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Habakkuk 2:5-20 God's 2nd Reply

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Introduction

What has happened to the fear of the Lord?
This is a very important question for us when reading through this portion of Holy Scripture.
The book of Habakkuk is a book about God. More specifically about what He does when His people rebel in sin and idolatry.
Jeremiah 1:13–16 ESV
The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands.
The fear of the Lord was not present among His people.
They forsook the Lord. They offered sacrifices to other gods and they became idolaters.
But what would have happened if they had remained reverent, fearful of God?
If a people remained fearful of the Lord
Psalm 128 ESV
A Song of Ascents. Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
Psalm
But what happened to those who did not fear Him? Who have forsaken Him? The opposite of .
The opposite of Psalm 128.
Cursed is anyone who doesn’t fear the Lord, who does not walk in his ways!
They shall not eat the fruit of the labor of their hands.
They shall not be blessed, and it will not be well with them.
Their wives will not be like a fruitful vine within their house.
Their children will not be like olive shoots around their table.
The man who does not fear not the Lord will be cursed.
The Lord will not bless them from Zion!
They will not see the prosperity of Jerusalem.
They will not see their children’s children.
Peace will not be upon Israel.
This is what happens to a people who do not fear the Lord.
The fear of the Lord will bring with it blessing. But not fearing the Lord will bring with it the accursed. It will bring disaster and ruin.
What do we see in our world today?
We see a world that does not fear the Lord.
A church that once cherished Christ and His word, to turn from fearing Him and doing what He commands, this will bring disaster and ruin. Which will be Jesus removing the lampstand as an act of judgement.
This is what is happening in this book.
God is not removing Himself but He is involving Himself with judgement.
But not fearing the Lord will bring with it the accursed.
God responded with judgement on the sin and idolatry of His people.
So God responded with judgement.
He did by using a pagan nation to overcome the covenant people of God.
This prompted questions from the prophet.
We will see in our passage God’s response to the prophet’s questions and we will see that it it does bring correction.
After asking his second series of questions the prophet said in,
Habakkuk 2:1 NASB95
I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.
The prophet is waiting for God to reply. And that is how we are to look at our text today.
We will use the questions he had for God as our outline in .
And what captures this most is His wrath.

Main Idea

God's character and involvement towards sin is judgement and correction.
Habakkuk 1:12 ESV
Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
Habakkuk 1:
Q1: Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
S1: We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge; and You, O Rock, have established them to correct.

Outline

1: Questions about God's character in judgement and His response.
a. Verse 12 is the foundational when it comes to God’s response in .
b. Verse 13 (2 questions and 1 statement)
Q1: Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
S1: Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor.
Q1: Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously?
Q2: Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?
those more righteous than they?
S1: We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge; and You, O Rock, have established them to correct.
And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.
S1: Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor.
2: Questions about God's involvement in judgement and His response.
a. Verses 14-17 (2 Questions and 2 statements)
Q4: Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, like creeping things without a ruler over them?
S3: The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook, drag them away with their net, and gather them together in they're fishing net. Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
S4: Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their fishing net; because through these things their catch is large, and their food is plentiful.
Q5: Will they therefore empty their net and continually slay nations without sparing?
S4: Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their fishing net; because through these things their catch is large, and their food is plentiful.

Main Idea

God's character and involvement towards sin is judgement and correction.
Habakkuk 1:12 ESV
Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
Q1: Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
a. Verse 12 is the foundational when it comes to God’s response in .
S1: We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge; and You, O Rock, have established them to correct.

1: Questions about God's character in judgement and His response.

b. Verse 13 (2 questions and 1 statement)

a. Verse 12 is foundational when it comes to God’s second response in .

S1: Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor.
Why is this foundational to our text today?
Q1: Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously?
Habakkuk 1:12 NASB95
Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge; And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.

Q1: Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my Holy One?

If you remember, this was a rhetorical question.
Meaning that the question wasn’t necessarily one to get an answer but instead it was asked to make a point.
The point being made was similar to Malachi’s point in
Malachi 3:6 NASB95
“For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
Malachi
Because God does not change, meaning that His character and promises won’t change, then it follows that His people would be preserved since He had made promises to them.
Thus the next part of the verse which is a statement that is made. “We will not die.”

S1: We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge; and You, O Rock, have established them to correct.

The prophet acknowledges that God has appointed the Chaldeans to judge for the purpose to bring correction to God’s covenant people because they had forsaken God.
This is the foundation of God’s second reply here in our text.
That while God is using the Chaldeans as an act of judgement, God will preserve His people through it because God is bringing correction not destruction.
God is answering the questions asked by the prophet about the Chaldeans overcoming God’s own covenant people.
The prophet was challenged by this due to the suppression and evil committed by the Chaldeans. In fact, we can say that God is not just allowing it but He is using it.
He is using this to bring correction to His own covenant people. God is bringing correction because of His people forsaking Him.
God is bringing correction because of His people forsaking Him.
But the challenge for the prophet is how wicked the Chaldeans were in acting out the judgement being brought to pass.
We see in verse 13 a statement followed by two questions.

b. Verse 13 (2 questions and 1 statement)

Habakkuk 1:13 NASB95
Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they?
Q2: Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?

S1: Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor.

It is true that God does not approve of evil.
God’s response is not an approval of evil. In fact, it will show, not only His disapproval, but His judgement and wrath on those who commit evil.
So what the prophet said of God here is true.
The next part of the verse shows us what his struggle was.

Q1: Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously?

2: Questions about God's involvement in judgement and His response.
So, does God look with favor on those who deal treacherously?
Treacherously, meaning doing wrong against someone without any moral regard.
to act treacherously (violate standard) v. — to do wrong against someone by not being faithful to a person or a standard.
How can God allow a wicked nation to treat His own people like animals?
We see that while God uses the Chaldeans for judgment, He woes their sin and sinful acts.
Habakkuk 2:9–11 NASB95
“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house To put his nest on high, To be delivered from the hand of calamity! “You have devised a shameful thing for your house By cutting off many peoples; So you are sinning against yourself. “Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
Habakkuk 2:9 ESV
“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm!
A woe defined.

An interjection expressing great distress or sorrow; or a noun signifying a condition of deep suffering due to a calamity that has befallen or will befall a person or community.

An exclamation of judgment upon God’s enemies, or of misfortune on oneself, or, in the ministry of Jesus Christ, of sadness over those who fail to recognise the true misery of their condition.

a. Verses 14-17 (2 Questions and 2 statements)
To put his nest on high, To be delivered from the hand of calamity!
A woe was a pronouncement of judgement.
“You have devised a shameful thing for your house By cutting off many peoples; So you are sinning against yourself.
“Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
The verse could read,
“Judgement on him who gets evil gain for his house to put his nest on high, To be delivered from the hand of calamity!”
God clearly reveals here that He is not in favor of their gain. Especially, because it is evil.
He says that is was a shameful thing and that they were sinning against themselves.
God is never in favor of sin. But God allows it, in this case as an act of judgement because of sin.
Jeremiah 2:19 NASB95
“Your own wickedness will correct you, And your apostasies will reprove you; Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter For you to forsake the Lord your God, And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.
God says, “Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
Meaning that the very stones in the walls will cry out against them, and the beams in the ceilings would echo the complaints being proclaimed.
This is God’s way of reemphasizing strongly that He is not in favor of a sinful people who gain by committing evil.
Habakkuk 2:12–17 NASB95
“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence! “Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing? “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea. “Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness! “You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace will come upon your glory. “For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, And the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them, Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.
Habakkuk 2
Does this sound like a people with favor from God?
The clear answer from God is no.
“The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you?” This is not God’s favor but it is a great pronouncement of judgement.
This is God’s response to the question of “why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously?”
This is God’s response to the question of why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously?
This is God’s response to the question of Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously?
The answer is that He doesn’t. God woe’s their sin and He will bring judgement in them for it.

Q2: Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?

Q2: Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?

God deals with the condition of the wicked and righteous in .
Habakkuk 2:4 NASB95
“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.
Let me ask you a question.
Would you rather be the wicked who are proud, victorious and gaining possessions or the righteous who are being swallowed up, plundered and killed?
The answer should be that we should be counted with those who are being plundered and ruined. Because and only because of one reason.
Their souls has been made right within them. And in this case, God is bringing upon them correction.
God’s reply reveals that those that are plundering God’s people are actually those plundered already, by their own sin.
And in this case, God is bringing upon them correction.
Reply (2:4)
Reply (2:4)
And God is not silent about it. In fact He says in,
“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.”
Habakkuk 2:6 NASB95
“Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his— For how long— And makes himself rich with loans?’
God is actually pronouncing, loud and clear with woes against them. So much that He uses taunt songs to describe His disapproval.
Reply (2:6)
Reply (2:6)
God is not silent! In fact, His whole response is a pronouncement against them for what they are doing.
“Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his— For how long— And makes himself rich with loans?’
In fact, His whole response is a pronouncement against them for what they are doing.
God is not silent and though His own people may experience evil and plundering by the wicked, their souls have been made right!
This reminded me of what believers faced in New Testament times.
Hebrews 10:32–36 NASB95
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Hebrews 10:
Don’t throw away your confidence when plundered! Your soul has been made right with God!
``
It is better to be made right with God, living a life of suffering than to gain the whole world and lose your soul.
God’s response proves that He is not silent towards evil and that it is better for His people to face correction even in the hands of a wicked nation, than to have a soul that is not made right before Him.
God is always involved in the life of the believer. Even when it feels like God is not favorable. At the end of it all, what matters is that your soul has been made right with God.
Who would you rather be?
What Moses said to God’s people when crossing over to the promised land is true today.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB95
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Q4: Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, like creeping things without a ruler over them?

2: Questions about God's involvement in judgement and His response.

I’d rather be plundered by God’s had of correction than to be without Him in eternity.

God’s character remains.
The prophet was challenged by the suffering that he saw and God responded with showing that He is not in favor of evil. He abhors it.
Habakkuk 1:14 NASB95
Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them?
And though they deserved to be destroyed for forsaking Him, instead He brings correction which is better than being without a souls that is not right before Him.
S3: The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook, drag them away with their net, and gather them together in they're fishing net. Therefore they rejoice and are glad.

a. Verses 14-17 (2 Questions and 2 statements)

2: Questions about God's involvement in judgement and His response.

Habakkuk
Habakkuk 2:14–17 NASB95
“For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea. “Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness! “You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace will come upon your glory. “For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, And the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them, Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.

a. Verses 14-17 (2 Questions and 2 statements)

Habakkuk 1:14–17 NASB95
14 Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them? 15 The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook, Drag them away with their net, And gather them together in their fishing net. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. 16 Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their fishing net; Because through these things their catch is large, And their food is plentiful. 17 Will they therefore empty their net And continually slay nations without sparing?
Habakkuk

Q4: Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, like creeping things without a ruler over them?

Habakkuk 1:14 NASB95
Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them?
Habakkuk 2:20 NASB95
“But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”
Habakkuk 2:14 NASB95
“For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.
Psalm 11:4 NASB95
The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
God is ruling from His throne. He rules and all the earth should be silent before Him.
The prophet struggling to put together what he is seeing with God’s character is corrected by God plainly stating that He is in His holy temple.
We talked about how this is used to paint a picture of how God’s people were being treated with no regard to morality.
This brought the question of how they looked as if there was no ruler over them.

God is holy. God is eternal. God does not change. Which means that God is still ruling on His throne. Even when there is great suffering.
S4: Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their fishing net; because through these things their catch is large, and their food is plentiful.

Q4: Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, like creeping things without a ruler over them?

And the best response to this reality is to be in awe. So much that we become silent before Him.
The better response would have been awe ands silence. Not questions and complaints.
In verses 15 and 16 we see two statements
Habakkuk 1:15–16 NASB95
15 The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook, Drag them away with their net, And gather them together in their fishing net. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. 16 Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their fishing net; Because through these things their catch is large, And their food is plentiful.

S3: The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook, drag them away with their net, and gather them together in they're fishing net. Therefore they rejoice and are glad.

Q5: Will they therefore empty their net and continually slay nations without sparing?

S4: Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their fishing net; because through these things their catch is large, and their food is plentiful.

The burning of their incense to their fishing net reveals to us who their god is.
Remember in where it tells us plainly who their god was.
Habakkuk 1:10–11 NASB95
10 “They mock at kings And rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress And heap up rubble to capture it. 11 “Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god.”
Their idol is their own strength. Meaning that their object where they concentrate their affections on is their own strength.
What they deem honorable and worthy to be praised, is their own strength which is found in their plundering of other nations.
Thus the prophet’s use of the fish being caught in their nets.
Their catch is large, and their food is plentiful. They celebrated their own strength. But they knew not the curse upon them. Because this is what they worshipped.
What they were doing in plundering Israel was revealing externally what was in their hearts. An idol made is only made because of the idolatry in someone’s heart.
The Babylonians plundered because they worshipped their own strength.
But Israel was plundered because they had forsaken the Lord. They worshipped and served other gods. Showing externally their bondage to their sin.
In either case, any act of idolatry leads to lifelessness and destruction. Which is why Babylon ruined and plundered God’s people.
Habakkuk 2:18–19 NASB95
18 “What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork When he fashions speechless idols. 19 “Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, ‘Awake!’ To a mute stone, ‘Arise!’ And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it.
Both Babylon and God’s people worshipped what had no breath. A lifeless idol.
Habakkuk 2:19 NASB95
19 “Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, ‘Awake!’ To a mute stone, ‘Arise!’ And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it.
Habakkuk 2:19

Q5: Will they therefore empty their net and continually slay nations without sparing?

No.
Habakkuk 2:5–8 NASB95
5 “Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples. 6 “Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his— For how long— And makes himself rich with loans?’ 7 “Will not your creditors rise up suddenly, And those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them. 8 “Because you have looted many nations, All the remainder of the peoples will loot you— Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.
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