Habakkuk was a prophet who directed his words to God in complaints and questions. This man watched and waited and got ready for correction. God gave vision for the day when pride is gone and the just live by faith. (Habakkuk 1-3; Titus 3:5)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 3/5/2023
P. Schaller –
As an introduction, I’d like you to notice a couple verses from Genesis 1:10,12, you see God does something more. vs.
18. Again, “it was good.” vs. 21, “it was good.” vs. 25, “it was good.” Then, when he made man
at the end of the six days, vs. 25, “it was very good.” Turn to your neighbor and say, “very good.”
You’re looking very good today. Very good.
Now, it raises a question when he made a part and he said it was good, and when he finished
with man and the whole, he said very good. What was it that he didn’t say? He didn’t say it’s
perfect. He said it’s very good. So, turn to your neighbor and say don’t even think about it!
You’re not perfect! You’re not perfect!
Now, wait a minute. Hold it. There’s another part to it. It’s chapter 2:2. By the way, Wednesday
night’s message on the Sabbath. That was amazing. That was a very good message.
Wednesday night it was. It was very good. I’m sure not everybody was here, so I refer you to the
website and listen if you can.
Now, here is the point. Does God have to rest? No, I think he’s God. I don’t think resting is like –
why is it written that he entered into his rest? Why is that written there? Is God always resting in
one sense? He is God. He’s satisfied with himself. He’s satisfied in the Trinity with the Son, the
Holy Spirit. They’ve always had communion and love. They are all infinitely capable, thoroughly
powerful. But it does say that he said it was very good and then he entered the rest.
From there, I’d like to suggest something and that is that you and I should look at life and say,
it’s very good. Though we are under a curse, though we have cemetaries and graveyards and
police stations and we have fear and trouble and sometimes guilt and insecurity, but God not
only made the world and said it was very good but he came as the Christ. When Christ died on
the cross, what was almost the very last words he said that are very well known to us in this
ministry? What were the words? It is finished.
What is finished? When Christ was 12 years old in the Gospel of Luke, the first words he said,
“did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” The very first words “I am about
my Father’s business;” very last words, “it is finished.” What is finished? My Father’s business.
What was the Father’s business but to redeem us, to save us, to shed his blood, to atone for our
sin, to give Christ to be the Atonement, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the
world. To give us a new beginning that we would be born of the Spirit, born of God. That Christ
would come in us so we would not die, John 11:25. Christ came so we could say it this way.
These are my words but follow it with me. When Christ died, God could say it is very good. The
sacrifice of the Son is even above and beyond that. Infinitely, incredibly meaningful to all of us.
We are saved by the blood. We are redeemed by God’s grace. You are in the kingdom of God
because of Christ, no other reason. Christ did it and now the Father is resting in the finished
work and so are we.
Quickly turn to Hebrews 4 with me or look at it up on the screen. We can read those exact words.
We have entered into his rest, chapter 4:9. Have you ever been on a vacation and you didn’t get
the rest you wanted? You’re camping out and it was raining every day. The hotel had, you know,
and so on. We’ve all had those stories.
Have you ever said at the end of the week, I need to get some rest this weekend? You tried.
You slept and did everything you could but somehow you were awake at night or troubled in
your heart or something bothered you. There was a nagging feeling of something missing,
something not done, something that is broken, something like that? Yes.
So, what should we do? Enter into his rest where he says it’s very good in Creation and in
redemption he says it is finished. Now, we enter into a rest that is transcendental, if you allow
me to use that philosophical term. That world that is behind this one. This one is like a curtain.
It’s like a curtain and there is the reality behind this world where you find rest. There is a reality
that is in the world. Behind it, in it, that reality that Christ showed us. Man, touch and feel me. A
spirit does not have flesh and bones. Christ had flesh and bones but he was also spirit. He
ascended through the air. He came into this world, went through the door, and said to the
disciples, “Peace be unto you.” He came to give us peace and rest.
vs. 10. There it is. There’s the parallel. There’s the meaning. God said it was very good and he
entered into his rest and like it’s done. He’s finished. And he says you are to enter into my rest.
The rest that I have for you. Don’t worry about it. I got you covered. The rest where you take a
nap. Take it easy. Slow down. Be quiet. Trust me. Seek me. You will find me. I am for you not
against you. I give you food. I give you light. I give you a doorway. There’s no way out. There’s
no way out. But Christ is the door. He is the way out. He is the answer for our lives.
So, we’ve gathered together today to celebrate that like we do all the time when we assemble. I
want you to enjoy the service today and hear something from the Spirit say to you, I am for you.
I am for you. I am your friend. I am your teacher. I am your counselor. I am your Comforter. I am
your Savior. I am your Father. I am for you. I am not against you I am for you. Enter into my rest.
The rest that I made for you.
I remember when Jesus was challenged on the Sabbath. He didn’t deny the Sabbath. He just
said I am the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath, man was not made for the Sabbath. The
Sabbath was made for man. He’s saying the whole idea behind it was for man to enter into rest.
And of course, it evades some people and they struggle with it all their lives. But you and I have
Christ and he is our Sabbath. Amen. Alright. Praise the Lord!
Alright. Would you turn in your Bibles please to the book of Habakkuk this morning. I decided
some months ago that I would start teaching from the minor prophets because to be honest,
frankly we don’t do a lot of that teaching from minor prophets. But I know there’s treasure there.
Sometimes we refer to Hosea, Malachi, usually those two books. And then I want to cover some
of them. Habakkuk is one for this morning. It’s three chapters long. It’s not very long but it’s very
profound. We will kind of go through the book and make a couple points about it.
By the end of the sermon I think in a few minutes you will say I got it. I think I got something
from that book called Habakkuk. So, that’s our goal. Let’s pray. (Prayer). I’d like to make one
point very on in Titus 3:5 that you are regenerated. This is important for you to know and
understand. Titus 3:5, you have that word “regeneration” and from that root you have many
words. Genetics. You have generation. Genus in classification of living things. Regeneration
means that you are born of God, 1 Peter 1:23. Born of the Spirit. Born again in John 3:5. You have
your first birth. Galatians 1:15-16, Paul said God was there when he separated me from my mother’s
womb and then he saved me by his grace. Two births. Mother’s womb, first birth. Regenerated
by his mercy, by the renewing of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5.
So, in a very real way you are not a believer as it was in my case. I was not a believer. I lived
according to the world that I lived in. The culture had a big influence on me. I believed in
evolution. I doubted God. There are many religions in the world. How could you know which is
the right one? Many ethical questions. Relativism and all of the popular ways of thinking that
people have by nature.
But when you are regenerated, you get new ears, new heart. You start to listen and what you
are listening to is Christ. You want to hear what Christ is saying. Christ says I am the way, the
truth, and the life. You hear it. You start to believe that. Is that true? Christ. And then something
interesting happens. You don’t know it but you can have – if you ask directions to go somewhere
and you have a map, like that’s one way to get somewhere. The other way is to have a guide.
And sometimes the terrain is so difficult that you don’t need a map as much as you need a
person. You need a guide.
“Well, I’d rather have a map.” Do the best you can with the map but when you get to that part
that’s called “swamp,” I think you need a guide. And when you get to that part called “doubt,” I think you need a guide. When you get to that part “fear” or “unbelief” or “depression,” I think you
need a guide.
So, when you are born again, this is the gift of God to you. He gives you the Holy Spirit to be the
way, the truth and the life. The guide. When you get to the part and he goes, where do we go
now? Just follow me. Just follow me. Have you ever heard that as a kid? Don’t let go of my pant
leg. Just follow me through the crowd. Remember that? Just follow me.
“I don’t want to follow anybody.” Well, then you’re going to follow somebody. You will be
following somebody. You will. But the great gift that you have is your capacity to hear sounds.
Let’s turn there for a minute. Hebrews 5. I like this part. I forget who made the analogy but in a week
or a little more, we will be in Budapest. I’m not a language person. I don’t learn languages easily.
But I did learn some Hungarian.
When you hear another language, it kind of all blends together. One of the things about listening
to another language is try to hear when a word ends and another word starts. You try to
separate the sounds. You try to distinguish words. Is that a word? [sound]. Is that a word or is he
in pain? You know, you have to get the ear for it. You have to learn by hearing and get the ear
for it and start to realize that this language really does work and they really are talking this
In a similar way, when you are born again, you start to listen. And you start to listen to what the
Bible is saying. You start to listen to others and you actually have a guide in life. I wouldn’t say
that God hands you a map, as much as to say that he gives you a guide and you’re able to hear
the words. You are able to hear what he is saying. You are able to follow him.
So, this is written here in Hebrews 5:12-14. God’s oracles or his messages. His words. You have to
learn them again. You should be a teacher, but you need to go back to school and learn it again.
And by the way, I’ve been there. I don’t mind that at all. I can go back to school. I want to learn it
all over again. That’s fine with me cause it’s my guide. My guide is directing my life cause life is
not easy. Not always for everybody but it’s, you know. Sometimes it is but then you hit a wall.
Something happens and so on.
Here we have vs. 12. You could be a teacher but you have to go back and learn it all over again.
Again, I want to say that’s okay with me as long as I’m hearing the right voice, as long as I’m
hearing the good stuff. As long as I’m understanding what is being said. Maybe when I hear it
the second or third or fourth time, it’s going to stick, you know. Maybe it will stick now.
vs. 12. There’s an analogy there for food. A baby eats how often in a day, like an infant? Six
months old. One year old. How often do they eat? What is it an hour and a half, two hours, three
hours they eat? When they grow up and they eat more solid, they can eat through the night.
They eat solid food three hours later. Four hours later, they are hungry. But when you are eating
milk, it’s like more, you know, shorter intervals and also not the sustenance that you need to
build your bulk, your mass as an adult.
vs. 13. Like the words kind of [indistinct]. Yeah, okay. Yeah, okay. You got to learn to hear. vs.
13-14. I think it goes this way. I get to hear it. And I hear it again and I start to hear it. Then, it
starts to happen that you actually can separate the words. You hear it, and it makes sense. You
start to process what is said. I got to be honest, I do think it’s another language.
There are people that could come in here and listen and go, I have no idea what he’s talking
about. Maybe that’s happened to you. It happened to me when I became a believer. I didn’t
know what he was talking about. He says, John 1:12. I don’t know what that means. Or
redemption or the finished work or righteousness or justification. Those words. So, now you
start to turn and as your guide guides you, you start to realize what is right and what is wrong.
What is good and what is evil. You start to realize it and it’s actually good. It’s encouraging you.
That’s poison. That’s not good. I don’t do that. I don’t want that. I’m not looking at that. I’m not
listening to that. No, thanks okay. Thank you very much. No, I’m not part of it. I don’t do that.
Has that ever happened to you? It came out of your heart. You found a way of living and
listening where you actually understood another language that is actually guiding you in a useful
life and you become skillful in discerning what is good and what is evil. Isn’t that amazing. You
start to say that’s okay. I’m not fighting with that. I’m just avoiding that thing. That thing doesn’t
edify. It’s not good for me. I don’t care about it. That kind of thing.
Something in your heart It has to do with books you read, also. Like I read a book and I read it for 20 minutes and I find
this is edifying. I continue reading it. If it isn’t edifying in 20 minutes, I don’t have time for it. I’m
not saying it’s not good. I just don’t know what it is. It’s not hitting me. I’m not getting it. So it is
with many things. Conversations with people. Things you read. A movie. Could you walk out of
a movie theater. Could you turn off whatever the device is that you have. Can you walk away
from something that is not – it’s just doesn’t have that sound and that idea. Okay. So, that’s not
my message but that’s what came out just now!
So, go back to our theme and it’s Habakkuk and I want to make a couple, three points. And
you’ll go home with being able to say I learned a little bit about Habakkuk today. Your mother will
call you up and say, what did you learn at church? And say, I learned about Habakkuk. She’ll
say, Habak what? We don’t smoke tobacco? What did you learn? Habakkuk. Okay, so here we
Alright. Being a little silly. Here’s the prophet Habakkuk. Most – I think he’s the only prophet that
had this kind of a message and it was this one. Usually the prophet is prophesying about the
nation, about disappointment God has with the people. And usually it’s about them.
But this is different. This is not about the nation of Israel. It’s more about a complaint to God.
Habakkuk has this problem. God, I know you are a righteous God. You love Israel. You care
about Israel. Why are you sending an evil nation – I’ll sketch that in here. Here’s an evil nation.
Anybody know the name of that nation? With a very evil king and a powerful king. At least part
of his life was that way. Even the historians say maybe he was a werewolf. Actually, Daniel said
he did become an animal for seven years. Remember that? What was his name?
The prophet is saying you are sending the Chaldeans – that’s another word for the Babylonians.
King Nebuchadnezzar. You are using evil against your people. I don’t understand that. The first
point here is he’s questioning God and he’s saying how does this work, God?
Maybe you and I have complaints that we make to God like along the same lines. Why is there
evil in the world? Why does a child die in its youth? Why is there the pain? Why would there be
a nuclear war? If you made the world good, why is it so bad? I’m saying it to you, God. My
complaint is to God. That’s the first chapter here. Let’s notice some of it.
Chapter 1:2-4, maybe we’re getting a little feel of that in our country. Maybe we are also
sometimes disappointed with the leadership and judgments that are made. Maybe in history,
you go back to the time of the Nazi’s in Germany and what they did and how powerful they were
and how at the end of their regime, maybe 60 million people dead. Civilians. Genocide with the
Jews and gypsies and the Polish people and world war and so on. Why, God?
This is like Habakkuk’s question to God and we all know that when we approach God on these
terms, it’s very, very kind of dicey. Kind of maybe not good. Thin ice. I know I ought to be humble
but I got to be honest, there are times when I just don’t understand. The pain is too great. The
question is too strong and real and I don’t know what to do about it.
So, he says in the first chapter here in vs. 12 is where he starts to describe the dilemna. vs. 12-
13. Why? Why, God? This is the question. vs. 13. Like Cain killing Abel. Many of the murders in the Bible, many of the murders were unjust. Namely, Christ, murdered, killed by the wicked.
So, that’s the first point. So, that’s chapter 1. I think maybe you followed that with me. I think so.
We’ll go to point #2. #1 is complaint to God and I think there’s a lot to say about it. #2 and #3. #2
goes along with chapter 2 and this is what does Habakkuk do but he gets quiet. He gets quiet to
hear. When you have a complaint to God and you make your complaint, then get quiet because
you need help. You need the guidance. You need another voice, not your own. You need God’s
heart, God’s mind. We need to work on that as people.
You know, there are people that do get upset and they get angry and they rant and they rave
and it doesn’t help them. They just get louder and louder and more and more frustrated and they
cannot hear. They kind of cut it off. They cannot hear the other language. They are not skillful in
the Word. They may have milk. Like I believe in Jesus. I believe in you, but I don’t know why
Jesus would allow this, you know. That’s an understandable way of thinking.
The answer is here, chapter 2:1. Now, this means in the ancient world they had towers and the
walls and they had watchmen. Watchmen for funny things. Thieves and strange things that can
happen at night. Maybe wild animals or wild people. vs. 1. he will watch to see what God will
say unto me. Meaning God will answer me and as he corrects me. It sounds like Habakkuk
already knows that he will be corrected by God. And what will I answer him?
I think as counselors we have to be very sensitive to the fact that some people are hurt and
troubled very much and they do need to calm down and get quiet and just say I don’t know. I
haven’t heard the word yet but I believe there is a word for me. I haven’t heard it but I believe it’s
there. I want to get in a place where I can hear and maybe just put me aside and say I don’t
understand but I can wait on him.
vs. 2. Thank you, Lord. He didn’t get upset at me. He stopped talking but because I had my
problem but I listened and I waited, he answered me. vs. 2. like tablets, clay tablets. vs. 3. I’m
going to put down here he answers and he also directs me to the whole idea of time. Like time.
Time is a big part of life. When? When will it happen? When will I be vindicated? When will the
Millenium come? When is Christ coming? Remember this is in the Old Testament. Christ hasn’t
come yet. When? When is Christ coming? When is the kingdom coming? When is the world
changing? These are good questions and God said to him it’s coming. The Chaldeans will be
judged. That’s coming. That’s written here. He’s writing about the vision in the future and what is
But I think behind the Chaldean story is something more and that’s what we all are looking for in
our hearts. A better world. A world where there is no sorrow, no tears, no hospitals, no police
stations, no cemetaries. A world where there is no disobedience and no sin and there’s no need
for law. There’s only divine guidance in the kingdom with a language where the Holy Spirit is
speaking to us and we are able to agree with Him with all our hearts and say amen to him all the
So, we are coming up to a verse here that is very famous for us who know our New Testament
but let’s read vs. 3. What’s the word “tarry” mean? Delay or wait. It seems like a long time. A
year seems like a long time. A decade seems like a long time. Seventy years seems like a long
time to human beings. It’s very long. But God said, what? One year to him is like a thousand to
us. He is on a different time frame but he’s saying it’s coming. It will not wait. It’s coming.
The Chaldean Empire will be overrun by the Persian Empire. Persian Empire will be overrun by
the Greek Empire. The Greek Empire will be overrun by the Roman Empire. And then the
Roman Empire will ultimately be destroyed by the coming of Christ. And the little stone that
smites the image will become a great mountain and fill the earth. That’s Daniel 7, chapter 7 and
8. Learn that in your Scripture. It’s fantastic reading. Chapter 7 and 8 and also Daniel 2.
What does this mean now? vs. 4. God gives a word of advice and this is at the very heart of the
book. We’re almost done. vs. 4. He’s hinting to pride. He’s saying pride will blind us. It’s written
in 1 Timothy 3:6. Pride is blinding. We have here a few verses. 1 Timothy 3:6, 1 John 2:16, Proverbs 16:18,
Proverbs 29:23, Proverbs 11:2, Psalm 10:4. When you have a question like #1 up on our list here, and then
he answers you and he says it’s coming. The vision is real. There’s a better world coming.
Then he says but be careful you don’t get blinded by lifting up your own heart and questioning
me. But humble yourself under my mighty hand. I will lift you up. I will show you.
Look at chapter 2:4. That’s how we got saved in Rom. 1. The just shall live by faith. That’s how
we grow in our sanctification in Hebrews 10:36. The just shall live by faith. And Heb. 10 uses the
same verse. The just shall live by faith. I believe it’s six times used in our New Testament. The
just shall live by faith.
So, we say P. Matti was our guest last week. In one of his messages, he said he was a
missionary in Uzbekistan. He tells the story and he says I hated it there. I hated the smells. The
village life. I hated the way it was. I couldn’t find a place to live. I moved in with a family and it
was like my bedroom was grand central station. The young people met there. People were in
and out of the house and he just said I want to get out of the country.
Then he said God spoke to him and he said you stay. I am with you. Then he said God put love
in his heart for the Uzbek people. He lived there I think six years. He stayed there and it was like
a revival happened. It worked. God did it. God ministered to people. How did he do it but by
faith. The just shall live by faith but we could also say the wicked make excuses and also are
disappointed with the plan.
I’m disappointed with the plan that you have God, point #1. I’m disappointed. And then God
says but if you can wait, if you can anticipate me, you will run. Write the vision and those that
read it will run. For the just shall live by faith. The value of our faith.
How do you get off of drugs. Addicted to street drugs and so on. I’m not saying if you have
prescriptions to get off of that. I’m not saying that. You better talk to your doctor about it. I don’t
know about that at all. But I know how do you get off of bad habits? How do you change your
life? It’s by faith. How do you make good decisions about stuff? It’s by learning the language.
That other language and being guided by God. God will guide you. God will help you. Excuse
me. God will lead you. God will show you.
And then the third and last thing is where it’s going. Look at chapter 3:17-19. I don’t think we
could have a better text for this. vs. 17. That’s like an agricultural disaster. Husbandry. Farming.
It’s all nothing good happening. It’s all cut off. Nothing good is happening. vs. 18. How do we
explain this? Isn’t it interesting? On one hand, my life is destroyed. On the other hand, I don’t
see it that way. I see it a different way. How can that be? How can that be that the Chaldeans
are coming but the just shall live by faith. We’ll be able to handle it because our God, our God is
with us. Our God. He is there. He is here. He is guiding us. He is with us.
vs. 19. And you’ve seen on the videos these mountain goats and mountain sheep. The big
horned and all the different species in the mountains that are just right on the edge hanging
there just right there with their toes locked in. They are able to move on a cliff side. Even on the
dam, a dam. I’ve seen that on a video cause I’m fascinated at this ability that they have and we
are like that. That we are living by faith in a world that is very troubled and we don’t fully
understand but it’s enough.
Cause we have a language here. We become skillful with meat. We
are able to navigate in a world that really contradicts our world. But we are able to navigate in it
and make good decisions about things. Not perfectly but at least anyway we have guidance. Ps.
25, we have guidance. We can navigate. We can maneuver in the world and
Habakkuk is saying this: #1. I got a problem, God. #2. God is answering me and he’s telling me
the just shall live by faith. And if I got the vision, I got the Word, I can run and I can trust you.
Thirdly, if there is no fruit, I will rejoice in you. If the fruit isn’t there, if the herd in the stalls is cut
off, if there’s no agriculture, no fruit, I’ve got God. My counselor. My living God. The One who
cares about me who will carry me and make me fruitful in a difficult world. That’s what it’s about.
That’s what he’s saying and we need it. Yeah. Amen. Would you pray with me, please.
I think just for a tip, chapter 3:17-19, would be a good memory portion for you. Tuck it away.
Write it on an index card. Have it on the dash of your car. When you’re at the stop light maybe
you can read it again. Do it through the week. Think about it and kind of process this little book
and enjoy it. (Prayer).
I remember one dear, precious Body member was with us for 30 years. And she got very
discouraged cause her life went bad in different ways. She said it this way. She said I’m leaving.
I’m leaving the church because I’ve done everything I could. I paid tithes. I went to church three
times a week. I did everything and what do I have? I went through a divorce. My kids didn’t turn
out well. I live in a house that I don’t like. I live in a neighborhood that I don’t like and so I’m
done. I’m gone. I’m done.
Do you understand her? Yeah. We understand. But why – would that happen to you? We can all
ask the question, what would destroy my life and take me out of the faith or take me away from
what we did here this morning. Isn’t it a good question? I don’t know what it would be, but
Habakkuk had something like that. But what did he do? He went deeper. He went to God and
said Lord, you know how I am feeling. You know what it is. I’m very disappointed. I don’t
But God said, tarry. Write the vision. I’m in it. Write the vision. He that reads it will run. Wait upon
me. I have a word for you. The kingdom is coming. Christ is coming. There’s a better world
coming. And I will give you – this is the point, isn’t it? And at the end of the book he said even if
the olive tree does not bear fruit, even if the fig tree does not, even if the stalls are empty, even if
all of the sheep have died, even if nothing is working for me, I will rejoice in the Lord my God.
I don’t want it to be artificial. I don’t want it to be like a thing like we go around when days are
good and say, yeah! I would like it to be real for us. And kind of lead us through it because life
can be hard. But I also want to say to you, don’t leave the faith. Learn the language and become
skillful in the word of righteousness and discern.
But if it’s milk only, you might not make it. I got to be honest with you and I’m saying it to myself
as well. If you feed only on milk, you may not make it. But if you get meat, you will greatly glorify
God. You’ll learn to be faithful before God and get the grace.
Remember Paul said he had a thorn in his side. Take it out, God. Take it out three times, and
the Lord said, no. My grace is sufficient. There you go. You get the idea, right? Okay, so, that’s
it. I think that’s, you know, not every church are we able to say those things. But I think we can
by God’s grace. We can talk like that because that’s the way it is.
I don’t mean to compare. I’m just saying I’m happy we can say these things and I want you to go
all the way and greatly glorify God. And you want that for me. Pray for me. I want to make it and
go all the way with the Lord and we bear fruit and we find ourselves enjoying Jesus Christ in a
dark time no matter what happens. Amen. Okay.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.