The Book of Habakkuk

“Lord, Send A Revival”

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Lesson 8 - “When Stones Speak & Timbers Answer”

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

Habakkuk 2:10-14, “Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

We’re continuing our series on the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk. God was not only going to judge the nation of Israel because of her backsliding, but He was also going to judge Babylon as well for her great wickedness and sin.

King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians had great pride in what they had accomplished as a nation. In Habakkuk’s day, Babylon became known as the strongest nation in all the world. The problem was that they had accomplished all that by destroying everything and everyone that got in their way. In Habakkuk 2:12 God pronounces the third of five “Woes” against Babylon and says, “Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood.” And so God was going to judge Babylon, not because of their position, but because of how they attained that position. God will always judge those who exploit people and use people for personal gain.

As the Babylonians swept through the land, they would terrorize people, kill the helpless and perform all types of atrocities among their captives. They were known along with the Assyrians as the cruelest of all armies in the history of mankind. Just think how human beings, created in God’s image and likeness, can become so cruel! I believe it’s because they fell so in love with the world, the things of the world and attaining those things, that their regard for other human lives was completely diminished.

God told Babylon in verse eleven that, “Even in all their splendor and all that they took pride in, that the stones of the city are going to cry out to them and the timbers that they used to build it are going to answer them.” In other words He was saying to Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar, “You are never going to live in peace because everything that you have taken to build your empire will be a testimony against you. It will cry out that you have sinned against God and did not attain greatness the right way.

A great lesson is learned here. If you do not get things the right way, you will never enjoy them. If you do not get to where you are going the right way, you will never enjoy it once you get there and if you do not become the kind of person that God desires you to become, you will never have true happiness.

God says the same thing in the New Testament book of James in James 5:1-4 where he says, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.”

You see folks, it matters not only what we think we have accomplished but also what we have done to accomplish it. We think that many people who have attained lofty positions in life are thrilled to be there, but in many cases their hearts testify against them if they have done wrong to get where they are. Though Babylon rose to great heights and claimed to be the greatest nation in the world; when they entered back into their city, the very stones of the city cried out against them and the timbers answered. What did they say? They testified to them that what they had gained and more importantly, the means by how they gained it, was not right!

The truth is that we are going to meet God around every corner. God is going to get the last word and He is going to speak to us in a thousand different ways and through a thousand different means in order to get His message to our hearts. Let’s look at three things here,

#1) Glory can turn into shame.

The Bible says in Habakkuk 2:10, “Thou hast consulted shame to thy house.” Their glory turned into shame. God pronounced judgment in the form of five “Woes” against the Babylonians. We looked at the first two already. They third woe in found in verse twelve were God says, “Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood and establisheth a city by iniquity.”  God was saying that all that Babylon had gained was gotten by exploiting people. That means that men use people to gain power and position. It happens all the time in the political and business world and I’m afraid even in the religious world as well.

According to history, Babylon was full of glory and splendor. King Nebuchadnezzar reigned over 63 years. The rest of the world at that time would tremble at the thought of Babylon, but God said, “Your glory is nothing but shame and that they have consulted or invited shame into their houses. If any of us gets what we get the wrong way, even though others may praise our exploits, God declares that our glory is nothing to Him but shame.

I Peter 1:24 says, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” In other words, all the glory of man and all that man can accomplish is temporal at best just as the flower and the grass withereth and falleth away.

We said that glory can turn into shame and,

#2) Gain for them was nothing but sin.

Habakkuk 2:10, “Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.” These Babylonians gained everything there was to gain. They defeated once mighty Egypt and God’s people in Judah were left standing in the way as they marched towards conquering other lands and peoples. They would ransack the temple of God in Jerusalem and capture the golden vessels from the house of God and take them back to Babylon to be used in the worship of their heathen gods. And God said, “All of your gain has turned into nothing but sin. Because in all your doing and in all your gaining, you have neglected the One True God!”

You may be saying, “I’m nothing like these wicked Babylonians.” But you had better think again. It is easily possible for any of us to have everything the world has to offer but yet neglect the One True God. Oh yes it can happen to the best of us!

Ask yourself this question, “Where is God in my life?” God said to the Babylonians, “Your gain is sin because in gaining it, you have neglected your soul.” No wonder the Lord Jesus said in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” You see folks, gain is nothing but sin, if we leave God out.

I know people and so do you who have gained much in this world but who have neglected the Lord in their lives to get it. God says that the gain becomes sin without the Lord. What at one time seemed so beautiful will someday testify against you if you leave God out of your life. We must realize that if we leave Christ out of the center of our lives, we will never truly enjoy living.

Many people have started out to sincerely do right and when they started to be blessed and receive opportunities to better themselves, they did so to the neglect of the Lord Jesus Christ, His church and His Book. They began to miss church and devotion time and soul winning opportunities to accomplish their lofty goals that they had set for themselves. One day when they arrive at the top, they found that they have lost their families, their inner peace and joy, their church and their families. That kind of success, according to God, is nothing but sin when He is not included. The stones will speak and the timbers will answer. It is never worth it when our glory turns to shame and our gain cried out against us!

We said that glory can turn into shame and Gain can become sin,

#3) God cannot be silenced.

Habakkuk 2:11 says, “For the stone shall cry out of the wall.” You see the Babylonians said, “We don’t want to worship your God, the God of Judah. We have our own gods.” God said, “I will speak through the stones in the walls and I will cry out and answer in the timbers of your walls. My voice will be heard. God cannot be silenced and His voice will be heard!!!!!

When the Lord Jesus was making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the people cried out, “Hosanna to the King!” The enemies of Christ wanted His followers to stop speaking. They wanted all the voices of those crying out to be silent. The Bible says in Luke 19:37-40,

“And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

God cannot be silenced! He will speak to you and use anything He wants in our lives to get our attention. Many years after Babylon’s greatness had already peaked; King Belshazzar was sitting at the banquet table surrounded by his people. The Bible record in the fifth chapter of Daniel that while they sat around in a drunken stupor, celebrating their greatness and power, that the hand of God wrote on the wall and told them that their once mighty kingdom would be destroyed. And literally the stones and timbers carried God’s message to this doomed King and nation.

God wants to speak to our hearts as well. He wants to be in the center of our lives and in all that we say and do. Paul wrote to the Colossian believers in Colossians 1:18 speaking about Christ and he said this, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Christ must have first place in our hearts and lives. Let’s not be like the Babylonians in that we must put Christ first in our lives, our homes, our families, our work place, and in everything.

Let’s pray.

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