MISSION WOODS CHURCH
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      • Matthew 5–7ESV

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        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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      • Matthew 5–7ESV

      • Bible Trivia
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      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
  • Come Into His Presence
  • I Stand In Awe
  • I Love You, Lord
  • To God Be The Glory
  • When You See Darkness...

    Back in the day, when we had Bibles that had paper pages, it was not difficult to see the personal Bible of fellow Christians. What I mean by that is that if you were to take a person’s Bible and hold it up, it would be easy to see what their personal canon was, that is the books of the Bible that they deemed important. It is likely that you would see large sections of the Bible totally overlooked.
    For most people in Christian churches you would see signs of heavy use in the Gospels and letters of Paul, perhaps a little less in in the latter parts of the New Testament, you might see heavy use in the early pages of Scripture, and perhaps the books of Psalms and Proverbs, but much of the minor prophets might appear unused.
    Most of us are familiar with the story of Jonah; perhaps a few even know the story of Hosea, but what of Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi? My guess is that most of us would struggle to think of the last time we spent anytime studying these smaller books of the Old Testament, much less be able to name a theme that these books might talk about and their purpose in our biblical canon.
    For the next few weeks we’re going to dig into the minor prophet Habakkuk’s book. First let’s take a quick overview the 30,000 foot peak at his writing.
    Who is this prophet and what is this book? It’s only three chapters and 56 verses long. By word count (in the Hebrew) it is only 671 words long. The prophet wrestles with two thoughts that can be readily applied to us today.
    Why God allows evil to go unpunished.
    How a righteous God could use evil to judge sin.
    The theme of Habakkuk put simply is:
    “Evil may seem triumphant, but God is on the throne and deals with evil in his own time.”
    This is having an eternal perspective. If we were to put where Habakkuk fits on a timeline, it might look like this:
    So with that as mere prelude, let’s dive into this book by this prophet named Habakkuk. As we hear of the Chaldeans, know that this title is for the souther Babylonians. So it is in reference to the Babylonian empire of the time.
    Reading from Habakkuk 1:1-2:4
    Habakkuk 1:1–2:4 ESV
    The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw. O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand. At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. He brings all of them up with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad. Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich. Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever? I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
    A reading from God’s Holy Word,
    Thanks be to God.
    Thanks be to God indeed.
    How often have you seen the horrors of the happenings of this sinful world and thought, “Where are you God?” How often have we prayed against war, hatred, and violence and felt like we were merely speaking into the wind with no one to hear?
    This is not something new. Habakkuk cries out with us:
    Habakkuk 1:2 ESV
    O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?
    He goes on in verses 3 & 4
    Habakkuk 1:3–4 ESV
    Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
    Habakkuk looks around him and he sees nothing but violence and destruction and he thinks, “God how can you sit idly by!” or as I suggested earlier, “God, how can you let evil go unpunished?” Don’t we think the same?
    We see what happening in other parts of the world and even in our own country and we think, “God, where are you?”
    And God answers, v.5
    Habakkuk 1:5 ESV
    “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.
    And then God continues to tell this prophet how he is going to raise up the Chaldeans - “that bitter and hasty nation who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own.”
    This is not a pure people God is raising up. These are conquerors with no regard for God, nor for others. God says of them to Habakkuk,
    Habakkuk 1:7 ESV
    They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
    They don’t get their justice from God, nor their self worth, it is from their own arrogant narcissism that feeds their sense of dignity and justice. They do what’s right in their own eyes.
    Habakkuk 1:9 ESV
    They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand.
    Their confidence is in themselves. Does that sound familiar? And yet God has told Habakkuk that these very people are the ones to be used to punish Judah. Wait? Who? What? How? Why?
    And so we see Habakkuk’s second complaint to God.
    Habakkuk 1:12 ESV
    Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
    and vs. 13
    Habakkuk 1:13 ESV
    You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
    Habakkuk saw that Judah and indeed all of Israel remains as God’s chosen people. So now he questions how a righteous and holy God could use such a wicked nation in order to reprove God’s people.
    Habakkuk says, he will watch and wait:
    Habakkuk 2:1 ESV
    I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
    And the Lord answers Him in verse 2-4 and that’s where we will end for today:
    Habakkuk 2:2 ESV
    And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
    Habakkuk 2:3 ESV
    For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
    Remember what God had said to Habakkuk at the very beginning when he cried out wondering how God could allow such violence around him, it was in verse 5
    Habakkuk 1:5 (ESV)
    “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.
    And we conclude with the 4th verse in chapter 2
    Habakkuk 2:4 ESV
    “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
    His soul (that of the Chaldeans) is puffed up; it is not upright within him.
    BUT…- cancels out all of that puffiness.
    Habakkuk 2:4 (ESV)
    “... the righteous shall live by his faith.”
    If there is anything you take away from this message this morning, it is the righteous shall live by faith.”
    Faith in God
    Faith in God’s Sovereignty
    Faith in God’s Word.
    As our world continues to move forward and the church along with it, one of the things getting sacrificed on the altar of progress is God’s sovereignty.
    Either God is God, Creator of all things visible and invisible as we confess or God is just a god like any other idol at whose altar we might worship. Just one among many.
    How you read those first 4 words of our Bible “In the beginning, God...”will determine how you read the rest of it. Either God is sovereign, or God isn’t.
    There are many today claiming to be prophets of sorts, to know better than others, who’s souls are puffed up; they are arrogant, and are doing what is right in their own mind. They forget they are created in the image of God and so they instead create God in their own image.
    “the righteous shall live by faith” to the glory of God.
    AMEN!
      • Habakkuk 1:1–2:4ESV

      • Habakkuk 1:2ESV

      • Habakkuk 1:3–4ESV

      • Habakkuk 1:5ESV

      • Habakkuk 1:7ESV

      • Habakkuk 1:9ESV

      • Habakkuk 1:12ESV

      • Habakkuk 1:13ESV

      • Habakkuk 2:1ESV

      • Habakkuk 2:3ESV

      • Habakkuk 2:4ESV

  • Sweet Hour Of Prayer
  • Now Thank We All Our God
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