Today’s reading is: Hab. 1-3; Zeph. 1:1-2:7
Habakkuk Chapter One
- Like Nahum & Malachi, the Book of Habakkuk is an oracle, or burden (Hab. 1:1).
- Chapter 1 begins with a complaint by Habakkuk that his prayers are not being answered (Hab. 1:2-4). What Habakkuk cannot understand is why the Lord is so slow about destroying Judah.
- Habakkuk feels forced to look upon the wickedness his people (Hab. 1:3).
- This is something that God Himself cannot do (Hab. 1:13).
- God’s answer to Habakkuk’s prayer is beyond anything Habakkuk could ask or think (Hab. 1:5-11).
- Habakkuk wasn’t receiving answers because he was not yet able to handle it.
- God’s judgment upon Judah through Babylon will be unlike anything that has ever occurred before.
- Chapter 1 concludes with Habakkuk’s second prayer (Hab. 1:12-2:1). Habakkuk is wrestling with God’s answer, God’s character, and God’s ultimate plan for Israel.
- An infinite God with eternal covenant promises to Israel cannot allow Israel to be totally destroyed.
- A finite man with a perspective bound by time struggles to accept the temporal life achievements of those who pursue wickedness.
- Like Job, Habakkuk greatly desired to know why God was doing what he was doing, but unlike Job, Habakkuk was willing to humbly wait for the Lord to reveal His will and reprove him for being so rebellious (Hab. 2:1).
Habakkuk Chapter Two
- Habakkuk is commissioned to record the Lord’s answer in written form, and have that message spread rapidly (Hab. 2:2).
- God’s timing is precise and perfect (Hab. 2:3).
- God is opposed to the proud, and gives grace to the humble (Hab. 2:4a; 1st Pet. 5:5).
- The righteous is to live by faith (Hab. 2:4b; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38).
- The Lord also gives Habakkuk a taunt song (cf. Isa. 14:4) to sing concerning the fall of Babylon with five particular woes (Hab. 2:6,9,12,15,19).
Habakkuk Chapter Three
- Chapter 3 is a prayer of Habakkuk’s (Hab. 3:1) put to music and intended for the choir to sing in the corporate worship of Israel (Hab. 3:19).
- The Lord remembers His mercy, even as He is expressing His wrath (Hab. 3:2; Ps. 78:38-39; 103:8-14).
- Habakkuk describes the Lord’s Armageddon campaign (Hab. 3:3-15).
- The terror of Habakkuk’s vision nearly overwhelmed him, but He rejoiced in the Lord and his feet were set securely (Hab. 3:16-19; Ps. 18:33; 2nd Sam. 22:34).
Zephaniah Chapter One
- The Book opens with a four-generation introduction to the Prophet (Zeph. 1:1).
- He is ministering to Judah during the reign of King Josiah—the son and grandson of two wicked kings.
- Zephaniah is used by the Lord to remind Josiah that he is the heir to a good king (Hezekiah).
- The message begins with a reminder to Josiah that the Grace Eternal Plan of God is a vast plan that encompasses the whole world (Zeph. 1:2-3).
- The language is similar to the language of Noah’s flood.
- The order of destruction is the reverse of the order of creation.
- The world-wide judgment is then narrowed to the localized judgment of Judah (Zeph. 1:4-13).
- The emphasis of Zephaniah’s message was to build upon Joel’s message, highlighting the nearness of the Day of the Lord, and culminating in the world-wide destruction by fire (Zeph. 1:14-18).
Zephaniah Chapter Two
- Zephaniah calls upon his audience to humble themselves in anticipation of the Lord’s arrival (Zeph. 2:1-3).
- Judah had lost their longing (v.1).
- Judah needs to seek righteousness & humility, and thus be “hidden” in God (v.3; Col. 3:3).
- Zephaniah then pronounces the Divine judicial decree against the Gentile nations that have been afflicting Judah (Zeph. 2:4-15).
- Philistines (vv.4-7).
(Chapter Two continues tomorrow)