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By: Larry Shaffer
This is a pic of me, Jeff (far left), Amy (far right) and Sharon. Studying in the library at Pacific Christian College, Fullerton, CA, 1979. Amy is a faithful follower of this blog!
Let’s do one more book in the OT
I used to avoid the Old Testament and stick with the New. Now I find myself being pulled to stay in the Old Testament. Habakkuk was quoted in a sermon I heard recently so I’ve been thinking about the message of this minor prophet lately. As I was skimming over it this morning, I realized it’s the perfect contrast to Esther. In Esther, everything turns out right for Esther and Mordecai. In Habakkuk, everything goes wrong. Who can understand God’s ways?
A man of God in a foreign country
Habakkuk is one of the minor prophets. Very little is known about him historically except what we pick up from his book. He was a contemporary to a few of the Major prophets such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. He prophesied toward the end of the Assyrian Empire and the beginning of the Babylonian world domination, which is the later 600’s BC. Esther came later (early 400’s BC) under the Persian empire which had taken over the Babylonian empire and scooped up the Jews with it.
As I was ending my study in Esther recently, I kept thinking in somewhat of a pessimistic way, “it doesn’t always end so well in real life as it did for Esther and Mordecai.” Well, Habakkuk validates that sentiment. Story book endings don’t always happen. At least not in the short term. That’s why an understanding of the WHOLE counsel of God is always healthy and necessary. In the end, the full and final end we see in Revelation, it is going to be an “over the top” joyful ending. But before we arrive there, there are a few things we need to learn (from Habakkuk) about life in this world and why God does what He does and why He doesn’t always do what we want Him to. In all things, our focus should be upon the key verse of Habakkuk, “but the righteous will live by his faith,” Habakkuk 2:4. So Lord, prepare our hearts to deal with some opposite outcomes than we witnessed in Esther. In all situations and scenarios, set our hearts and minds upon You as our Rock and Shelter in the storms of life. Amen!