As part of the Welcome to My World challenge, I am first answering this week’s question:
What NEW thing have you learned this last week?
As I contunue this series of studies I am learning new things each week.
You will notice that this week for the first time the image below also appears on my facebook notification thanks to advice of Shirl, my editor.
Habakkuk 1:7 CEV
‘How fearsome and frightening. Their only laws and rules are the ones they make up.’
God’s Fearsome Message
As we saw last session, the Lord’s response to Habakkuk was that He intended to punish the people of Judah and He would be using the Chaldeans to do it. This was a surprise to the people as well as to Habakkuk. Surprised because the Chaldeans (Babylonians) were a wicked people who worshiped false gods. Why would God use such people to discipline His people?
They were notorious for their violence, their vast numbers, the bravery of their army and the overwhelming victories they had gained. The mere mention of their name spread terror wherever they went.
- Are there circumstances that have thrown you into a state of terror? What are they?
- What about those circumstances causes you the greatest concern?
When we find ourselves confronted by fearful concerns we need to remember Jehovah-Shammah, ‘the Lord is present’.
A Fearsome Enemy
These pagan Chaldeans certainly would not be guided by the laws of God, but instead by their own precepts. Therefore they would act according to their desires and pleasure. The Judaens knew that no one would be able to successfully oppose them. They could expect no mercy or pity from such a lawless and arrogant enemy.
The mere sight of the Chaldean army advancing brought feelings of apprehension and fear to both the prophet and the people of Judah.
- What do you fear most as a Christian?
The cause of our apprehension and fear is often an unseen enemy, like the COVID-19 virus which we may contract with no initial obvious symptoms. And then suddenly, unexpectedly, we may display symptoms of the virus and become extremely ill.
- What do you fear most about this Covid-19 pandemic?
Who Causes Us to Feel Fear?
The bad news that whilst Judah had a visual enemy, we all also face an unseen adversary: Satan. He attacks us through our minds, focussing in on the unexpected circumstances of life. He is quick to prompt us to say and act in ways which do not glorify our Lord. Furthermore, he lures us through enticing prospects so we may find it all too easy to fall into temptation and sin.
Praise the Lord—the good news is, our enemy is a defeated foe, defeated at Calvary.
Paul reminds us that, “In him (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7 ESV)
Confidence for Those who feel Afraid
By contrast to Habakkuk’s fearsome message for Judah in the above verse, the prophet Isaiah brings the following positive assurance. “Tell fearful souls, Courage! Take heart! GOD is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!” (Isaiah 35:4 MSG)
- In these days of Covid-19 many are fearsome of what the future may hold, how can we come alongside and give them hope for the future?
Please spend some time now praying for anyone known to you who is facing a fearsome future.
P.S. If you haven’t yet read the background to the prophecy, please do. It will benefit you throughout our time together