As part of the Welcome to My World challenge, I am first answering this week’s question:
“Who was the last person you spoke to? And what was the topic?”
I spoke to Shirl and asked her to read through this post, to make sure I had crossed all my t’s and dotted all my i’s! I am really enjoying this, my first dive into the blogging pool, but I still need my editor on hand!
So now, after that short Easter post, we return to the next verse in our study:
Habakkuk 1:6 CEV
‘I am sending the Babylonians. They are fierce and cruel—
marching across the land, conquering cities and towns.’
Judgement on Judah
- Can you think of a situation where wrongdoers appear to be free from judgement of their actions? Unfortunately, in the land where I live, this would be an easy question to answer! But what can you think of?
God informed Habakkuk that He would deal with the situation so quickly and amazingly that the prophet would be taken aback (verse 5). He went on to state that He intended to use the evil Babylonians (Chaldeans) to punish Judah.
The mighty Chaldeans ruled Babylon from 625 to 539 B.C.
Habakkuk’s probable expectation was that God would rescue Judah from the impending invasion by the Chaldeans. That made sense. Then God would surely pass judgement on that evil nation for its horrific expansion programme.
Habakkuk was not ready for God’s answer.
God often begins His judgement on sin with the people of God. God desires our salvation from sin and will use whatever means is necessary to achieve that goal, and what will be best for us in the long run.
- Do you think it is fair when someone is condemned for the evil actions of another? Why or why not?
- Do you recall a time in your childhood when you were wrongly punished for something a sibling or friend did?
- What about the other way around? Was your sibling or friend ever punished for something you did? Did you own up?
- Can you think of a recent situation in which a wrongdoer got off scot-free while the innocent party got punished?
- How do you think the situation should have been handled?
Matthew Henry in his commentary on this section of Habakkuk states, “The servants of the Lord are deeply afflicted by seeing ungodliness and violence prevail.“
He goes on to say, “We should long to remove to the world where holiness and love reign for ever, and no violence shall be before us. God has good reasons for his long-suffering towards bad men, and the rebukes of good men.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
The news media these days is full of violence and atrocities taking place all over the world. Therefore we can readily identify with Matthew Henry’s commentary that as the children of God our longing is for heaven, the place where “holiness and love reign for ever, and no violence shall be before us.”
- What might God’s reasons be for not taking action against bad people?
- Sometimes it feels as if He doesn’t notice those of us who are trying to do good. Why do you think that might be?
- Can you think of someone you regard as a good person who seems to be going through a very difficult time at the moment?
- Is there something you can do to ease their burden?
Why God reserves judgement
“The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.” (2 Peter 3:9 CEV)
Read that verse again, several times.
We do feel that it is unfair for the righteous to suffer while those who are living ungodly lifestyles seem to be getting off scot-free. That’s the bad news. But the good news, as we read in 2 Peter 3:9, is that God is patient. And He wants everyone to turn from sin and not be lost.
That means the bad guys!
And it definitely means you and me—’cos we’re the good guys, right?
The Lord’s desire is for everyone to turn from sin and be saved through faith in Christ.
Can you think of someone who is, at this point, rejecting salvation, and is in need of saving? Don’t share publicly, but make a note of that person, and make him or her a prayer project.
P.S. If you haven’t yet read the background to the prophecy, please do. It will benefit you throughout our time together