Friday, May 28, 2010

Habakkuk 3:8

Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord ? Was your anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation? 

The rule when reading scripture is: take it literally unless it doesn't make sense to do so.  So when the righteous are well watered trees in psalms, that's time to not take it literally.  When you read about the moon turning into blood, don't take it literally. 
Likewise, God doesn't have a body. He doesn't ride a horse, or a chariot, or a car. He's transcendent, He's everywhere and nowhere already because He doesn't occupy the physical universe with matter.  The same thing applies to the horsemen and chariots in Zephaniah and Revelation, and the same principle is here, God is being spoken of symbolically. 
Otherwise we have God getting mad at water.
So we take it symbolically that God is angry with a free moral agent for something they have done.  Roll in the context:  Habakkuk 2 is talking about the sins that Babylon has committed/will commit that will merit His judgment against them.  Therefore the rivers, and waters, and oceans that bring His wrath are the Gentile nations.
The lesson then is that the beast from the sea in Revelation, really isn't coming from the ocean.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Habakkuk 3:4-6

His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.  Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels. He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low

There is a quote by CS Lewis that goes like this "Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion." 

From the Lord flash the rays of utterly devastating pure light.  It cannot be properly described unless just to say that it's light.  But the light isn't a soft warm glow.  From the light comes pestilence, plague, disease, in words, justice.  That pure light of holiness is the light of justice coming, and when it falls upon the mountains it moves them.  When He who is the immovable foundation for all the universe sees the hills with that light (and power, His hand is His power) all the earth trembles.
Let mortal man be warned.  The goodness, and power, and justice that is that light is a dreadful thing for sinful man.  Habakkuk understood that the presence of God on the Earth was doom for the Babylonians in their sins.  It's a good lesson to learn considering we will face the same.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hab 2:17-20

The man carves the idol and demands it speak, demand it teach, demand it breathe out life to him.
In contrast the Lord is in His holy temple, keep silent before Him.
Man demands his god speak, God demands His man listen.  
Why?
Because God is bringing judgment upon the people with no idols.  When you reject God as a just judge, you reject Jesus as your defense counselor.  To be just man must keep silent, so that Christ can intercede for you.  To stand before God with the block of wood you carved a face into and demand the wood speak on your behalf is certain to bring an inadequate defense on your behalf.  Let all the earth keep silent to be saved.

Habakkuk 2:12

"Woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity!
When Habakkuk asks how God can look upon evil, let alone wield it like an ax, God's response is that He is increasing the punishment of Babylon by allowing them their sins. 
He then says that punishment is certain to come because, He already said so in Deuteronomy 21:8, which I find fascinating.  God reminds Habakkuk in essence, that the guilt of the blood of the land is certain to bring destruction upon the people in it who shed the blood.
Here is how you  know that God will do this thing to Babylon Habakkuk, He promised already a special punishment for nations that behave this way.  Why do you think He is calling the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem?  Their actions, the shedding of blood, has brought the promised curse on the land.  How can He use the Babylonians? Because He has promised to bring destruction on the nation that has abused their gifts from God in this way.  So He summons Babylon to fill up the measure of their iniquity first, and then punish them justly for their sins.