Living by faith - Habakkuk 2

Can faith guide us through confusion and injustice? Dive into Habakkuk's intense dialogue with God, where his complaints about using a wicked nation to punish Judah lead to profound insights on faith, righteousness, and God's ultimate control. Discover how "the righteous shall live by faith" in a world full of woes.

Small avatar of sermon author David Loader

David Loader


Transcript (Auto-generated)

Well good morning everyone so thanks Dylan for uh choosing those songs um if you've been taking particular I'm sure you have been taking particular of those songs uh they're very relevant for what we want to talk about today so this last one that we've just sung about the Battle belonging to God it's going to be significant what we want to say today and also the song before then talking about the Holiness of God we are talking about that today as well we're actually talking about a topic which well it's sort of been around for well several thousand years and it's not an easy topic to deal with it's this whole area of why do good things happen to bad people and why does God not do something about it so we've been doing this series we're just about at the end where we've been looking at uh Hagar and habac so to we sort of half of habac chapter 1 and chapter 2 and then um next week Dave we'll finish us off finish us off not sure whether that's the right term he will bring to conclusion uh habat chapter in chapter 3 if you got your Bibles here you really need them today and um whether that's the old-fashioned one in um ring or one on your on your um device and um I'm even going to invite you the end or towards the last slide that um that I show today I'm going to encourage you either take a photo of it write it down and I'll explain a bit more about that okay let's just pick out a couple of verses from um from this uh area today habac 1 verse2 to chapter 2 and verse 20 we're not going like to read it all the way through I'm going to trust that you'll go home and read it and hopefully this morning be able to give you a few Clues to be able to unlock this uh I think an rdit through the week and she said to me the other dayter I'm not sure what you going to do with this it's just so complex and whatever I said it's all right for you to read I got preacher sorry anyway we'll see how we go so Hab habak or Hab or something some people say Hab auts that's how i' say it uh chapter 1 and verse 12 read this way Lord are you not from Everlasting my God my Holy One we will not die oh Lord You've appointed them to execute judgment ack you have ordained them to punish your eyes are too pure to look on evil you cannot tolerate wrong why then do you tolerate the treacherous why you silent while the while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves they made men like fish in the sea like sea creatures that have no ruler the wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks he catches them in his net he gathers them in his drag net and so he rejoices and is glad therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his drag net for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food is he to keep on emptying his net destroying Nations without Mercy chapter 2 verse1 I'll stand at my watch and station myself on the ramp parts I will look to see what he will say to me habac had one complaint God responds looked at that last week Dylan let us read that habac is not satisfied comes back say a bit more about this in a minute but he says I'm going to go and stand on the wall on a tower on the wall and hear what God's got to say for himself so that's what that's about over chapter 2 verse4 see he has puffed up his eyes and not upright then this uh famous well-known passage or verse but the righteous will live by his faith take note of that and um if you're highlighting that's a good one to highlight that the righteous will live by his faith and then down at the very last verse in h chapter 2 which something should actually belong in chapter three but we're tring in with chapter 2 but the Lord is in his holy Temple let all the Earth be silent before him we know that God always blesses the reading of his word we going to pray thank you for your word it's unchangeable it lasts forever through it you speak to us we pray that you might do that today see through me as a speaker that we might hear what you would say to us speak to me as well as through me is my prayer today in the name of Jesus Amen all right we um need to do a bit of Bible History test um just as a refresher um just to get some sort of context here how many tribes were there in Israel 12 okay who can name all 12 uh no one well Dylan has been to Bible College so he can so you just go up to Dylan afterwards and say Dylan can you list off the 12 tribes of Israel for me and he'll just rattle them off so you want them in Hebrew alphabetically in whatever order something like that anyway 12 tribes of Israel were Loosely gathered group or Loosely gathered tribes until along the the children of Israel as this Loosely gathered people everywhere said we want a king and so God granted them a king and so began this this time of drawing these 12 tribes together and uh for three successive King Kings there was this United Israel the 12 tribes brought together so the first king was King Saul followed by King David and then King Solomon so those three Reigns uh those three kings lasted ran about 130 years where these 12 tribes all came together under this this one king it didn't take long until after King Solomon's Reign after he finished after he died it wasn't too long after that that due to Crazy Kings uh unfair taxes uh some different guys trying to fighting for King that these 12 tribes actually divided into two groups so the 10 tribes in the north were called uh Israel and there two tribes in the South called Judah the two tribes in the South doesn't sound fair but what Judah had going for it is that it was had in their around their two tribes was the city of Jerusalem which I think it about three times a year Jews were meant to go to Jerusalem to the temple to uh to worship so there were these uh the these two tribes which two Nations as it were Israel and Judah and it wasn't too long after this that um about 160 years that Israel uh well it just degener generated because of crazy Kings and as we're aware that God can't tolerate um this evil and so he sent along this other Nation called the Assyrians to conquer uh Israel take them off into captivity resettled part of it the Samaritans come into that and um and so you'd think that Judah would have learned from that but about another 160 years or so after that is the time when this is taking place and habac enter habac wakes up and uh looks around and just sees the degeneration of God's people the these people of Judah and says how on Earth can this happen again they can see what has happened to their cousins uh in Israel 160 years ago just take a note of History they disobeyed God and the the Assyrians were brought to take them off why can't the people of Judah learn from their mistakes fact that's not a bad question to ask you and me today is it why can't we learn from other people's mistakes so habac realizing that there's all these these problems here um around then confronts God and says God how on Earth can you allow all of this all of this problems to happen and for you not to do anything about it so this was his complaint which Dylan took us through last week why aren't you punishing Judah and God replies to him says well actually I am going to I am going to and I'm sending along the calans to uh to to bring punishment this time the syrians attacked Israel calans attacking Judah and this is what habac second complaint is about is this if you think Judah is bad the Calas are even far worse God what on Earth are you thinking here how can you use your people being evil and you're going to use somebody who's even more evil to come and to punish them this is the question that he's asked and this is why he says I'm I'm asking God this question I'm going up onto the wall up onto a chair on the wall and I'm going to stay there until God answers this question for me and so this is what this uh this second issue what it's all about and the response in summary is this God says I am fully aware and in control now I want to flick over to two key verses two important verses which I've already highlighted and um and as I say if you're Maring a Bible you should do that put a mark there if necessary put the date here so this is when it was when it came to your attention here are two verses that are important the first verse I'd rather look at them in reverse order but we're looking at them in the order that they occur but the first verse of importance here talks about us as people talking about Judah of course but the application comes to us as well and it says this but the righteous shall live by faith we're going to come back and look at that in a bit more detail in just a couple of minutes time so this is our role this is the role of of the people of Judah their role was to be just people who are living by faith righteous people just as the old King James but then we go down to the last verse is this second uh important verse is God's position and this is God's position where it says but the Lord is in his holy Temple let all the Earth be silent before him remember about Judah what I said um they had Jerusalem there and in Jerusalem was the temple but here God is saying the Lord and you'll see that that's all capitalized we all know that when we said all capitalized it's Yahweh it's his personal name but Yahweh the Lord is in his holy Temple and so there's this sense where God is actually while the temple here is is the presence of God on Earth but here it's saying you know the Lord is in his holy Temple he's in heaven Lord is in his holy Temple let all the Earth be silent before for him the fact that he's in this Holy Temple talks about that he's a ruling King that he's holy and it says let all the Earth not only Judah but the calans and the Assyrians and the Israelites and the Australians and the Kabul chamar field residents let all the Earth be silent before him there are times when it's appropriate of course for us to be U to be worshiping loud and joyfully like we've been doing a little bit this morning but there's also a time when we need to be silent before God silent is we take in the awe and the Majesty of who he is but silent before him where we can listen and say God what would you like to say to me so here are these two verses which help us to understand and to bring together this this whole passage our role in habac 2:4 the righteous the just joed by faith put that together with where God is his position but the Lord is in his holy Temple let me just come back to Hab habac chap 2 and verse4 and just put out a couple of things about it this verse is so important that actually is repeated three times in the New Testament um in Romans Galatians and Hebrews and let me be a bit pedantic here just for a moment and U if you look at the surrounding verses in all of this and this is being ptic and you might not see quite like this that's okay too but in Romans chapter 1 around this area Paul is talking about being right with God so when this verse is quoted there it almost seems to me that the emphasis on is on the righteous the righteous will live by faith when we get to Galatians Paul talking to the Church of Galatians talking about the life which they are living and uh this is what life in Jesus is like and so being pedantic again maybe unnecessarily say it seems to me like the emphasis is on live the righteous will live by faith when we get to Hebrews Hebrews chapter 10 this is right at the end of chapter 10 CH Hebrews chapter 11 is the great chapter on faith and so it seems like this the writer of the Hebrews is emphasizing bringing in this here but the righteous will live by faith all three words there are important in all of these passages but uh just something for you to think about and and to mull over let me just have a look have a look just for a few minutes at what this verse of these three things uh that are highlighted here firstly the just or the righteous um what this is talking about a person who is just or who is righteous uh the righteous we can just take the right and it's talking about somebody who is right before God um it's a god- centered life that this is the life that we're living where where my life revolves around God that he's the Center of My Universe um that that he's he's the controller of everything so when somebody's in that position and maybe just to backtrack it a little bit there um there may be people here this morning who that's not your your place and you need to come to be uh come in Repentance before God to put your life right with God uh but this is what a righteous person is but then to live where living is everything in life it's all of life I mean trying to think about how to express this in a better way uh or something to make it clearer and the only thing I've come up with is probably a very poor illustration is if if I'm going to live I'm I'm Brea I'm breathing um there's a problem if I stop breathing and uh that's the end of life when when that happens so the justice will live is that where where wherever I'm breathing that God is the center of my life now I want to say this this morning is there are probably some people here who um who cannot say that that this is not the your experience that is is that the life that you are living here which we see here on a Sunday is not the same life which your family see when you're at home you see the just shall live by faith that's the whole of life is that what we see here on Sunday ought to be consistent with what we what you how you live your life at home now do I have anybody in mind no I don't I don't know uh how it is for you but can I say this is that if it implies that you need to do something about it if it doesn't then let it go through to the keeper or or somewhere else where we breath where the whole of life is when we're at work and I dare say that the congregation this size that there's probably some fake here a folk here who what happens at work is inconsistent with what is happening right here that is the Trashy Jokes which are told of the Trashy conversation um that you happy to tolerate or to join in maybe even trashy work practice I es that you involve yourself in and there's probably nobody at work really realized by your life that you belong to the Lord Jesus and if that's you if you fit into that category then this verse you need to stop and to think and take not of that in the presence of God the just those who are right before God will live the whole of life will live by faith faith is um one of those words which we Define and redefine and Define again in different words um I've used different definitions the more technical one that um that I've come up with for for me is that faith is acting on a conviction based on the word of God without knowing the end result um if we want to take the words of a hymn we could Define faith as trust and obey when we walk with the Lord in the light of his word trust and Obey it's Faith living the life of Faith but here I'm using this other definition which I've just come up with for for the sake of this sermon is is that is that faith is two things it's an attitude plus an action the attitude is God is in his holy Temple I am righteous the whole of life revolves around him that's my attitude seek first the kingdom of God that that is my attitude but it's not enough just to have an attitude that that says God is all of this because it must work out in the whole of Life there must be an action which results from that the two go hand in hand the Bible says it time and time again is that faith without works is it's not Faith at all so faith is an attitude that God is in control and it's an action results in the way that I live it's a change of life but it's also a change of living as well and so we have these two things God is in his holy Temple still in control of everything and here are the people well of Judah which is based a bit like like the the just is living the just shall live by faith and it's on this in this category that things are really failing and God says to habac I am fully aware of what's going on so from verse six round down to the end of the chapter um time and time again there is these the the recurrence of this word woe well it occurs five times w wo um this word woe appears 50 times in the prophets every time it's use there it's talking about um negative warnings by God about God's punishment wo something is about to happen um it's sort of like some mothers have a tendency to do is to say you wait until your father gets home Woe Is you my mother never practiced that she thought wo right now was the best way of dealing with it well that's what I discovered anyway uh several times um and so this is what whenever this word wo occurs it's um I'm coming to get you you're not going to get away with it here are some things that I have concerns about and so when habac is saying to God God you don't seem to be fully aware of what's going on God says I know fully what's happening and way be tied people who are involved in this so there are these uh these five ways money power politics sex and religion now when you look at those five things there's nothing wrong with them in themselves nothing wrong with money nothing wrong with being rich nothing wrong with power nothing wrong with exercising power nothing wrong with politics nothing wrong with sex nothing wrong with religion so these things in themselves all a part of God's purpose for our living the problem that God is having here in these ways is not that they are being used but they are being abused and it's the abuse of these five things that uh that God says to habac habac this is what I'm saying um so it's not just a general habac I know what's going on habac I know it's going on and I'm looking and I'm seeing these five things which are occurring So it's talking about we don't have time to uh to go through them all in detail but let me just summarize them and you can go through and read in a bit more detail but money the concern that God has here in verse six they each about two or three verses each the concern is that people are becoming rich by stealing by extortion or by oppression so they're getting rich not in legitimate ways but by illegitimate ways and this is what God's concern is about power God's concern is not that power is being exercised but people uh the rule is are gaining control by bringing others down like even in everyday life that's something that we all need to be careful of it's so easy for us to make ourselves look good in conversation with others it's so easy to make ourselves look good or try to make ourselves look good by bringing down other people around about us if we can bring them down it sort of makes us hopefully look a bit better so in a smaller way this is happening at a national level but in a smaller way but in a the principle is the same here that we need to be careful about politics where people using bribery and stand over tactics to uh to get the their way almost sounds like some politics around the world today doesn't it um let you think about that one six where it's forbidden sexual conduct and religion idol worship I just to think that Idols were um well they a thing of the past or in foreign countries whatever but um yeah we have Idols we have Idols in our society and we probably some of us have Idols in our own life um what value is an idol Verse 18 says since a man has carved it it's something we make it out to be or an image that teaches lies for he who makes a trust in his own creation he makes Idols that cannot speak way to him he says to would come to life or a life will Stone wake up can it give guidance it is covered with gold and silver there is no breath in it so certainly what's being talked about here is the creation of the physical Idol and um and the worship of it and the expectation that this um this creation of our creation or their creation is somehow going to give out give us guidance through life so that's that's really what an idol really comes down to is it something that we create in our lives or have in our lives that we think is going to give us guidance and takes a priority in our life takes a priority over God in our life so instead of looking to God for our guidance and for how we're going to live our lives we look to what things like our education our security our family sport you you put anything anything that comes uh comes you know before God because more important than God that we look to becomes an idol in our life so I need to be careful of that as well so here's God's awareness I'm aware of these five things that are happening haboc and these are going to not go unpunished wo be TI come to get you these people who are involved in this are going to be punished this is what habat uh had to deal with habac comes before God says God what are all these things happening and you're not doing a thing about it have you ever asked that question my guess is is that somewhere in our lives statistically speaking that probably round about 100% of us have asked that question God so much is happening round about us why aren't you doing something about it and it's not just Christians are asking that but non-christians are asking the same question if there is a God and a god of love why does he allow these sorts of things to happen and it's a very real question and a question which is worthwhile asking and to get up on the city wall up on the tower and to sit up there and say God what on Earth's happening here now I don't have all the answers I wish I did even for my own sake but I want to to just highlight a few things for us to think about and to be aware of so this last slide which is just about to come up is the one which um either you need to to write down or to take a photo permission to get out your camera your phone and take a phone this is not my words this is what God is saying to us okay maybe even at the end if you're sitting too far back um Jenny might put this slide on at the end of the service and and uh you can come down the front and take a photo of it here are four things and outlook on live I've got uh four four ways a high view a Long View a short View and an ultimate view other ways look at this way look up look ahead look around and look to the end doesn't matter how you're working so it's a high view so habak is asking this question why are the these things happening and he should have been aware of what his cousin prophet Isaiah is saying in Isaiah 58-12 and I've just got part of verse 8 here which says God is speaking he says for my thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways my ways says the Lord um it's worthwhile reading a few more verses there in verses 8 to2 um verse n says as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts goes on there for the next couple of verses too what that verse is saying is this is that God thinks very differently from the way that you and I think a lot of times the way that we think is not the way that God is thinking and I don't fully appreciate that don't fully understand it I need to accept that and one of the reasons is is that God is in his holy Temple looking down not only over everything that's happening now but looking over the whole of History so right from the beginning right through the end God is observant of it all and in all of that you and I have that much time in in our lives but that much space in what we observe and God speaking to Isaiah the prophet saying Isaiah you're only just your experience your observations and everything are just so limited and what you need to understand is and what you need to understand for all of us here today is that God's ways are not your ways is how God will respond in situations is probably very different often to the way that you then I respond I find that quite often actually um quite often is probably overstating I find that periodically that when I'm reading the Bible and reading what God is doing and how he's acting I think well why did God act that way I would not have done that or when we aspire to live a life like Jesus to read the gospels and how Jesus treated people how he treated situation I think wow I would would not have responded that way and so rather than try to bring a correction into Jesus life to bring a correction into my life and say God please help me to think more like you help me to be more like Jesus in the way that I respond and uh and interact with other people so that's the High View to be aware that God God's way is not our way the second view is the Long View um I always have uh trouble remembering I'm not so familiar with this passage but I can never remember whether it's Psalm 73 or Psalm 37 and uh even this morning often when I preach you go for an early morning walk and then just going over my seven while I'm walking along is it Psalm 73 Psalm 37 it's why we have notes here to make sure that we get it right but Psalm 73 the psalm is here this is a worthwhile Psalm to to read um Psalm 73 beginning surely God is good to Israel to those who are pure in heart but as for me my feet had almost slipped I had nearly lost my foothold for I envied The Arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked they have no struggles bodies are healthy and strong they're free from the burdens common to man all the rest of it goes on and on the psalmist to say here U the wicked people are just do it so good and here I trying to be God's person and I'm doing it so tough and he writes this and then God gives him this experience in um verse 16 Psalm 73 says when I tried to understand all of this it was oppressive to me until I entered the sanctuary of God then I understood their final Destiny Verse 18 surely you place them on slippery ground you cast them down to ruin how suddenly are they destroyed completely Swept Away by Terror the word's not there but you know it could have been wo wo I'm coming to get you so for the first 16 or 15 verses of the psalm the Psalms say how come the wicked people are doing it so easy and me trying to be God's person is doing it so tough hey have a look at the end result they seem to be doing so good until I entered the sanctuary of God and I saw their final Destiny and not only did I see their final Destiny uh pushed right away from the presence of God that happen suddenly and quickly so have a Long View of things as well remember what's going on around abouts that God seeing it differently for where I am they seem to be getting right with it but the time is coming and then verse uh number three is a short view where Paul writing to the Church of Corinth says but we live by faith not by what we see most of our life we um we're interacting by what we can see agree in fact we can say even more than that our five senses we respond and interact by what we can see what we can hear what we can uh touch what we can taste what we can smell these five senses govern the way that we interact with life Paul is saying to the church at Corinth don't live that way Faith that's important we do have to take that into consideration but don't be driven by that we live by faith what's faith faith is an attitude God is in control and an action I'll live my life knowing that he's in control see this is with habitat's problem was yeah yet gods are in control but I'm not living by faith at the moment God cuz I'm just going by what I can see and everybody's getting away with everything and God's saying to habac and he's saying to the Church of Corinth he's saying to you and to me get into the Habit fol get into the practice if yes we live in this physical world and we have to live round about but keep our eyes on Jesus keep our eyes on God the god who's in his holy Temple let all the Earth before him remain silent listen to him what he's saying be guided by him he can see things from beginning the end round about all about trust him trust him in all of these things and then there's this ultimate view job was a man of Faith he lost everything it any one was the candidate P yesterday he was he was there just lost so much and yet his testimony was this even if God gets to the point of killing me I still will trust him even if God takes me out I'm still going to be trusting him J around today nope God took him out and we understand that right to the very end he was trusting God um unless Jesus returns the same's going to happen to us and the testy that we can have as we look uh as we have this High View The Long View the short view the ultimate view right to the very end of my life I'm going to be trus in God why well we do this because we do this because God is in control he's still in his Temple F I don't know what's going on in your life right now and I don't know what your view is but there's this one verse which just came to me this morning was out walking and so it's not on the PowerPoint because already completed by them but you might want to write this down 2 Chronicles ch 20 and verse 12 where God's people were faced with an army round about and they didn't know what to do and this is what 2 Chronicles 20 verse2 says we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you you get that we do not know what to do that our eyes are on you f when you get into that situation where I have no idea what's going on don't know what God is he doesn't seem to be doing anything remember all of these things but also remember this even though I do not know what to do my eyes are on you can you do that let's pray so many lessons Lord for us to learn from this man habac thank you Lord that you spoke to him and taught him so much and even though he lives a few thousand years ago plus what you said to him how you dealt with him lessons in there for us today Lord in this congregation as we sit here I don't know how many people are in that situation right now so I really don't know what I need to do in life Lord give them the Courage the grace and the strength to look to you we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you to recognize that you see everything your ways are not our ways to recognize that there's an eternity what's happening now is not going to last that long to help us to live by faith not by S and to stay made True to Jesus to the very end of our Lives we commit ourselves to you for that and brothers and sisters round about us our families our friends we pray for them we commend them to you that this might be their testimony as well in the name of Jesus. Amen.