy 6:6 tells us that, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” To possess contentment then is to possess great gain. Our contentment as believers is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We looked at what we pursue and what we possess,

#3) What We Prove

Each of our lives is a living lesson; we all prove something. The Bible tells us that the Babylonians sought to prove that they could be delivered from the power of evil. The problem was they were not trusting in God but in themselves. The judgment of God eventually fell on them and in one night they found out that with all they had, they were still not safe. God allowed the Medes and Persians to invade them while King Belshazzar was drunk in his banquet hall.

If the Lord tarries His coming, all of us are going to die someday. The return of the Lord Jesus is a Biblical certainty. Some of us may be alive when He comes and some of us may not be. The fact is though that all of us are going to prove something. We are either going to prove our neglect of the Lord Jesus, because of our coveting to get more and more in life, or we are going to prove by our yielding to Christ that real peace, happiness and contentment is found in Him. We are going to prove one way or the other.

Remember the parable that the Lord Jesus gave in Luke chapter 12 a certain rich man. The Bible says that Jesus was talking to a great sized group. It was called an “innumerable multitude.” He was talking about some very serious things and right in the middle of it all, a man jumped up and said to the Lord, “I’ve got an inheritance coming to me and I want you to help me get it.” The Lord said this back to him in Luke 12:15-20, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”

Think about in your own life, what you pursue, what you possess and what you prove. If we live for the world, we prove that the world doesn’t satisfy. However, if we pursue the Lord Jesus Christ and we possess contentment and a peace that passes all human understanding, then we prove that He truly does satisfy our hearts deepest need.

Let’s pray.



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