"How You Live"
There is a big difference in how the unbeliever lives and how the righteous live. As God speaks to Habakkuk, he outlines the difference.
How Do You Live?
A. Have you ever got a phone call about how much some company can do for you, how signing up for their product will save you lots of money and there is nothing like it on the market today? I have one answer: write down and send it to me in the mail. So far, that has never happened.
B. What is there about writing something down that scares people? Well, obviously it is much harder to deny something that you wrote versus said. But God is not afraid to write it down. God took Moses up on a mountain and wrote down 10 Commandments, God put John in a vision and told him, “Write what you see in a book” that we call Revelation today. My point is, God has said to people, “write it down” several times, and every time it is important.
C. Habakkuk may have been a little fearful that he had crossed some line with God. He writes that he went to watchtower – figuratively in this case – to await and see what God will say to him. When God does answer our prophet, He tells him, “write the vision.”
I. The Short Answer
A. Many Christians like to quote 1 Cor. 14:33, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” The context of passage is not in understanding what God has said in the word, but when the miraculous gifts in worship cause confusion, don’t call it edification, because it’s not, it’s confusion, and that is not God’s way of worship.
B. I say that because reading God’s word can be confusing. Trying to figure out commands versus interpretation versus culture is not always easy. But when God says, “Write it down” He does so, so that we can understand. God wants to reveal His message to us, and the righteous will seek to hear. So we come to hear God speak to Habakkuk a second time, and we come to hear God say, (READ verse Hab. 2:2)
C. God wants Habakkuk to make the message understandable to righteous. The Hebrew can be a little confusing, but the meaning is that the prophesy needs to be given to the people because it is of great importance. Not just now, when the righteous are suffering, but there is something in what God is revealing to Habakkuk that has a future to it that will need to be understood.
D. Look at what God says about this revelation (Vs 3). The vision awaits its appointed time. The truth is, Habakkuk is not even guaranteed to see its fulfillment, for if it seems slow, wait for it. What God is about to tell Habakkuk has to be written down so that it will believed when it comes to pass.
E. Quick example. When Joseph was 17 he had a couple of dreams that he shared with his family. In those dreams things were bowing down before him. Now, if you know the story the brothers were not wild about the dream and neither was his father. The brother would sell Joseph into slavery, life would have its ups and downs for Joseph, but eventually, after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph is made second over all Egypt. When the famine reaches his brothers and father back in Canaan they come to Egypt not know or recognizing Joseph and bow down before him. The end statement Joseph has as he reveals himself to his family is (READ Gen. 50:19-20). It was years from the dream to fulfillment of the dream.
II. How Do You Live?
A. Here is where the prophecy itself begins. The first thing God answers is that the proud and the righteous have very different insides and ways of living. There is no doubt that Chaldeans are puffed up people.
B. The people who trust in themselves often live by a different standard. Look at the puffed up man. His very soul is not right within him. He lives only on the outside, he is conceited and has become a god unto himself. Paul warned the church in Corinth when he said, “Let anyone who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12). Solomon would say, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18). The self-love that these Babylonians have will become their defeat.
C. So Habakkuk was given a revelation to write that would come to pass in the future. God does not tell him when, but before God tells him what. God reassures Habakkuk that there is a difference to God between the righteous and the wicked. Listen to Hab. 2:4-5 (NASB)
D. Verse 5 of our text is lays out that the pride of the Babylonians like that of wine that will eventually consume the consumer of it. Like the very underworld, like death, the proud and drunks never have enough.
E. But tucked away in our text is the statement that gets repeated in the writings of the NT three times, “The righteous will live by faith.” (vs 4b). The meaning of that phrase in Habakkuk’s day is as if God was to say, “Keep faith with me and do what is right and you will live.”
F. Fellow Christians, the calling for us today is not different. We are to keep faith with God. Our loyalty is not to this church building but to God who lead this church. Even when our outward circumstances make it difficult we lift the name of Jesus on high. For Habakkuk this is about how you live. Do you live in holiness, you do you live in faithfulness, do you live in obedience? As Christians we hold to the grace of Jesus, as Paul asks, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may increase? By no means” (Rom. 6:1).
A. I thankful for grace, but don’t every play on it. God’s calling is high and God’s expectation is to be faithful even to the point of death. Keep on living, I mean really living in the holiness of God.
B. The Message puts verse 4 like this (READ IT). Are you full alive, really alive in Christ or just playing a game and using religion to lie to you? Really live. Walk with Jesus every day. Let His light shine through you. Keep in step with the Holy Spirit in you and the world will see a living faith. If we can help you to live by faith, come as we stand and sing.