Habakkuk 3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
2 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.
In this short book we see Habakkuk complaining about the sin of Judah. Then he complained about God’s answer to the sin. In chapter 2 God answered Habakkuk and showed him that He knew all about Babylon and He also would deal with their wickedness. Habakkuk did not need to concern himself over God’s decisions. He needed to trust God.
In chapter 3, Habakkuk is moved to write a prayer he made to God. Again all of this is under the inspiration of God. It is all God’s Word.
It is important for God’s people to turn to God in prayer. Prayer is an acknowledgement of our need of God and our dependence upon Him. This prayer was written upon Shigionoth. There is some debate as to the meaning of the Hebrew word here. Strong’s describes it as a “rambling poem”. When we think of the word “rambling” we think of something that is long and not necessarily very coherent. We know that God does not ramble on about anything. He is very clear and very precise in all that He says and does.
It is also suggested that the Hebrew word for Shigionoth means “a song”. It is suggested that this prayer was written as a song to be sung. We know there are other prayers in the Psalms that were put to music by the Hebrews.
In verse 2 we read the beginnings of this poem or song. It begins with a recognition of the true God as LORD. He is the self-existent God who knows everything and does all things in righteousness. He does not need any counsel from man. He knows what He is doing and He knows what needs to be done.
Habakkuk was wise to acknowledge His authority. He had heard God’s speech and he was afraid. As he had been commanded to write the five woes of chapter 2, he could identify that the sins of which Babylon was guilty were also applicable to Judah. Thus he was afraid. Was Judah going to face the same judgment as Babylon?
Habakkuk understood that the only hope for Judah was revival. We notice that Habakkuk prayed for a “revival of God’s Work”. The prophets, priests, and kings had turned away from God’s Word. They were not teaching the truth. Judah, as a nation, had forsaken God. They were in deep trouble with God. It was needful for the people to be told the truth again. They needed to be reminded and warned of the need to turn back to God. They also needed to accept the truth. It is one thing to be told the truth, it is another to actually receive the truth.
Habakkuk was right in that the only hope of any person is to turn to God. Canada has just celebrated its 156th birthday. Canada was never a God-fearing nation. There were some godly people who came to this country. Most of the people who came here came to find freedom or to discover a new land. The natives who lived here when the Europeans came, were pagans. They still are today. They prefer to be called “First Nations people” but we do not know when they came to this land or who was here prior to their coming. We know they were savages in their earlier history. This is not stated to degrade them. This is simply the fact. They were not keepers of the land. They plundered the land and were very wasteful. The Europeans that came used some deceptive means to gain control of portions of the land. They used liquor as a vice to deceive the natives. They also traded in guns and other things that impressed the natives. The “treaties” that were made were not well thought out and have long been fulfilled. The natives are redefining the treaties as time goes on and our politicians are too foolish to reject the distortions.
A few of the many immigrants to this country came to bring the Gospel to the natives. History tells us that the majority of the religions that came here were corrupted. We know that the Catholics and the Anglicans did not help the natives to know the true God.
Large numbers of Mennonites came into this country in the early 1900’s. Some came earlier. Many of them were fleeing oppression in Russia. They came here with the multiplicity of religious views. They were industrious and developed the land and established businesses. They built churches but they were pacifists and did not believe the Word of God in truth. Rather than contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, they sought for a way to live in peace through compromise. They could not see how “the camel had stuck its’ nose into their tent and was slowly and methodically moving in to take over.” Most Mennonite religions today have no understanding of Biblical salvation. They have allowed the world to dominate their music and their methods of worship. They no longer have the Word of God in their midst.
The solution for all people in Canada is knowing the true God. By the grace of God, there are some born again Christians in this country. Some of them are being quite careless and are allowing the emergent church philosophy to infiltrate their ranks. They are not teaching the whole counsel of God, but rather are taking the parts of the Bible they like and dwelling on them. Thus sin is slowly but surely advancing within many churches today.
The answer is the same as it was in Habakkuk’s day. We need a revival of God’s Work. Those who are saved need to get back to teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God. We need to stop playing politics with God’s Word and declare “thus saith the LORD”. God’s Word and His ways are not optional. They are absolute and they must be known and followed if we want to know His blessing.
Local churches are to be known for preaching and teaching the truth. God’s Word is truth. We cannot allow man to turn us away from the truth and into humanistic religion. It is not a matter of a popularity contest. It is a matter of exalting the true God. He is not divided. He does not speak with a “forked tongue”. The messages being proclaimed by the multiplicity of religious people today cannot possibly all be right. The truth is still readily available. We need to be sure we are holding to that. True saints cannot be content with the smorgasbord of religion offered today. True saints have the Holy Spirit indwelling them. He is working to guide the true saint into the truth.
Jude was directed by God to write:
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
We are to contend for “the faith once delivered unto the saints”. We are not to try to find a way to mix the truth with error and come up with something more palatable to lost people. That is what we are constantly being told to do, but that will never honour God.
As we get back to God’s truth, we need to remember that God is always merciful in the midst of wrath. If we received what we deserved, we would all be destroyed. God is very merciful. God’s mercy does not mean He overlooks sin. It means He understands our frailty and He forgives the repentant sinner. He is willing to forgive the saint who will humbly confess his sin to God and seek His forgiveness. Let us humbly submit to His authority and forget about trying to defend the “church fathers”. Let us take God’s Word as our authority and build upon the truth. That is the way of blessing.
Do the right thing today and find a true local church to attend. Take a true Bible (the KJV) with you and follow along as the pastor opens the Word of God before you. If it is a true church, the pastor will be reading and preaching from the KJV. Listen to what is being said. Take notes. Examine what is being said in the light of God’s sure Word. Accept the Word of God as the truth that it is. Submit to that truth and know God’s peace and blessing.