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Tuesday, February 19 2013
Habakkuk: The Just Shall Live By His Faith
Habakkuk, from the Hebrew word pronounced cawb-awk-cook, meaning embrace, was a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah) within approximately 20 years before the Babylonians made their final invasion in 586 BC. Habakkuk's prophecy was also a lament over how the prophet recognized that Judah had ignored the warnings of the earlier prophets, as well as the prophets of that time (Habakkuk was a contemporary of Jeremiah; see Jeremiah: The Prophet's Conception) and that the time of wrath was nearly upon them. Habakkuk was living in a political and religious twilight zone of his nation, a twilight toward the sunset of the kingdom of Judah, not the twilight toward sunrise - all because of their arrogant refusal to repent.
"1:1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.
The LORD's answer to Habakkuk confirmed what he already seemed to realize all too well; the Babylonians (also referred to as "Chaldeans" - see Ancient Empires - Babylon) were coming: "For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs."
"1:5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 1:6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs." (Habakkuk 1:5-6 KJV)
The prophecy spoken to Habakkuk was about far more than just the ancient people of Judah alone however.
"2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:2-4 KJV)
The LORD's statement "the just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4, quoted above) would be repeatedly quoted later in the New Testament as a warning to all people who should by now know, and therefore do, better.
"1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them." (Romans 1:17-19 KJV)
As with all of the other prophets, Habakkuk spoke of a greater world, on this earth, when the time of wrath against evil is over, "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns? and The Church: Mission Accomplished).
"2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! 2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Habakkuk 2:12-14 KJV)
Studies For The Book Of Habakkuk
Fact Finder: What does "the just shall live by his faith" mean?
This Day In History, February 19
197: Roman Emperor Septimius Severus defeated rebel commander Clodius Albinus at the Battle of Lugdunum, the greatest battle between Roman armies (see The Politics Of Rome, Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire, A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Legions Of Men And Angels).
356: Emperor Constantius II issued a decree to favor the Roman newly-created version (perversion) of Christianity in the Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
842: The Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ended. A Council in Constantinople formally reinstated the veneration of graven images (which they called "icons"). This debate over icons is often considered the last event which led to the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Roman Churches.
1401: William Sawtree, regarded by some as the first English religious martyr, was burned in London.
1408: The English Northumberland Rebellion ended when Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, was defeated by Henry IV at the Battle of Bramham Moor.
1473: Nicholas Copernicus was born in Poland. He is considered by some to be the founder of modern astronomy.
1568: Miles Coverdale died at age 80. He was the translator and publisher of the first complete Bible to be printed in English, in 1535. He was also the editor of the "Great Bible" of 1539.
1674: The Treaty of Westminster was signed to end the Anglo-Dutch War. One of the results was that the city of New Netherlands (today, New York) became British.
1797: Pope Pius VI signed the Treaty of Tolentino with Napoleon under which Bologna, Romagna and Ferrara were ceded to France.
1800: Napoleon Bonaparte established himself as first consul in France.
1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), British and French warships began attacks on Ottoman (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) fortifications at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to force the straits of Gallipoli.
1918: With the beginning of communism in Russia, a decree abolishing all private ownership of land, water and natural resources was issued by the Soviet Central Executive Committee.
1942: Japanese forces made the first attack on the Australian mainland, bombing Port Darwin.
1942: During the Second World War (which began in September 1939 for the rest of the world, but only in December of 1941 for the U.S. with the Japanese attack on the U.S. military base in Hawaii), President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the arrest and camp internment, without charge or legal due process, of many people of Japanese race, even those born in the U.S.
1953: Georgia approved the first "literature censorship board" in the U.S.
1959: The Prime Ministers of Britain, Turkey and Greece signed an agreement in London for the independence of Cyprus.
1976: Iceland severed diplomatic relations with Britain during the "Cod War," a dispute over fishing rights of depleted Atlantic cod stocks.
1976: Executive Order 9066 of 1942 (see listing above), which provided the legal means to incarcerate Japanese Americans (including those born in the U.S. for generations) to "internment camps" without charge or trial during the Second World War, was rescinded by President Gerald Ford.
1986: The Soviet Union launched its Mir space station. It remained in Earth orbit for 15 years.