• Tony Birkhead

Week 5- Accept What We Cannot Change



Hanging on Requires We Accept What We Cannot Change and We Repeat What WE Know To Be True!

INTRODUCTION

There are certainly things you can do to change your perspective and your outlook but there are things that are outside of our power. The quicker we can recognize that the better we can accept the things we cannot change!

KEY SCRIPTURE

Habakkuk 2:3-20

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it;

it will certainly come and will not delay. 4“See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—5 indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples. 6 “Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, “‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’ 7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them. 9 “Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin! 10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life. 11 The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it. 12 “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice! 13 Has not the Lord Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?

14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 15 “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies! 16 You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed!

The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory. 17 The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood;

you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them. 18 “Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. 19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.” 20 The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

IWhen does 2:3 say this vision will be fulfilled? How does this verse speak to our need to trust God’s timing in fulfilling His promises rather than to impose our expectations on His plans?

(see Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; cf. Heb. 10:38) What does the New Testament’s use of Habakkuk 2:4 tell us about the nature of saving faith, the kind of faith the gospel requires?

What does the set of five oracles against the Babylonians tell us about God’s final plans for the wicked, regardless of how powerful they might become during the present time?

How could the Book of Habakkuk be useful in explaining the place of evil in the world to a non-Christian? How can the book’s teaching help us model for others what it looks like to experience genuine struggle with a difficult reality while also maintaining a humble confidence in God?

MOVING FORWARD

  • What promises of God encourage you when you are going through a difficult time?

  • What promises remind you of His good and trustworthy character?What can we learn from Habakkuk’s recollection of God’s timelessness and holy character in light of difficult circumstances (see 1:12)? Why must we never look at God’s plans separately from His revealed character in Scripture?

PRAY TOGETHER

Praise the God who is sovereign over your circumstances. Reaffirm your trust in the goodness of God. Tell Him you love Him, and you trust that He is in control. Give any worries or concerns over to Him. List specific circumstances in your life which you entrust to Him. Finally, thank Jesus for dying to break the curse of sin and for His return that will seal God’s triumph over the whole world.

COMMENTARY

Habakkuk 2:3-20

2:2-3 God replied that the vision must be written down clearly for—in spite of Habakkuk’s objections—the vision of the Babylonian invasion would come true.

2:4-5 The arrogant Babylonians were just as wicked as Habakkuk supposed. Yet verse 4b says righteous people such as Habakkuk must exercise faith in God’s goodness despite His use of evil Babylon. This is similar to the answer Job received from God (Job 38-41). God does not have to explain Himself to humans. We must let God be God and trust in His goodness even when we find His ways difficult to understand. This verse conveys the central message of the book. The NT cites it to show how the Christian life from beginning to end is based on faith (Rm 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38).

2:6-8 Even though God used Babylon to punish Judah, Babylon would not go unpunished. Five woes in conjunction with taunt (or “proverb”) are pronounced upon them. Babylon’s plunder from the nations is like a debt from creditors that they must eventually repay.

2:9-14 Babylon built its house (empire; v. 9) with stolen stones and its rafters from stolen lumber. This involved the bloodshed and injustice of slave labor. God in His glory would make it all fuel for the fire when Persia toppled Babylon in 539 b.c.

2:15-17 Babylon’s shameless perversity foisted upon its neighbors such as Lebanon (whose famous forests provided much of the stolen lumber of v. 11) would come back in the form of violence against itself. By degrading and humiliating conquered peoples, the invaders sought to break their will and render them incapable of further resistance.

2:18-20 Though the Babylonians attributed their strength to their god Marduk, their god was only a lifeless idol, a piece of wood or stone, but Yahweh lives and will have the last word. There is an allusion here ( Wake up! ...Come alive!) to Egyptian and Mesopotamian rituals that were used to consecrate new idols. Called the “opening of the mouth,” these rituals were supposed to prepare the idol for habitation by the god.

#HangingOn #Habakkuk #perspective

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