Thursday, May 11, 2006

Worship is to be unquenchable

The prophet Habakkuk is a guy few Christians really know much about. After all, when was the last time you read the book of the Old Testament that carries his name? The name Habakkuk literally means “love’s embrace.” This guy has been called the doubting Thomas of the Old Testament. J. Vernon McGee said, “He had a question mark for a brain.” It is interesting to note the movement in the book. This writing goes:
  • From FEAR to FAITH
  • From TERROR to TRUST
  • From HANG-UPS to HOPE

The book is like reading e-mail between Habakkuk and God. Habakkuk presents a problem and God responds with an answer:

Problem #1: Why does God allow Judah to practice evil? (1:1-4)
Answer #1: God will send the Babylonians to punish Judah (1:5-11)

Problem #2: Why will God use the wicked to punish Judah? (1:12-2:1)
Answer #2: God will not allow the evil nation of Babylon to go unpunished (2:2-20)

You could rightly say that the answer to Habakkuk’s “WHY?” is “WHO!” This book is all about why we can praise God even when the bottom has dropped out of our lives. This is especially seen in Habakkuk 3:1-19. Why can we praise God? (3:1-16). First, because of His PERSON (v1-3). We can praise Him for His might; His mercy; and His majesty. Second, we can praise Him because of His POWER (v4-7). Finally, we can praise Him because of His PURPOSES (v8-16), which should cause us to trust Him.

But the real question is when can we praise God (3:17-19)? Habakkuk’s reality was quite disheartening (v17). It included the reality of a coming invasion in which the fig tree would not blossom; there would be no fruit on the vines; the yield of the olive would fail; the trees would produce no food; the flock would be cut off from the fold; and there would be no cattle in the stalls. But the key word in verse 18 is the word, “Yet!” Habakkuk declares that in spite of these horrible scenarios, yet he would exalt in the Lord and rejoice in the God of his salvation. Just like Paul and Silas in Acts 16:22-25. Just like Peter in Acts 5:40-42. Just like the three Hebrew men in Daniel 3:16-18. Why could Habakkuk still praise God? Because the Lord would give him STRENGTH (The Lord is my strength); the Lord would give him STABILITY (The Lord has made my feet like hind’s feet...the idea of surefootedness and confidence); and the Lord would give him SUCCESS (The Lord makes me walk on my high places). Worship is unquenchable!

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