Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Excerpts from Habbakuk

Last night I was reading and meditating on the book of the prophet Habbakuk, one of my favorite of the minor prophets. He is not very widely read, but from Habbakuk come such great verses as "The just shall live by faith" (Hab. 2:4) and "the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him" (Hab. 2:20).

It is oftentimes very refreshing to read what the Old Testament prophets say about God. Modern writings and statements of Bishops so often lack the vivid imagery and depth of awe that the Old Testament Scriptures convey about God. Notice how this passage from Habbakuk chapter three refers to God's "horns" and to His, "chariot" and, my favorite, His "glittering spear." Notice also how the prophet says of his encounter with God: "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself." Habbakuk knew that God was Holy; there was no undue familiarity here. The Bible never refers to God as love, love, love, or as Father, Father, Father (though He is both of those things), but it does call Him Holy, Holy, Holy, and the book of Habbakuk really gets this truth across well.

This is a great book for those who need a refresher after too many pages of reading about God's "pilgrim people" on their "journey of faith" and all that type of mushy language. In Habbakuk the language about God is truly beautiful and flows from the mouth of a man who had, like John the Apostle, seen the glory of the Lord and lived to tell about it. If you have time tonite, sit down and read this book. It is only three chapters long, but it deals with an important topic: God's judgment on an unfaithful nation. God bless.

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon
O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was
afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the
years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
God came from Teman, and the Holy One from
mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was
full of his praise.
And his brightness was as the light; he
had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his
Before him went the pestilence, and
burning coals went forth at his feet.
He stood, and measured the earth: he
beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were
scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction:
and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Was the Lord displeased against the
rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that
thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation?
Thy bow was made quite naked, according to
the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the
earth with rivers.
The mountains saw thee, and they trembled:
the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted
up his hands on high.
The sun and moon stood still in their
habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy
glittering spear.
Thou didst march through the land in
indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
Thou wentest forth for the salvation of
thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out
of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
Thou didst strike through with his staves
the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their
rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.
Thou didst walk through the sea with thine
horses, through the heap of great waters.
When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips
quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in

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