Habakkuk the prophet argued with God. Still, he clung to the Lord and rejoiced in God and His character. He was just and he lived by faith in the God he knew. He put his trust in the purpose of God and ran with the message, waiting for God to come through as He promised. (Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4; 3:17-19)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 11/21/2021
P. Schaller –
I’m going to introduce our subject today. It’s the book of Habakkuk. Just for a minute or two, would you turn
in your Bibles to Habakkuk if you can find it. It’s in the minor prophets. Habakkuk.
How many of you read these small little minor prophet books and understand them? I read them
and don’t understand them and it takes some work. What are they saying? Who are they
speaking to? What are they saying? Why are they saying it? What is actually happening? So
today by the end of the service, I think you’ll know more and it is relevant to the day we are
living in today, because it’s a time of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving. And to be thankful, not just
because things are going good but more deeply to be thankful because of the one we know,
God is our God. Our God is a living God. The world around me may not be the best but I have
God. That’s where this book is going. So we’re only going to read the last couple verses just to
introduce chapter 3 and vs. 17-19. right?
Hold it. I want to first welcome everybody here today. Welcome. Welcome. Good to see you.
You’re looking very good today. God bless you. Great. Be on the move. Get moving, amen. We
are people of faith and we are moving. We came to church today, the house of God. This is like
God’s living room. He is our Father and we are listening to his Word and he is teaching us
something we can carry with us when we leave the house. This is our driveway out there. This
is our livingroom and we ask the Holy Spirit to give us a heart-warmth sense of our family that
we are before our Father and we are a thankful people even when the fig tree does not blossom
nor fruit be on the vines. That’s agriculturally.
In our world maybe my car doesn’t start. The computer is down. Wheelchair is broken.
Cupboards are empty. The bank account isn’t looking too good. vs. 17b -18. that sounds, that
sounds like it’s right. It sounds right but how can I have that in my heart and in my life? I need to
see Jesus. I need to realize who he is. I need Jesus’ spirit, the Holy Spirit in my life and I can
rejoice in the Lord when it doesn’t look so good on the outside. I have Christ in my heart. I have
love in my heart. I have faith. I am thankful for God. Isn’t that amazing?
vs. 18-19. Those mountain goats and mountain animals that can go up those beautiful big horn
rams up in the cregs and the pinnacles of the mountains up in Tajikistan in the Himalayas. Their
feet are just so – you can watch it on Youtube. They climb up even the dam. I saw them on the
little ledges and they scamper up. Wow!
How do they do that? Many animals could not do that, because they don’t have those feet and
sense and ability but you do. You are able to manage and maneuver in high places. Others
would fall to their death. Others cannot manage or navigate those small, little – those rocks.
Those little ledges that make them able, but you do. God gave you these feet. God gave you a
When things are bad, they are not bad for you. They are bad for others but not for you. Psalm
32, there they were in fear where no fear was. There was no fear but there was fear in them.
There was nothing to fear but the fear was there in them.
That’s like people without hinds feet. They cannot get up high enough to see. They don’t
understand. The animals on the lower levels cannot go there. They will not go there. They
cannot go there. But you and I are able to go there.
This is why thanksgiving is not just a holiday. It’s a way of life. We rejoice in God. We’re thankful
in God. We have found God.
Closing the introduction. The name Habakkuk, – the prophet’s name was Habakkuk and his
name means “to embrace or cling.” To cling or embrace. But cling to what? Cling to who?
Embrace who but God. Embracing God and clinging to God.
I have found that many times people when they go through trouble, they lose their faith. When
things go upside down or they are disappointed. I thought my life would be better. I thought life
would go this way and why did God do this to me? Habakkuk had similar thought but as we will
see in the message today, he was able to process it and cling to God. Maybe P. Steve come up
for a second. I want to show you a simple – he’s God and I’m Habakkuk and I need to cling to
But it’s so possible to lose him and be disappointed with what I have. The fig tree did not
blossom. There’s no cows in the stalls. I lost part of the flock.
We could say I lost my wife. I lost my income. I lose my health. I lost a child. My son maybe is
in prison or I lost something precious to me. It’s so easy not to cling. But I want to encourage us
today that you have a deeper life. You have a deeper life. You are born again. You have your
Heavenly Father that you cling to. You’re going to learn in life. Don’t give up but learn to cling
and embrace God. Thanks, pastor, and have a thankful heart and learn what it means to
worship the living God. So we’ll look at the book. Three chapters. And we’ll have a good time
here today. Amen.
Okay. You may be seated. Yes, you may be seated. Okay. How many of you remember
President Ronald Reagan. You remember President Ronald Reagan? He said, “to preserve our
blessed land, we must look to God. It is time to realize that we need God more than he needs
us. We also have his promise that we could take to heart with regard to our country, that “if my
people which are called by name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn
from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Let us young and old join together as did the first Continental Congress in the first step humble
heart felt prayer. Let us do so for the love of God in his great goodness and in search of his
guidance and the grace of repentance in seeking his blessings, his peace and the resting of his
kind and holy hands on ourselves, our nation, our friends and the defense of freedom of all
mankind now and always. The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in him for the
healing of America.”
This is in 1982. “Our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal.
Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on earth.”
Our country is in some trouble morally and the consequence spiritually in major institutions:
education, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, arrogance, immorality, idolatry. We think a lot of
ourselves. We have turned from God to ourselves and are looking for comfort and our ways, our
lust, our passion.
Recently we started on Friday nights a recovery program for people who have addictions. P.
Ramere who opened in prayer is the head of that project. We have Grace Overcomers also on
Monday night and we have this recovery on Friday night and we have seen God do things to
turn us from ourselves to God. We have seen him deliver people from alcohol.
I spoke this morning with one brother. He’s new here and he told me that I have so much pain
because of my private, personal life. Depression. Emotion. Confusion. But I have turned to
Christ and he said I am so, so happy now. I am so free. I went to the psychiatric hospital,
Shepherd Pratt. I’ve been to bipolar diagnosis. Many things. Medications. Four medications. He
said I just was dull. It did not take away my problem. I needed God and I turned to God. I am
free. He said I can live with myself. He said the pain would take me to alcohol and I’m a hard
core alcoholic. The pain would take me to that, but he said it’s over. I don’t know how long he’s
been but a period of time and he can feel it that Jesus, Jesus Christ is real, that Jesus took
away the pain and confusion and that he has turned to him.
This is a good message. The most important message that our country could hear. So we pray
for the preaching and the teaching and the ministry that you have because God has given you a
new life. Follow him. Cling to him. So we’re going to look at that today from the book of
The outline is simple. It will take some concentration on your part. You can do it. It’s not difficult.
It’s simple. Three parts. Chapter 1, chapter 2 and chapter 3. Would you look at the book with
me. If you brought your Bible with you, many of you do not. Maybe you have your phone or you
have your Bible and up on the screen – we can’t really show it to you. I do this because I want to
get attached to the book in my heart, so I have my Bible and I look at chapter 1. I do not know
what it says. I will tell you. I look at chapter 2 just looking at it and chapter 3. That’s the whole
book of Habakkuk. Three chapters.
The first chapter is really the prophet making an argument. He makes an argument to God. And
we do do this as people. It is okay if we do it with the right spirit and heart attitude. We make an
argument. I have a problem. I have an argument with God. Basically, his argument was why do
you – this is the prophet speaking to God. Why do you allow the violence and the injustice, the
pain – why do you allow the heartache and the trouble that is in our country Israel or Judah.
There’s two words. Israel is the northern kingdom and Judah is the southern kingdom. He’s
speaking to the southern kingdom, Judah. Why do you allow this?
This argument is important because it allows us to think about how painful life can be and we
are allowed by God to talk to him from our hearts. Maybe you don’t have this argument this way,
but you have it another way.
Why did you allow my boss to fire me? Why has my family fallen apart? Why do I have cancer
and others don’t have? Why and so on. Why is there so much – why is there sex trafficking?
Why are people in power that are immoral and ungodly and affect millions of people? Why? It’s
an argument anybody could bring to God.
But I want to show you something. Maybe P. Steve for the clinging idea. The prophet is talking
to God but he’s also, he’s also not wanting to lose God. He’s not angry in that way. What is the
[indistinct]. And just like going away. But he’s more like saying why is this but I don’t want to lose
you. I know I can talk to you.
For us we could say, I love you, Jesus. I love you, but why did my brother die? Mary and Martha
lost Lazarus. If you had been here, he would not have died. You have the idea. We all have this.
Job had it in his life. And the thing in the story that’s beautiful here in this short book is that God
allows Habakkuk to talk like this and God also answers him.
The answer he gives to Habakkuk isn’t really satisfying to Habakkuk which is another good
point. God could give me an answer but maybe I cling to him even more and just say, thank you
for talking to me. Thank you for the answer, but I’m actually looking for more. I want to know
you. I’m looking for more. I’m looking for your love, your peace, your wisdom. I’m looking for
I think this parallels us in many ways because life can be hard. So, that’s our first point there.
Thanks, pastor. I might call him back. Didn’t he do a – it was brilliant! His performance was
brilliant! Okay. Let’s read this. Let me pray for this. (Prayer).
Chapter 1:1. Because we don’t have a lot of time, and I want to give you the outline, this will be
jumping around a little bit but you can follow it. vs. 1-2. What a good word that is. Through the
years, how many of you have met a Christian who is – they might not be open to say it but they
are angry with life. They’re angry with God. They’re angry with their spouse. They’re angry
inside. They say Lord, you are not listening to me. You will not hear. You are not answering my
prayer, my way, my prayer, my need. I ask you many times but you didn’t do it. You didn’t
answer my prayer. This is all because it’s so easy for us to relate to life on our terms. But cling
to him. Listen. You can bring your argument but wait on him to answer.
Sometimes when I lived in Hungary, l learned in Hungary I could say, I could say in English to
somebody who new English a little bit, maybe not so well, but I could say something like maybe
some day you could come over to my house. They would say, yes. What did they hear me say?
Come to my house. That’s what – but I say maybe some day. So I would have to use
percentages. There’s a ten percent possibility that you could come to my house.
What do I mean by this? Lord, you are not hearing me. The Lord is actually saying, I am hearing
you. I want you to hear me. We are not speaking the same language. I want you to hear me.
And Habakkuk is saying he’s broken hearted. vs. 2-3. I see the iniquity of my heart, the iniquity
of people. I see the trouble in our society. I see the abuse. I see the pain, the depression. I see
the drug abuse. I see child abuse. I see unemployment. I see depression. I see murder. I see
this. What are you doing about it, Lord? vs. 3-4. What is he talking about but in Israeli society
the leaders are abuse. They are after money. There’s a short list in chapter 2. There’s
exploitation, violence, immorality and idolatry and this is God’s nation. What happened, God?
God answers him and it’s not satisfying.
God describes in chapter 1 verses 5-11 an invading army, a very aggressive military machine is
coming to wipe it out, to take the people into captivity, to execute the intelligensia, to take them
into captivity. Others, to leave a small group of farmers, but the Babylonians are coming. They
are going to come and bring judgment on the nation as the prophet Jeremiah said.
Habakkuk is not satisfied. He is saying, well they are just as bad as the Israelis. The
Babylonians is not an answer. The country is in trouble and so you are going to send another
country to come and with trouble bring trouble to trouble. It’s not satisfying to me because I
know that there is something deeper in your heart God and I need to know it. What’s in your
heart for our nation? What’s in your heart for our future?
How does Habakkuk know this? Because he is actually a prophet of God and he is saying we
should all understand. Judgment comes to a nation but there is a plan that is deeper. There is a
purpose that is deep. There is a person, God, who cares about every single person on the earth
and he has a Messiah who dies for every single person on the earth. He has a Millennium, a
kingdom coming where there is peace, prosperity, justice, and love.
Habakkuk needs to hear from the one he’s clinging onto. He wants to know. He says that
argument God isn’t enough for me. I need to know more. We see this in chapter 1:12-17. He
speaks about who God is. God is pure. His eyes are purer than to behold evil. Lord, you send
evil to evil. Yes, but your eyes are so pure you can’t even behold evil. I want to know more
about what it is that you are doing. So, what does Habakkuk do? He says this to God and then
he waits on God.
This is chapter 2:1. I’ll put here the word “waits.” What does it mean waiting on
God? You can be passive waiting and fall asleep. I’m waiting for the train. I take a nice sleep.
But there’s also the idea of waiting in anticipation. Waiting for an answer. It’s like this, I say to a
Hungarian, come to my house at 6:00 Saturday night to eat. And then I wait. What am I waiting
for? Eye to eye. What am I doing? I’m waiting for an answer. You’re welcome to my house at
6:00 Saturday night. Would you like to come? And I wait. Yes. They look at me. Am I serious?
Especially with all the other communication that wasn’t that effective, but are you serious? Do I
understand you correctly? Am I waiting? Are they, are we communicating?
So Habakkuk is now waiting on a deeper answer. Not Babylon coming and destroying and
conquering. I’m waiting for a deeper answer. Is the Messiah coming? Is there a kingdom
coming? Is there a better world coming? Is there something I can anticipate? Is it coming where
there is no pain, no sorrow, no death, no cemetery, no police station, no hospital, no contracts,
no keys like car keys. No keys like house keys. Everybody is honest. Nobody steals anything.
No, that will never happen. God? Lord God? He’s waiting.
Chapter 2:1, that means he’s taking a part of the night, of the day on the rampart, on the wall
waiting. But he’s waiting on God. He believes there is something more. He believes that God
has something to say to him. Jesus says I show you my secrets in John. 15. We’ve been brought into the kingdom. He said I teach by parable so that others will not understand. But you
understand. If with my finger I cast out demons, then no doubt the kingdom of God has come
nigh unto you. It is here in our midst. I don’t see any kingdom? I see violence. Look again. It’s
here. The kingdom of God is on the earth. We are waiting. We are anticipating. We believe it.
We have the Spirit of God in us.
vs. 1. He is saying, I will be corrected by God, but I think he’s going to give me a fuller answer
than the Babylonian invasion. There is a fuller answer. vs. 2. This is on tablets. Make it plain on
tablets. Write it down. What do I write down? The Messiah, the kingdom. Write it down. vs. 2.
That he may run. Can we put that up there. That he may run that reads it. Now, I think you being
here today is a good example of you running. Running a race. Running in faith. Looking unto
Jesus. Putting aside some things. The sin that easily besets us. The kind of extra baggage that
you know when you run with the baggage in the airport, it’s like woe! If you could drop it and run
to the plane. That’s one picture.
How do you run? By reading the vision. What is the vision? In the broadest sense it’s this book.
This is God’s Word to us. If you read it, you can run. You can run the race. If you read this,
there’s power in it. Hebrews 4:12. The Word of God is living and powerful. It pierces to your spirit.
You can run.
How can a man get rid of his addiction or his alcohol problem or other things? We understand
that those are real things, but we also understand that God is saying if you can hear me, if you
can hear me, then you can run. You can actually do this. No, not me.
I used to think that you people were different. When I was in the church in the beginning, I would
look at the church as I look at you and I could say, wow! You people got it together. You got
faith. You got love. You behave. You’re normal people. I’m not. I’m a bit unstable and you’re
smart. I’m not. I used to think like this. Then I realized something. You’re not that great! You’re
like me. I started to realize we all got stuff.
I started to realize the one thing we have is the Lord speaking saying this in our understanding.
He said to Habakkuk, write it down. Make it plain that he may run that reads your book,
Habakkuk. But couldn’t it be for every book of the Bible? All 66 books of the Bible. And couldn’t
it be for what the Lord is saying to your heart and making it plain to you?
Notice the next verse, vs. 3. Go to vs. 3b. Meaning it’s on my time table. The Messiah will come
on my time table. Pentecost will come. And the Second Coming of Christ will come on my time
table. It will come. It will be at an appointed time. It reminds us of Gal. 4 where Christ came at
an appointed time. At the end it will speak and not lie and you can’t help but think that Jesus
came and that coming speaks and it does not lie. He came. And he rose from the dead and it’s
true. It’s not empty. It’s not a false religion. It’s not superficial talking. It does not lie. It changes
your heart. It gives you new life. It does not lie. You will know the truth and the truth will set you
free, and you’ll be free indeed. Really. Like it’s just real. It’s reality. Christ has risen.
But then he says, though it tarry. What does tarry mean? It’s like pause. Wait. Though it seems
like it didn’t come. Though it tarry, wait it for it because it will surely come. It will not tarry. You
can’t help but think he’s saying to us – it’s like the bus is coming. It’s 8:05 it says on the
schedule. It’s coming. It’s coming. And it’s not tarrying meaning it’s not in trouble, stuck. It’s on
the way. It’s for sure. It’s an appointed time. It will surely come. It’s like Jesus Christ who went to
heaven and told us he’s coming. It’s for real. You might say when, when? And the Lord is saying
to us I need you not to be proud but I need you to live by faith.
Go to the next verse, please. vs. 4. It means he’s proud. The word is proud. Okay. This has a lot
of meaning to it because that verse – let me write it hear for a second. I think you know it, but
the just shall live by his faith. Three segments to the sentence. Paul uses this sentence in three
epistles. “The just” – Romans 1. It’s like Habakkuk clings to God and is listening and the Lord
says, Habakkuk, wait on me. Trust me. It’s happening. My plan is happening. But you cannot be lifted up in pride. You have to be humble and listen to me. If you listen to me, you live by faith
and it will be okay for you. The just shall live by his faith. It will be okay. You can do this.
Paul loved this verse obviously because he used it in three epistles. The Holy Spirit used it.
“Shall live” is Ephesians 3. and “by faith” is Heb. 10. That’s a study for you if you want a great
meditation to think on. It’s beautiful.
I’m concerned about America. Lord, what about America? The Lord will say well, this is going to
be happening. I would say, Lord tell me more because behind America is something bigger.
God is saying I’m gathering people unto me. We’ve had a tough couple of years. But it’s
heightened their Christianity for many people. They’ve become more serious. They want God.
They want me. They know they need me. There they were in fear where no fear was. Psalm 53.
They want me.
I say, yes, Lord. That’s like Habakkuk. He’s clinging to you and he wants to know what’s
happening. And the Lord says further, the kingdom is coming. But right now, it is like this, but
you live by faith and you be a just man. Don’t be a liar, a deceiver, an adulterer. Don’t live a
double life, but live by faith in me and trust me. The just shall live. I love that phrase, “shall live.”
There are many people living but they are dead while they live. Like an artificial plant, it looks
alive but it’s dead. There’s no life in it. A stuffed animal. People are like stuffed animals. They
don’t have life.
If you live by faith in God – and you say but the plan. I don’t see it. The Lord will say you will see
it. I will show it to you. Write it down. It is sure. Though it tarry – it’s not here in the fulness. It will
not lie. It is coming. It will come. It is for real.
The last chapter is chapter 3 and it’s really Habakkuk has got it – chapter 1, chapter 2, and
chapter 3. And he’s excited about God. He’s excited about the person of God. He’s excited
about the power of God. He’s excited about the plan of God. This is what he says basically. It’s
okay, Lord. Even if the agriculture fails, I know you. I know who you are. I know you are coming.
Even if there is a lot of pain in life, I know who you are. You are the Comforter. You are the
teacher. You are the one who forgives. You are the one who upholds us. Underneath are his
everlasting arms. You are God and I’m in love with you. You are enough.
Yeah, it hurts. Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, there’s trouble in the world but I don’t hold – believe your
ways are not our ways. Your thoughts are not our thoughts. We easily accuse you and find fault
instead of finding the fault with us and the fact we are not listening. We are not submitted. We
are not humble. We are not righteous. But you have told me the just shall live by faith and that’s
enough. Okay. Amen. Would you pray with me.
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.