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Hello my name is Jerral Campfield and this web site is dedicated to Moral Recognition Therapy using Biblical principles. Please come back often to join me in understanding Gods hands are outstretched still to forgive.

Habakkuk 1 The story of the last Days  E-mail
Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 28 August 2020

Habakkuk 1
New King James Version
The Prophet Questions God’s Judgments 
Chapter 1
In this chapter, I. The prophet complains to God of the violence done by the abuse of the sword of justice among his own people and the hardships thereby put upon many good people, Hab. 1:1-4. II. God by him foretells the punishment of that abuse of power by the sword of war, and the desolations which the army of the Chaldeans should make upon them, Hab. 1:5-11. III. Then the prophet complains of that too, and is grieved that the Chaldeans prevail so far (Hab. 1:12-17), so that he scarcely knows which is more to be lamented, the sin or the punishment of it, for in both many harmless good people are very great sufferers. It is well that there is a day of judgment, and a future state, before us, in which it shall be eternally well with all the righteous, and with them only, and ill with all the wicked, and them only; so the present seeming disorders of Providence shall be set to rights, and there will remain no matter of complaint whatsoever.
 
1 The [a]burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.
The Prophet’s Question
2 O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.
3 Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see [b]trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
4 Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds. 
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
4 Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds. 
VERSES 1-4
Meshech is named with Tubal (and Rosh, in certain translations) as principalities of "Gog, prince of Magog" in Ezekiel 38:2 and 39:1, and is considered a Japhetite tribe
 Jordan was a place of Kedar
The Kedarites were another nomadic Arabic people, just like their cousins, the Nabataeans. They occupied the desert regions of eastern Syria and present day Jordan, on the edge of the Levant.
 
I cry to thee of this violence; I cry aloud; I have cried long; but thou wilt not hear, thou wilt not save; thou dost not take vengeance on the oppressors, nor do justice to the oppressed, as if thy arm were shortened or thy ear heavy.” When God seems to connive at the wickedness of the wicked, nay, and to countenance it, by suffering them to prosper in their wickedness, it shocks the faith of good men, and proves a sore temptation to them to say, We have cleansed our hearts in vain (Ps. 73:13), and hardens those in their impiety who say, God has forsaken the earth. We must not think it strange if wickedness be suffered to prevail far and prosper long. God has reasons, and we are sure they are good reasons, both for the reprieves of bad men and the rebukes of good men; and therefore, though we plead with him, and humbly expostulate concerning his judgments, yet we must say, “He is wise, and righteous, and good, in all,” and must believe the day will come, though it may be long deferred, when the cry of sin will be heard against those that do wrong and the cry of prayer for those that suffer it.

We are told no more in the title of this book (which we have, Hab. 1:1) than that the penman was a prophet, a man divinely inspired and commissioned, and that the book itself is the burden which he saw; he was as sure of the truth of it as if he had seen it with his bodily eyes already accomplished. Here, in these verses, the prophet sadly laments the iniquity of the times, as one sensibly touched with grief for the lamentable decay of religion and righteousness. It is a very melancholy complaint which he here makes to God, 1. That no man could call what he had his own; but, in defiance of the most sacred laws of property and equity, he that had power on his side had what he had a mind to, though he had no right on his side: The land was full of violence, as the old world was, Gen. 6:11. The prophet cries out of violence (Hab. 1:2), iniquityand grievance, spoil and violence. In families and among relations, in neighbour-hoods and among friends, in commerce and in courts of law, every thing was carried with a high hand, and no man made any scruple of doing wrong to his neighbour, so that he could but make a good hand of it for himself. It does not appear that the prophet himself had any great wrong done him (in losing times it fared best with those that had nothing to lose), but it grieved him to see other people wronged, and he could not but mingle his tears with those of the oppressed. Note, Doing wrong to harmless people, as it is an iniquity in itself, so it is a great grievance to all that are concerned for God’s Jerusalem, who sigh and cry for abominations of this kind. He complains (Hab. 1:4) that the wicked doth compass about the righteous. One honest man, one honest cause, shall have enemies besetting it on every side; many wicked men, in confederacy against it, run it down; nay, one wicked man (for it is singular) with so many various arts of mischief sets upon a righteous man, that he perfectly besets him. 2. That the kingdom was broken into parties and factions that were continually biting and devouring one another. This is a lamentation to all the sons of peace: There are that raise up strife and contention (Hab. 1:3), that foment divisions, widen breaches, incense men against one another, and sow discord among brethren, by doing the work of him that is the accuser of the brethren. Strifes and contentions that have been laid asleep, and begun to be forgotten, they awake, and industriously raise up again, and blow up the sparks that were hidden under the embers.And, if blessed are the peace-makers, cursed are such peace-breakers, that make parties, and so make mischief that spreads further, and lasts longer, than they can imagine. It is sad to see bad men warming their hands at those flames which are devouring all that is good in a nation, and stirring up the fire too. 3. That the torrent of violence and strife ran so strongly as to bid defiance to the restraints and regulations of laws and the administration of justice, Hab. 1:4. Because God did not appear against them, nobody else would; therefore the law is slacked, is silent; it breathes not; its pulse beats not (so, it is said, the word signifies); it intermits, and judgment does not go forth as it should; no cognizance is taken of those crimes, no justice done upon the criminals; nay, wrong judgment proceeds; if appeals be made to the courts of equity, the righteous shall be condemned and the wicked justified, so that the remedy proves the worst disease. The legislative power takes no care to supply the deficiencies of the law for the obviating of those growing threatening mischiefs; the executive power takes no care to answer the good intentions of the laws that are made; the stream of justice is dried up by violence, and has not its free course. 4. That all this was open and public, and impudently avowed; it was barefaced. The prophet complains that this iniquity was shown him; he beheld it which way soever he turned his eyes, nor could he look off it: Spoiling and violence are before me. Note, The abounding of wickedness in a nation is a very great eye-sore to good people, and, if they did not see it, they could not believe it to be so bad as it is. Solomon often complains of the vexation of this kind which he saw under the sun; and the prophet would therefore gladly turn hermit, that he might not see it, Jer. 9:2. But then we must needs go out of the world, which there-fore we should long to do, that we may remove to that world where holiness and love reign eternally, and no spoiling and violence shall be before us. 5. That he complained of this to God, but could not obtain a redress of those grievances: “Lord,” says he, “why dost thou show me iniquity? Why hast thou cast my lot in a time and place when and where it is to be seen, and why do I continue to sojourn in Mesech and Kedar? Historical interpretations[edit]



 
The Lord’s Reply
5 “Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you.
6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans,
A bitter and hasty nation
Which marches through the breadth of the earth,
To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
7 They are terrible and dreadful;
Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves.
8 Their horses also are swifter than leopards,
And more fierce than evening wolves.
Their [c]chargers [d]charge ahead;
Their cavalry comes from afar;
They fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.
9 “They all come for violence;
Their faces are set like the east wind.
They gather captives like sand.
10 They scoff at kings,
And princes are scorned by them.
They deride every stronghold,
For they heap up earthen mounds and seize it.
11 Then his [e]mind changes, and he transgresses;
He commits offense,
Ascribing this power to his god.” VERSES 5-11
We have here an answer to the prophet’s complaint, giving him assurance that, though God bore long, he would not bear always with this provoking people; for the day of vengeance was in his heart, and he must tell them so, that they might by repentance and reformation turn away the judgment they were threatened with.
I. The preamble to the sentence is very awful (Hab. 1:5): Behold, you among the heathen, and regard. Since they will not be brought to repentance by the long-suffering of God, he will take another course with them. No resentments are so keen, so deep, as those of abused patience. The Lord will inflict upon them, 1. A public punishment, which shall be beheld and regarded among the heathen, which the neighbouring nations shall take notice of and stand amazed at; see Deut. 29:25, 25This will aggravate the desolations of Israel, that they will thereby be made a spectacle to the world. 2. An amazing punishment, so strange and surprising, and so much out of the common road of Providence, that it shall not be paralleled among the heathen, shall be sorer and heavier than what God has usually inflicted upon the nations that know him not; nay, it shall not be credited even by those that had the prediction of it from God before it comes, or the report of it from those that were eye-witnesses of it when it comes: You will not believe it, though it be told you; it will be thought incredible that so many judgments should combine in one, and every circumstance so strangely concur to enforce and aggravate it, that so great and potent a nation should be so reduced and broken, and that God should deal so severely with a people that had been taken into the bond of the covenant and that he had done so much for. The punishment of God’s professing people cannot but be the astonishment of all about them. 3. A speedy punishment: “I will work a work in your days, now quickly; this generation shall not pass till the judgment threatened be accomplished. The sins of former days shall be reckoned for in your days; for now the measure of the iniquity is full,” Matt. 23:36. 4. It shall be a punishment in which much of the hand of God shall appear; it shall be a work of his own working, so that all who see it shall say, This is the Lord’s doing; and it will be found a fearful thing to fall into his hands; woe to those whom he takes to task! 5. It shall be such a punishment as will typify the destruction to be brought upon the despisers of Christ and his gospel, for to that these words are applied Acts 13:41; Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish. The ruin of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans for their idolatry was a figure of their ruin by the Romans for rejecting Christ and his gospel, and it is a very marvellous thing, and almost incredible. Isa. there not a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?
II. The sentence itself is very dreadful and particular (Hab. 1:6): Lo, I raise up the Chaldeans.  Chaldeans are Aramaic-speaking, Eastern Rite Catholics that are indigenous to Iraq. Chaldeans have a history that spans more-than 5,500 years, dating back to Mesopotamia, which was known as the cradle of civilization and is present day Iraq.
There were those that raised up a great deal of strife and contention among them, which was their sin; and now God will raise up the Chaldeans against them, who shall strive and contend with them, which shall be their punishment. Note, When God’s professing people quarrel among themselves, snarl at, and devour one another, it is just with God to bring the common enemy upon them, that shall make peace by making a universal devastation. The contending parties in Jerusalem were inveterate one against another, when the Romans came and took away their place and nation. The Chaldeans shall be the instruments of the destruction threatened, and, though themselves acting unrighteously, they shall execute the righteousness of the Lord and punish the unrighteousness of Israel. Now, here we have,
1. A description of the people that shall be raised up against Israel, to be a scourge to them. (1.) They are a bitter and hasty nation, cruel and fierce, and what they do is done with violence and fury; they are precipitate in their counsels, vehement in their passions, and push on with resolution in their enterprises; they show no mercy and they spare no pains. Miserable is the case of those that are given up into the hand of these cruel ones. (2.) They are strong, and therefore formidable,and such as there is no standing before, and yet no fleeing from (Hab. 1:7): They are terrible and dreadful, famed for the gallant troops they bring into the field (Hab. 1:8); their horses are swifter than leopards to charge and pursue, and more fierce than the evening wolves; and wolves are observed to be the most ravenous towards the evening, after they have been kept hungry all day, waiting for that darkness under the protection of which all the beasts of the forest creep forth, Ps. 104:20. Their squadrons of horse shall be very numerous: “Their horse-men shall spread themselves a great way, for they shall come from far, from all parts of their own country, and shall be dispersed into all parts of the country they invade, to plunder it, and enrich themselves with the spoil of it. And, in making speed to spoil, they shall hasten to the prey (as those, Isa. 8:1; margin), for they shall fly as the eagle towards the earth when she hastens to eat and strikes at the prey she has an eye upon.” (3.) Their own will is a law to them, and, in the fierceness of their pursuits, they will not be governed by any laws of humanity, equity, or honour: Their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves, Hab. 1:7Appetite and passion rule them, and not reason nor conscience. Their principle is, My will is my law. And, Sic volo, sic jubeo; stat pro ratione voluntas—This is my wish, this is my command; it shall be done because I choose it. What favour can be hoped for from such an enemy? Note, Those who have been unjust and unmerciful, among whom the law is slacked, and judgment doth not go forth, will justly be paid in their own coin and fall into the hands of those who will deal unjustly and unmercifully with them.
2. A prophecy of the terrible execution that shall be made by this terrible nation: They shall march through the breadth of the earth (so it may be read); for in a little time the Chaldean forces subdued all the nations in those parts, so that they seemed to have conquered the world; they overran Asia and part of Africa. Or, through the breadth of the land of Israel, which was wholly laid waste by them. It is here foretold, (1.) That they shall seize all as their own that they can lay their hands on. They shall come to possess the dwelling-places that are not theirs, which they have no right to, but that which their sword gives them. (2.) That they shall push on the war with all possible vigour: They shall all come for violence (Hab. 1:9), not to determine any disputed right by the sword, but, right or wrong, to enrich themselves with the spoil. Their faces shall sup up as the east wind; their very countenances shall be so fierce and frightful that a look will serve to make them masters of all they have a mind to; so that they shall swallow up all, as the east wind nips and blasts the buds and flowers. Their faces shall look towards the east (so some read it); they shall still have an eye to their own country, which lay eastward from Judea, and all the spoil they seize they shall remit thither. (3.) That they shall take a vast number of prisoners, and send them into Babylon: They shall gather the captivity as the sand for multitude, and shall never know when they have enough, as long as there are any more to be had. (4.) That they shall make nothing of the opposition that is given to them, Hab. 1:10. Do the distressed Jews depend upon their great men to make a stand, and with their wisdom and courage to give check to the victorious arms of the Chaldeans?
(5.) By all this he shall be puffed up with an intolerable pride, which shall be his destruction (Hab. 1:11): Then shall his mind change for the worse. The spirit both of the people and of the king shall grow more haughty and insolent. Those that will not be content with their own rights will not be content when they have made themselves masters of other people’s rights too; but as the condition rises the mind rises too. This victorious king shall pass over all the bounds of reason, equity, and modesty, and break through all their bonds, and thereby he shall offend, shall make God his enemy, and so prepare ruin for himself by imputing this his power to his god, whereas he had it from the God of Israel.  Note, It is a great offence (and the common offence of proud people) to take that glory to ourselves, or to give it to gods of our own making, which is due to the living and true God only. These closing words of the sentence give a glimpse of comfort to the afflicted people of God; it is to be hoped that they will change their minds, and grow better, and ripen for deliverance; and they did so. However, their enemies will change their minds, and grow worse, and ripen for destruction, which will inevitably come in God’s due time; for a haughty spirit, lifted up against God, goes before a fall.


Copyright 2005 Jerral Campfield, All rights reserved.