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Embracing the Dip

Habakkuk  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:36
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Introduction

Habakkuk means = to embrace, or to wrestle.
One of the 12 minor prophets, who we don’t know much about.
The book was written before 605 B.C. before the Babylonians became a significant threat at the battle of Carchemish in 605.
By 597 the Babylonians had captured Jerusalem and taken the King of Judah captive, leading us into the book of Daniel.
So Habakkuk is the lead up to the book of Daniel historically.
It’s a story about a prophet who cry’s out to God because he doesn’t like when he sees around him, but when he receives his answer form God he wrestles with God over the process.

A Prophet Perplexed: Why Does God Permit Injustice? (1:1–17).

A. Prophet’s first protest: A cry for deliverance from violence and iniquity (1:1–4).
What do you do when what you see with your eyes is so different then what you believe with your heart?
The prophet cry’s out for help, asking for injustice to be taken care of, the violence to end.
B. God’s first reply: The worst is yet to be (1:5–11).
God’s reply is interesting, instead of delivering His people from their poor behaviour, he tells Habakkuk that He is going to put them through hard times, using the Babylonians as their difficulty.
The Babylonians are horrible people, worse then God’s people, so Habakkuk is confused about why God would do such a thing to His own people.
Review “the Dip” Illustration Drawing.
Todays scripture picks up where we left off last week. Habakkuk is wrestling with God over why He would take His people into the dip, instead of protecting them from the hardship.

Prophet’s second protest

Habakkuk 1:12–17 CSB
Are you not from eternity, Lord my God? My Holy One, you will not die. Lord, you appointed them to execute judgment; my Rock, you destined them to punish us. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. So why do you tolerate those who are treacherous? Why are you silent while one who is wicked swallows up one who is more righteous than himself? You have made mankind like the fish of the sea, like marine creatures that have no ruler. The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook, catch them in their dragnet, and gather them in their fishing net; that is why they are glad and rejoice. That is why they sacrifice to their dragnet and burn incense to their fishing net, for by these things their portion is rich and their food plentiful. Will they therefore empty their net and continually slaughter nations without mercy?
A. How can a holy God use such a cruel instrument as this evil people? (1:12–17).
Habakkuk is beside himself, what He knows about God doesn’t match with what God is doing.
No one wants to go through the dip, yet God can and will walk us through it.
The apostle Paul pleaded with God regarding an issue he calls “a thorn in his side”, something that is hindering him in ministry.
2 Corinthians 12:8–9 CSB
Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it would leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.
Sometimes we plead with God to take away our suffering, yet for some reason He tells us we have to go through it.
James 1:2–4 CSB
Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
In order to experience a deeper intimacy with God we must learn to live in the dip. So how does Habakkuk the prophet live in the dip?

A Prophet Perceiving: The Righteous Shall Live by Faith (2:1–20).

A. God’s second reply (2:1–5).
Habakkuk 2:1–5 CSB
I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the lookout tower. I will watch to see what he will say to me and what I should reply about my complaint. The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith. Moreover, wine betrays; an arrogant man is never at rest. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, and like Death he is never satisfied. He gathers all the nations to himself; he collects all the peoples for himself.
He waits for a revelation from God. Habakkuk states his issues, then waits, listens, and pays attention to what God has to say.
1. Revelation comes to one prepared to wait, listen, and pay attention. (2:1).
when we are in the dip, we must press into God, not pull away.
We ask God to reveal to us our next steps.
One of the challenges to this is we often expect a certain outcome, and when we don’t receive that outcome we think God remained silent.
But that’s not true, the wanted outcome caused us to only listen for what we want to hear.
In the dip you have to embrace the suffering, be still, wait, listen and pay attention to everything around you. You will hear from God, He will show you.
2. Revelation must be easy to understand (2:2).
It won’t be complicated, often when the answer we receive from God seems complicated it’s because we are approaching His answer through the lens of what we determined we want.
3. Revelation will prove true in God’s time (2:3).
When God reveals your path it will come to be. His revelation always proves to be true, sometimes we don’t see it until we look back.
The reality is we have a choice in the dip, we can embrace it and wait, or we can attempt to get what we want.
This passage shows us both side of this story. Go d calls us to live by faith, that is what will walk us through the dip. But when we have a determined outcome in mind and we don’t get what we want, we struggle with faith.
4. Persistent faith—not pride, parties, or plunder—is the distinguishing mark of the righteous (2:4–5).
Habakkuk 2:4 CSB
Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith.
The apostle Paul understood what it takes to journey through the dip.
Philippians 4:11–13 CSB
I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul knew that he needed to press in on Jesus rather then live the way he wanted in order to find contentment in the dip.
God goes on to explain to Habakkuk what happens to those who decide to walk away, those who decide to live their life without faith.
B. God taunts His materialistic enemy (2:6–20).
Habakkuk 2:6–19 CSB
Won’t all of these take up a taunt against him, with mockery and riddles about him? They will say: Woe to him who amasses what is not his— how much longer?— and loads himself with goods taken in pledge. Won’t your creditors suddenly arise, and those who disturb you wake up? Then you will become spoil for them. Since you have plundered many nations, all the peoples who remain will plunder you— because of human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them. Woe to him who dishonestly makes wealth for his house to place his nest on high, to escape the grasp of disaster! You have planned shame for your house by wiping out many peoples and sinning against your own self. For the stones will cry out from the wall, and the rafters will answer them from the woodwork. Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with injustice! Is it not from the Lord of Armies that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire and countries exhaust themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the water covers the sea. Woe to him who gives his neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath and even making them drunk, in order to look at their nakedness! You will be filled with disgrace instead of glory. You also—drink, and expose your uncircumcision! The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, and utter disgrace will cover your glory. For your violence against Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of animals will terrify you because of your human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them. What use is a carved idol after its craftsman carves it? It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies. For the one who crafts its shape trusts in it and makes idols that cannot speak. Woe to him who says to wood: Wake up! or to mute stone: Come alive! Can it teach? Look! It may be plated with gold and silver, yet there is no breath in it at all.
1. First taunt song: Woe because of pride and ambition (2:6–8).
2. Second taunt song: Woe because of arrogance and greed (2:9–11).
3. Third taunt song: Woe because of cruelty (2:12–14).
4. Fourth taunt song: Woe because of drunkenness (2:15–17).
5. Fifth taunt song: Woe because of idolatry (2:18–19).
These five things explain what it looks like to walk away from God, to seek our own agenda instead of His agenda.
When we are in the dip and we don’t wait on God we push for the answer it produces pride, arrogance, greed, cruelty, idolatry, and even drunkenness. These are all the things that our agenda can lead to.
God calls everyone to worship Him, it is our worship that brings us out of the dip.
6. Conclusion: A call for universal worship of the holy God (2:20).
Habakkuk 2:20 CSB
But the Lord is in his holy temple; let the whole earth be silent in his presence.

Conclusion

Faith is what gets us through the dip and brings us to maturity in Christ.
The book of Hebrews shows us what this looks like based on history.
Hebrews 11:1–3 CSB
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it our ancestors won God’s approval. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
Hebrews 11:4 CSB
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.
Hebrews 11:5–6 CSB
By faith Enoch was taken away, and so he did not experience death. He was not to be found because God took him away. For before he was taken away, he was approved as one who pleased God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:8 CSB
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going.
Hebrews 11:11 CSB
By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the one who had promised was faithful.
Hebrews 11:17 CSB
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and yet he was offering his one and only son,
Hebrews 11:32–34 CSB
And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight.
Hebrews 11:39–40 CSB
All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.
All of these people in history lived by faith, and God brought them through the dip and they grew because of it.
But none of these historical people had Jesus like we do, we have been equipped for endurance to run the race better then any of the historical Biblical people.
Thats right you have something Abraham didn’t, you have something Moses and David didn’t. You have the cross of Jesus Christ and the Spirit living in you.
Hebrews 12:1–2 CSB
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Big Idea: When it seems like our lives are in the dip, press into Jesus, listen and watch. Don’t decide what the outcome should be, just press in, and wait. Live you life by faith and God will bring you through the dip. The reward will be a closer relationship, a deeper intimacy with our creator.
God wants all of us to journey through things with Him, not control the issues but to trust Him through the issues. That is faith, trusting God when we can’t see the finish line. Just keep running, you will get there.
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