16th of the 10th month 2020/2021.
Shalom to all of you,
As we continue to come each day, with prepared hearts, before the face of יהוה (Yahweh) our Elohim, may His Name be forever esteemed, as we make great His Name together, aměn! .
How many of you have ever had some very serious questions and doubts and as you look at the circumstances that you find yourself in, you kind of wonder why things are happening the way they are?
I am sure most of us experience this ‘wondering why’ on a regular basis.
Many may even often even ask things like,
“Why would Elohim do…?” or, “Why does Elohim allow…?”
At best, most people often struggle to get to grips, and be at peace, with the fact that they may not understand the ‘why’s’ that they have, nor will they even understand the outworking of the answers to those ‘why’ questions that plague them and, as a s result, they often struggle to simply realise the clear fact that יהוה is in control!
One of the hardest questions to ever answer is the “Why?” question.
A person can go on for hours and hours explaining their life away, yet again they may find that the question can always be turned back to “Why?”.
I would like us to look at the writings of Ḥaḅaqquq/Habakkuk and see how he too had some very realistic ‘why?’ concerns in his time and then see what his response was, after getting answers he may not have clearly understood at the time.
Let us therefore learn from what he experienced in this regard, in a message called:
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY OR HOW?
THEN HEAR THE CALL TO:
WATCH, WAIT AND WORSHIP!.
Please go to Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk and read all three chapters of this small yet very powerful book, in order to gain a greater understanding of the wonderful lessons that are contained herein for us today. .
The reason I wanted you to read all 3 chapters together, is to fully grasp and understand the progression of this book.
The name of חֲבַקּוּק Ḥaḇaqquq – Strong’s H2265 means ‘an embrace’ and comes from the root word חָבַק Ḥaḇaq – Strong’s H2263 and means ‘embrace’ and can also carry the meaning, ‘embrace, hold in one’s arms, to clasp and to show close affection’.
Embrace, in English, has the meaning, ‘to take up readily or gladly, to participate, to avail oneself’.
This was a prophet who embraced the Word of Elohim, as he showed close affection and held on to it tightly. He took it up readily and gladly, and took full advantage of making himself available, to participate in being used by Elohim, despite the very sobering vision and judgement that He saw, concerning those who are going astray!
As Ḥaḇaqquq was troubled at what he was seeing around him, he asked some questions and after getting some very straight answers, he asked more questions and he was then greatly reassured, with his belief being stirred, after which he penned a psalm of praise, declaring his trust in יהוה.
The book of Ḥaḇaqquq was probably written around 640–615 BCE, just before the fall of Assyria and the rise of Baḇelon (Kasdim).
יהוה used Ashshur to punish the House of Yisra’ěl at around 722 BCE; and now here he was making it clear that he would use Baḇelon to punish Ashshur and The House of Yehuḏah.
This prophecy would be fulfilled several decades after Ḥaḇaqquq, in around 586 BCE.
The “theme question” of Ḥaḇaqquq is, “how can יהוה use a wicked nation, such as Baḇelon, for His purpose of rebuking and disciplining His people?”
יהוה judges all nations, said Ḥaḇaqquq, and even Baḇelon would eventually be judged, as Baḇelon fell to the Persians in around 539 BCE. .
Though יהוה’s ways are sometimes mysterious, Ḥaḇaqquq made the clear statement that “the righteous one lives by his steadfastness” (Chapter 2:4), while awaiting the completion of their deliverance.
These words “the righteous one lives by his steadfastness” are quoted three times in the Renewed Writings:
Romiyim/Romans 1:17 “For in it the righteousness of Elohim is revealed from belief to belief, as it has been written, “But the righteous shall live by belief.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:11 “And that no one is declared right by Torah before Elohim is clear, for “The righteous shall live by belief.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:38 “But the righteous shall live by belief, but if anyone draws back, my being has no pleasure in him.”.
Let us briefly go through these chapters, in order to get a better understanding of the setting and then see how these very words that are contained herein, speak very loudly to us today.
These are 3 chapters that we are able to see a wonderful progression, from a place doubt to one that results in a reassuring praise.
This certainly is a lesson that we can learn from, as we get armed in the Truth to dispel any crippling doubts, so that we can be properly equipped to proclaim the continual praise that is due to our Might Master and Elohim, who we acknowledge is in control and knows what is best!
I will break down each chapter as follows:
1 – He wondered why?
2 – He watched and waited!
3 – He worshipped!.
CHAPTER 1 – HE WONDERED WHY?
This chapter can be, at times, referred to as Ḥaḇaqquq’s complaint.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘message’ in verse 1 is מַשָּׂא massa – Strong’s H4853 which means, ‘bear, carry, support, tribute (which is carried or brought), a load, lifting’, which comes from the primitive root נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375, which means, ‘to lift, carry, take, accept, accepted, arise, brought, bring forth, borne’. .
When understood, in the context of the message of this prophetic book, we take note that this word can have the meaning of being “a prophetical speech of a threatening character” and is mainly a rebuke, hence it being regarded as a burden or something that is heavy to bear, but it must be lifted up and delivered, in order that the reproof brings about the necessary discipline needed to produce peaceable fruit of righteousness!!!.
Ḥaḇaqquq, was a Lěwite who, being completely dedicated in his service unto Elohim, may have also been a temple worship leader and he was deeply troubled by what he was seeing.
It was a time of revival, yet was also a time of great sin..
Yoshiyahu, had become the king of the House of Yehuḏah at 8 years old and by the time he was in his 20’s he was making major reforms.
The Book of the Torah had been discovered and read, in the 18th year of his reign, and Yoshiyahu was determined to make everyone hear the Word.
He reinstituted the Feast of Pěsaḥ/Passover and led Yehuḏah to keep it with all rejoicing.
So now everyone, including Ḥaḇaqquq, had been exposed to the Word, which on one hand was very exciting for the prophet yet, on the other hand, as he had learned more and more of the set-apartness of Elohim, he grew more and more concerned about the sin and imperfections of the people of Elohim.
While many reforms had been introduced under the reign of Yoshiyahu, the words of this book, which highlights the sad state of the spiritual condition of Yehuḏah, may have been near the end of the reign of Yoshiyahu or under the reign of the wicked son of Yoshiyahu, Elyaqim, whose name was changed by Pharaoh Neḵo to Yehoyaqim.
Idolatry might have been dealt with and people were beginning to worship יהוה, as Yoshiyahu har certainly worked hard at getting the knowledge of Elohim to all, yet the problem still remained that much of the worship that was being presented, was superficial, as the hearts of many were not changed, as they continued in their rebellion, and so, simply just knowing the Torah did not produce set-apartness, as the people were not obeying the commands – and simply shows that they were hearers only! .
To Ḥaḇaqquq this was intolerable and he couldn’t take it any longer.
Think about it from his viewpoint, as he looked on at a rebellious house:
Here was the House of Yehuḏah, a people called by the Name of יהוה, now blessed with the Torah of יהוה and yet still they were despising and bringing daily shame upon The Name of יהוה, through blatant disregard for what was right!.
This was the burden upon his heart that drove him to express his complaint, that must have been constantly upon his lips.
The cry of despair and concern of this prophet was basically one of:
“יהוה can’t you see what is going on?”.
The people were so engrossed in their fleshly lusts and as we know, wickedness, perversity, violence, strife and calamity all arise and originate from fleshly passions, which so very often results in an inappropriate interpretation of the Torah, as many will interpret in a way so as to shift the balance toward their personal gain.
In other words, they had heard the Word, yet were disregarding the right rulings of Elohim and were twisting the truth for their own gain, due to an intense drive to satisfy the flesh and its selfish motives!
Because of all this, the very Torah that brings life was being discarded, as the Torah ceased to have an impact and effect on Yehuḏah, at large. .
Isn’t this what we see in the world today?
I mean, just think about it – today it is considered ‘righteous’, in the world’s eyes, to be tolerant of sin and judges are often punished for having a firm belief in something.
Simply standing up for the Truth today, is often seen as an attempt at overthrowing the government and political system of men, and if we do not support ‘just anything that anyone wants to do’, then we are labelled as ‘oppressive’, as the majority have accepted the corrupt standard of ‘doing whatever is right in their own eyes’.
Just think about who the major role models are, in society today: the so-called celebrities and the rich and famous!
People who are in no way walking in the Truth of the Living Torah at all, yet they tend to be the one’s setting the standards for the rest as the promotion of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, becomes the norm… which is not of Elohim at all!
The Truth has been twisted and therefore, there is no valid right-rulings being administered in the world’s system.
This is exactly what Ḥaḇaqquq saw happening in his day too and this is what grieved him. .
Violence, strife and contentions, were on the rise and to Ḥaḇaqquq, it felt as though his cry for help was not being heard by יהוה, especially as he saw wickedness increasing at an alarming rate!
The depravity and darkness of lawlessness was eating away at him. When I think of how distressed he was at the lack of obedience, I am reminded of how Lot was gripped which the similar kind of despair, being tortured in his being, by the lawlessness that he say each day, as we read in:
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:7-8 “and rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the indecent behaviour of the lawless 8 (for day after day that righteous man, dwelling among them, tortured his righteous being by seeing and hearing their lawless works)”.
How long will this continue, is what Ḥaḇaqquq was asking, and while we see the despair that gripped him, here in this first chapter, we are able to learn valuable lessons on keeping our eyes on our Master and bringing the proper praise unto Him, even amidst the darkest depravity that surrounds us. Remember that this prophet never got to see the deliverance that יהוה promised, yet he held firm to the Word of יהוה! .
Ḥaḇaqquq was greatly grieved by the fact that there was no reverence for יהוה and His Torah.
He says, in verse 4, that the Torah ceases and no right-ruling was being administered as a result of the Torah being cast aside and, in the process, whatever right-ruling was being presented, was a clear twisting of the Truth!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘ceased’ comes from the root word פּוּג pug – Strong’s H6313 which means, ‘to grow numb, stunned, weariness, to be feeble’.
The Torah was not being adhered to, as the people had grown weary in executing the proper right-rulings that are according to the clear standard of the Torah, as they had now twisted right-ruling, to accommodate their lawlessness.
Some translations have this verse as “The law is paralyzed” and echoes the clear picture that the Torah/Law of Elohim was not being walked out as it should!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘right-ruling’ is מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 which means, ‘judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the root word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 which means, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us”
There is only One who gives us the Law, by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him, we must love to DO and not loathe!!!
This rebellious nation was not listening to The Judge!
The wrong were hemming in the righteous so that judgments were coming out twisted!
This highlights how the wrong were taking control and the righteous were being ignored!.
The Hebrew word that is used for the ‘righteous’ is צַדִּיק tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662 which means, ‘just, righteous, blameless, lawful’ and comes from the primitive root צָדֵק tsaḏeq – Strong’s H6663 which means, ‘to be just or righteous, justified, properly restored’.
The Hebrew word that is used for the ‘wrong’ is רָשָׁע rasha – Strong’s H7563 which means, ‘wicked, criminal, evil, offender’, and is frequently placed in Scripture, especially in Mishlĕ/Proverbs, as being in direct and unequivocal opposition to צַדִּיק tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662.
The book of Mishlĕ/Proverbs contains a great deal of antithetical parallelism, which contrasts the רָשָׁע rasha and the צַדִּיק tsaddiq in black and white terms. The focus is on both the quality of lifestyle and the results of these two ways of living.
Whereas the wicked forsake יהוה, the righteous cling to him.
Though the wicked are oppressive and dishonest, the righteous are upright and lovers of truth, etc.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28 clearly deals with the blessings for the righteous (verses 2-14) and the curses for the wrong (verses 15-68)!.
What Ḥaḇaqquq was highlighting here, is that the wrong were oppressing the righteous and causing the Torah to be twisted!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘twisted’ comes from the primitive root verbעָקַל aqal – Strong’s H6127 which means, ‘to bend, twist’.
We see so much twisting of the Truth going on, as many people devise their own crooked ways, by twisting or bending the truth in order to suit their selfish lifestyle!
Many rely on the inherited traditions that have been built on twisted lies and refuse to straighten up and walk in the Truth, as they refuse to walk in the straight and narrow way!
Twisting the truth is lies – and we are not sons of the deceiver, but are sons of Elohim – and we must speak truth. There are those in Christianity who are twisting Sha’ul’s writings, thinking that he is teaching them that the Torah has been done away with, which is absolutely ridiculous!
Then there are those who are walking the Torah road, who sadly want to throw out Sha’ul’s writings and, in doing so, they end up on a path that leads to a denial of Messiah!
For many who twist writings – they do so because they are untaught and unstable.
We must be ever learning, as we gather each week on a Shabbat and immerse ourselves in the Word, as we gather together in community and learn the Torah of Elohim!
There are many twisted teachings out there – too many ear tickling messages that are leading many astray!
Let us not be sons of twisting – but rather, sons of Truth, as we walk in and remain in the Truth!.
Have you ever thought to yourself, the following?
“We have the Word; the Truth is there for all to see and hear, yet why do so many have absolutely no regard for the Truth – WHY?”.
יהוה answers Ḥaḇaqquq, in verse 5 and was, in essence, saying to him:
“I am not ignoring the problems you see – I am fixing them!”
“Look among the nations and be amazed – be very amazed!”.
When we find ourselves gripped with the ‘WHY is this happening’ question, we would do well to be reminded of the clear Truth that:
יהוה is working!
At the best of times, we may not believe it even if we were to see it, as we have been so accustomed to the chaos of the rebellion that surrounds us daily!
יהוה told Ḥaḇaqquq to look and see and be amazed!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘look’ come from the root word רָאָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7200 which means, ‘to see, look, observe, pay close attention, consider’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘see’ comes from the primitive root verb נָבַט naḇat – Strong’s H5027 which means, ‘to look, behold, gaze, observe, pay attention’ and it is written here in the ‘hifil’ verb tense, which is the ‘causative’ tense and highlights how we are to be caused to look at what יהוה is doing, for in doing so, we will be amazed, when we begin to recognise that He is the One who is in control and we can be see His Hand doing a work that is necessary!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘amazed’ comes from the root word תָּמַהּ tamah – Strong’s H8539 which means, ‘to be astounded, dumbfounded, amazed, astonished, shocked’ and is usually with an element of fear.
This root word is translated as ‘astonishment’ in:
Berěshith/Genesis 43:33 “And they sat before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at each other in astonishment.”
This is part of the record of events that took place when Yosĕph had his brothers come and eat a meal with him, and while they had not yet known that it was Yosĕph, they were astonished at how he knew their order of birthright.
The brothers were seated according to birthright – from the firstborn to the youngest – and they all looked at each other in astonishment!
We have the clear possibility here of them being seated according to birthright without them revealing their order of birth to Yosĕph, and so Yosĕph had them sit in this order and this astonished his brothers..
How could he have known they may have thought, yet they were seated correctly, and this shadow pictures for us how Messiah knows each one and each one is made alive in Messiah in his own order:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:22-23 “For as all die in Aḏam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah. 23 And each in his own order: Messiah the first-fruits, then those who are of Messiah at His coming”
Yosĕph’s brothers were not expecting blessings and restoration in the heat of this severe famine, and their astonishment here is a picture of standing amazed at what יהוה is doing in these end times, and how He is bringing together His called out and chosen set-apart ones, from out of the worldly chaos of sin and destruction!.
Ḥaḇaqquq was basically being told to look to what יהוה is doing!
Despite all the chaos and depravity of sin and lawlessness and the fleshly hypocrisy of a corrupted form of worship, יהוה was declaring that He was bringing Yisra’ĕl back to life and that Yehuḏah was not alone.
He then goes on to tell Ḥaḇaqquq that He would raise up a nation that is a law unto itself, who would be mighty in battle in order to bring about the much-needed discipline!
He was raising up the Kasdim for violence, who would move swiftly through the land and gather the captives like sand!
Sand is often used as an idiom for the descendants of Aḇraham and, in a sense, this was Ḥaḅaqquq’s fear, thinking that they would all be destroyed.
However, it would be through this act of judgement that the sons would return!
This must have sent shockwaves down Ḥaḇaqquq’s spine and so, once again he complains, by basically saying:
‘How can you use such a wicked people?’.
He couldn’t understand how a wicked people, who were far more wicked than Yehuḏah, could get away with their wickedness and actually be used against the people of Elohim, for His purposes.
He acknowledged that יהוה is the Everlasting One and that יהוה was His Set-Apart One and lives forever and in doing so, he couldn’t understand how יהוה could let a wicked people devouring the righteous.
He then asks יהוה if He had made men like fish that were to be caught – highlighting that they were vulnerable and had become an easy catch for the enemy!
He expressed his concerns as to how the righteous would ever survive and how would the people of Elohim, with whom a Covenant was made, ever survive this onslaught of a very wicked and cruel nation and its systems?
Ḥaḇaqquq expresses his concern, as he highlights how the enemy rejoices at their catch, making themselves rich by their catching of people by their wicked nets..
As we think about this today, the Kasdim, in this passage, represent for us, in a way, the Christian nations who want everyone else in the world to live by their standards and by their man-made rules and will entrap you with their wicked nets in order to make themselves rich, by enforcing a twisted application of the right-rulings of Elohim, casting His Torah aside and catching people with a net of man-made traditions that are taught as teachings, so that those that they catch will be bound by their net/web of lies!.
We know that Christianity is also often symbolised as a fish and that the beast is described as one who sits on many waters; and even though there is a figure-head, there is no true authority, as every denomination defines its own assumed relationship with Elohim, by doing what is right in their own eyes!
Shophetim/Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no sovereign in Yisra’ĕl – everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Doing what is right in our own eyes is against the Torah!.
The Baḇelonian system of today, is ‘catching’ many a fish in their wicked nets, so to speak, and are greatly rejoicing over its catch.
Think about it for a moment, as we consider the imagery that is used here:
How often will you see that the emphasis is on numbers within a church, yet the Word often refers to a remnant!
The system is designed to catch you then destroy you and spit you out.
This alarmed Ḥaḇaqquq and so too should it alarm us too today!
After asking these questions, he received some very clear answers to his burdening questions, which were possibly not what one would want to hear, yet he decided to watch and wait and highlights how he was committed to being a true set-apart watchman, waiting upon יהוה..
In speaking of the nets of the wrong, we are able to see in the message concerning Mitsrayim, the following words, in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 19:8 “And the fishermen shall lament, and all those who cast hooks into the River shall mourn, and they who spread nets on the waters shall pine away.”
This is clear judgment language against the wicked who have caught many in their wicked nets and we are able to hold firm to the hope we have in our Master who has redeemed us from the nest of destruction, for He is coming to destroy the wicked and their wicked nets!.
In this first chapter of Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk, we are able to see how this ardent prophet asked the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions that we may often find ourselves asking, as He wondered how and why it could be that things were the way they were and he wondered if YHWH was listening to his cry for help. He was clearly told to look and see and be amazed!
This chapter, in itself, carries such a great encouragement to us today, in helping us be reminded that we are not to let our eyes be distracted by the increase in the depravity of lawlessness and sin, but that we are rather to let these darkened days cause us to be diligent in fixing our eyes on our Master and Elohim.
We may not always understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions that we tend to wrestle with… and that is ok, for when we do find ourselves wrestling over these matters, then be reminded to be looking only to the Prince and Perfector of our belief, which will equip us to be trustworthy ambassadors and servants of the Most-High, who stand and watch, and wait expectantly for our King’s return, by guarding righteousness amidst the pressures of the wicked that hem in the righteous..
Let us now take a look at what Ḥaḇaqquq did, after being told to look and see and be amazed: .
CHAPTER 2 – HE WATCHED AND WAITED
After asking these troubling questions, he was expecting to be corrected, because in a way, he was still arguing, if you will, with יהוה and he of all people knew that יהוה could not be wrong, yet he could still not figure out why יהוה does what He does and so, he diligently waited for a reproving, as he could not carry on with his questions not being resolved!.
We too can learn a great deal from this very first verse in Chapter 2, by making the clear commitment to taking a stand and holding firm to the end!
Let us look at these belief equipping statements that this ardent and concerned prophet made here at the beginning of this chapter:.
I stand at my watch
This is a declaration of commitment, to being steadfast!
I will remain faithful to do what I am called to do no matter what – I will stand firm in my belief, and I will stand, stand and stand, and after having done all, keep standing!
This is the kind of belief that Sha’ul reminds us that we are to have, midst the battles of darkness that rage around us.
And the way we are keep standing is by being properly dressed the armour of Elohim!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘stand’ comes from the root word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, ‘to take one’s stand, present oneself, abide, appoint, arise, stay, be steadfast, remain, be or become a servant’. .
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:2, we see how Yirmeyahu was to ‘Stand in the gate of the House of יהוה, and proclaim the Word of יהוה to all who were entering the gates to bow down to יהוה’. Yirmeyahu was not just told to stand up, but rather, more firmly, he was told to take a stand and be steadfast, in standing up to speak the Word of Elohim, as he was to confidently take a stand against the hypocrisy of false worship, and ‘proclaim’ the Word of יהוה.
Only those who are firmly planted upon the Rock of our Deliverance are able to stand and proclaim, and they are those who have not allowed themselves to become the dross of silver, but work out their deliverance with fear and trembling, being on guard against the corruption and confusion of mixing, by being set-apart and touching not the unclean!
Those in Messiah are able to stand!.
In the ancient pictographic script, the root word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, ‘to take one’s stand, present oneself, abide, appoint, arise, stay, be steadfast, remain, be or become a servant’, is as follows:.
Ayin – עָ
In the ancient script this letter is drawn as – and is pictured as an eye and carries the meaning of ‘insight and understanding’ or that to which you look upon and the ability to ‘look and see’..
Mem – מַ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown.
We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’..
Dalet – דֶ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of ‘a back-and-forth movement’, as one goes back and forth through a tent door, and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access..
In terms of this grouping of pictographic letters that render the word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975, we are able to identify what is being clearly represented for us here, especially as we consider who it is that we are to be looking to, in order to be equipped to stand.
These pictures can render for us the following:
THE CLEANSING AT THE DOOR.
When we run to the Master, the veil is taken away and looking to Him, the Prince and Perfecter of or belief, we are able to respond to His calling us to our feet, by being immersed in Him and receiving the washing that He, the Door of the Sheep, brings to us, in order that we can be caused to stand and speak!
Our Master and Saviour is the Door of the sheep, and we come to Him and accept His offering of Blood that cleanses, through our immersion in His Name, giving us access to stand in Him and be equipped to serve!.
I will stand at my watch!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘watch’, in Chapter 2:1, is מִשְׁמֶרֶת mishmereth – Strong’s H4931 which means, ‘to guard, watch, charge, duty, guard post’, and this is the feminine of the word מִשְׁמָר mishmar – Strong’s H4929 which means, ‘place of confinement, jail, prison guard, watch, observance’, which comes from the primitive root verb שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 which we have certainly come to know, as a word that is often referred to throughout the Torah portions, giving us the clear meaning, ‘to keep watch, tend to, preserve, attend, guard’.
This noun מִשְׁמֶרֶת mishmereth – Strong’s H4931 is used in two principal senses.
The first is an “obligation” or a “service” to be performed and the second has to do with something that is to be kept or preserved.
This noun is often translated as ‘charge’ and as we understand the duty of service that is required, we are able to recognise that we have an obligation to perform the service of that which a set-apart, royal priesthood and a people for a possession ought to do – and that is to HEAR – GUARD – DO the very commands of יהוה, forsaking the ways of the other nations and not fall prey to the luring lusts of the world and its seemingly desirable ways which will only lead to an abominable form of worship; but rather be a people who worship in Spirit and in Truth.
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 44:16 “They shall enter My set-apart place, and they shall draw near to My table to serve Me, and they shall guard My charge.”.
The basic picture that we are able to see here, in Ḥaḇaqquq’s commitment to stand at his watch, is that of a doorkeeper that keeps his post, having put his trust in Elohim, even when he has wrestled with unanswered questions! .
I will station myself on the watchtower
This is declaration of being committed to being awake and vigilant and be on one’s guard.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘and station myself’ is וְאֶתְיַצְּבָה ve’eth’yatststeḇah which comes from the primitive root verb יָצַב yatsaḇ – Strong’s H3320 which means, ‘to set, station oneself, take one’s stand, present yourself’ and is written in the causative tense, highlighting how his declaration of being committed to stand would cause him to act correctly, showing that he is a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘watchtower’ comes from the root word מְצוּדָה metsuḏah – Strong’s H4686 which means, ‘a fastness, stronghold, fortress, inaccessible place’
This word is translated as ‘stronghold’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 18:2 “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer; my Ěl is my rock, I take refuge in Him; my shield and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower.”
With יהוה being our stronghold, we have the firm assurance that, as long as we stay in Him, our enemies have no access to our lives, for we have the assurance of staying in the everlasting fortress that cannot be moved!.
The language being used here by Ḥaḇaqquq clearly expresses for us a confident commitment to standing in The One who is our strength and stronghold! And it is this kind of confident commitment that is required by the true set-apart ones, who embrace the call to stand firm on our Rock and deliverer!.
I will wait to see what He says to me and what to answer when I am reproved!
How often have you been at a place where you just couldn’t figure out why things are the way they are and you have asked yourself ‘why’ of ‘how’?
Most people want a quick fix solution – and would rather “phone a friend” or google a solution, than search out and look in to the Word! .
When there is chaos, most do not want to stick around and wait for the answer as they watch for it – No – they high tail it out of there, so to speak, and hope that someone else can explain and give them the shortened version, for convenience sake, so that they can get on with their “busy lives” again!
Does that sound familiar to anyone?
In fact, the church system has taught many to shut up and not ask questions and then, when one does have a question, they have a man-made system of quick solutions of ready-made answers, to frequently asked questions, in the form of constitutions or by-laws and catechisms, that must simply be accepted as Truth and so, the discipline of seeking and waiting on יהוה has, for the most part, primarily been lost.
The diligent seeking יהוה and His Kingdom, along with the proper waiting on Him, is a practice that we all need to seriously engage in again, if we are to truly understand and know His good pleasing and perfect will!
How often are you truly willing to dig into the Word and be reproved?
Come on let’s be honest, nobody ‘likes’ to be corrected – but sadly, most are not diligent enough to actually wait for the necessary correction that will actually bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
When we too have complaints and questions, let us look intently in the Word, standing our ground in belief, not allowing the unanswered questions to rock our belief and, in the process, being strengthened, by belief, to be able to let His Living and active Word reprove us if need be, until we have our queries resolved, for there are no quick fixes, so to speak!!!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘wait’ comes from the primitive root verb צָפָה tsaphah – Strong’s H6822 which means, ‘to look out, watchman, keep watch’.
This prophet made it clear where His eyes were looking and, in doing so, he recognised his need to be a true watchman of יהוה, hence his urgency in diligently waiting with his eyes fixed on the Truth!
We cannot station ourselves correctly if our eyes are not fixed on our Master and His Word, as it is only when we are looking intently into the mirror of the Word and making sure that we are not just taking a quick peek, but rather, that we are meditating day and night upon it, that we can keep watch and wait as we should.
Ḥaḇaqquq made it clear that he was positioning himself to properly hear the Word of Elohim and, in doing so, he would be able to answer correctly after he had been reproved!
He recognised that The Word of Elohim is not only there to equip and train one to stand, but that it is also necessary to bring the much-needed reproving and disciplining that is required, in order to bear the proper fruit of righteousness!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘reproof’ is תּוֹכֵחָה toḵeḥah – Strong’s H8433 which means, ‘rebuke, reproof, correction, punishment, chastisement’, and comes from the root verb יָכַח yaḵaḥ – Strong’s H3198 which means ‘to decide, prove, judge or correct’, and we see this word being used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
The term/phrase ‘let us reason together’ is written in the Hebrew text as: וְנִוָּכְחָה ‘venivakeḥah’, and comes from the root word יָכַח yakaḥ – Strong’s H3198, and, in effect, what יהוה is saying here to a sinful nation is, “Come let Me prove to you… that you will be cleaned up… if you …”
Here, He is using court like language that has been addressing the guilty to seek judgement and right-ruling, and is submitting His case here, as to those guilty of sin, as if on trial, and then proceeds to show them on what principles they may be pardoned!
So many people love this verse on its own but do not proceed to the next and do not understand the seriousness of stain of sin and lawlessness!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:19-20 “If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of יהוה has spoken.”
The Hebrew word used for ‘eat’ and ‘devoured’ is the same word – אָכַל aḵal – H398 and means ‘eat, consume, devour or be devoured’.
So, in essence, what is being declared here is simply this:
If you submit and obey you will eat and enjoy the good of the land – if you rebel and refuse to submit and obey you will be eaten by the sword – that is His Word that will consume you up and devour you in judgement, according to His righteous right ruling!
We have a choice – eat His Word and walk in Him and be satisfied or eat all the junk that is on offer and neglect His Word and be eaten by the very Word that is rejected.
It is not a difficult concept to grasp – the question remains – how is your diet, and more importantly – what is filling you?
Eat right and live or live wrong and be eaten:
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:15 “And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Ěl Shaddai.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:21 “And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”.
The Greek word that is used here in the LXX (Septuagint) of Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:1 for ‘reprove’ is the noun ἔλεγχος elegchos – Strong’s G1650 which means, ‘reproof, test, conviction’, and is used in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.”
It is through the loud and clear call of wisdom that we must hear and respond to the reproof of Elohim given to us through His Scripture – that is, His complete Word and not just the parts of it that many people tend to pick and choose in order to have their ears tickled!
יהושע reproves those He loves:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I reprove and discipline. So be ardent and repent.”.
Ḥaḇaqquq did not try to escape any necessary reproof or correction, but stationed himself to hear the Word as one should and in doing so, he prepared himself to receive the necessary word that He would have to write down, for others to understand what is being declared!.
Ḥaḇaqquq was told to ‘write down’ the vision and put it on tablets, and was possibly tablets of clay, so that whoever would read it would run with it! .
There was absolutely nothing wrong with his questions.
He just needed to see the bigger picture, which is something that we all tend to struggle with at times, as we may often get caught up in chaos of the unfavourable circumstances that surround us.
The fact of the matter is clear:
יהוה will accomplish what He has spoken!
In him ‘writing down’ the vision, יהוה was, in effect, giving assurance of His perfect will coming to pass.
Think of the term that was used by Messiah, “It is written”, and is even a term/phrase that was used by the devil, why?
Because the very words of Elohim that have been written, are cast and set and will not return void!
His Word, by the vision given to Ḥaḇaqquq, was on tablets, which were possibly on clay tablets, as I mentioned, which is a wonderful picture for us, where His Living Word is written upon our hearts! His Word written upon us, as ‘clay vessels’ that have been cleansed and set apart for good use! .
When we truly seek Him and wait upon Him, we too are equipped and enabled to run with that which is written and it is made plain, as we spend time immersed in His Word, enabled to run this race with great perseverance!
Being immersed in His Word and waiting upon Him, reflects a humility of a surrendered walk of obedience.
His Word will be fulfilled in every way and it is not slow as we understand slowness. .
יהוה was telling Ḥaḇaqquq that the sin of the Baḇelonians would not go unpunished and ignored, and while He would certainly use them for His purposes, He would also punish them! Ḥaḇaqquq was to write down and make a permanent record of what was to come for them and it was not a pretty end at all!
Amazingly what we are always able to see, in the Word of Elohim, is that יהוה’s judgement is always preceded by a time of favour, in order for men to have time to repent.
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:9 “יהוה is not slow in regard to the promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward us, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”.
The judgement on the Baḇelonians was coming and it didn’t look good – and those trapped in its system still have time to get out… but not for long! Hence the clear call that needs to be made loud and clear today:
Come out of her My people, lest you share in her sins!
Sadly, many people do not see that the kindness of יהוה leads them to repentance, as they prefer to remain ‘puffed’ up in the pride of their sin or lawlessness! .
In verse 4-5 we see the contrast between the proud and the humble.
The proud are puffed up and here in the wording that is used, we are given the image of leaven in bread, where we know that leaven is often spoken of in terms of that which represents sin.
The leavened one thinks only of himself and is unstable in his ways, for there is not stability in lawlessness!
Why do you think that so many puffed up believers, which are those who continue to practice lawlessness while claiming to follow Messiah, can never stand firm in their ways, as they will jump from one thing to another, always seeking to satisfy self and justify their lifestyle of sin and lawlessness, as they are not firmly rooted in love for Elohim, but are being blown in very direction by every wind and doctrine of man’s corrupted lawlessness! .
The Righteous on the other hand, which are those who have been cleansed by the Word, and follow Messiah as they hold fast to the commands and guard to do all that יהוה commands, are stable and will not be rocked by what they see, but live their lives by belief in a trustworthy and lovingly-committed Elohim!
The righteous are firmly ‘grounded’ in the Rock and are sure-footed, as we see represented by the clean animals that we are to eat, animals that have a split hoof and chew the cud, which is a picture of one who rightly divides the Truth and whose walk is stable in יהושע Messiah. .
The drunkard is a puffed up one too, who gets very “brave” after a few drinks and thinks that they can take on the whole world. They too will find their fate, which is destruction.
It is interesting to note that on the night when the Medes and the Persians conquered the Baḇelonians, there was a great drunken feast under way!!!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs tells us that wine is a mocker and strong drink a brawler and we are clearly reminded in Scripture that we, who are set-apart, are told to be sober-minded and sure footed..
In this vision of destruction, we see some very serious woes.
What is a woe?
Here, in this chapter, we see a very severe ‘woe’ being proclaimed – and the Hebrew root word that translated as ‘woe’ is הוֹי hoy – Strong’s H1945 which means, ‘woe, alas! ah!’ and is the prolonged form of הוֹ ho – Strong’s H1930 and is akin or similar to the word אוֹי oy – Strong’s H188 which means, ‘woe’. .
We often hear the term ‘hoy vey/oy vey’ which, in essence, expresses a cry of grief or sorrow and declares, ‘woe is me!’, as one faces pain and regret; with the construction of two Hebrew words:
1) אוֹי oy – Strong’s H188 and
2) אֲבוֹי aḇoy – Strong’s H17 which is a primary interjection which means, ‘oh! sorrow, grief’, and both of these can be found in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:29 “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who feels hurt without cause? Who has redness of eyes?” …answer… :30 “Those staying long at the wine, those going in to search out mixed wine.”
As we consider this proverb, we recognise that we must:
LOOK AT THE VINE… NOT AT THE WINE!!!
Why I am sharing this with you, is to get a clear picture of how this very emotional exclamation, הוֹי hoy, that we see being used throughout Scripture, is being used as a severe warning and call to repentance, while clearly declaring the fate of those who refuse to hear and turn from wickedness and sin..
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 5:8-30 we see 6 woes being given and in Luqas/Luke 11: 42-54 we also see six woes being spoken by יהושע Messiah, as well as in Mattithyahu/Matthew 23, where He gives 8 woes.
This is a repeated word we see used very often in the prophets – well over 50 times!
A Woe is an exclamation, denoting pain or displeasure and is used as a noun, denoting an up-and-coming disaster and calamity upon those it is directed toward.
When a woe is used in one’s speech toward another – it is, in effect, a pronouncing of their destruction and often death was at hand.
It is also a pronouncing of why the judgement of יהוה is going to fall!
When Messiah spoke the very clear woes unto the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes, they were extremely angered as they knew the intent of the language..
The woes that were pronounced, were being done against the very things that יהוה hates:
Greedy and violent covetousness (vv. 5–11);
Murder for gain (v. 12);
Drunkenness (vv. 15–16);
Idolatry (v. 19).
The earth, in Ḥaḇaqquq’s day, was certainly not filled with much reverence and esteem for יהוה, nor is it today, quite frankly.
These are the very sins that are still polluting nations today. .
However, the promise that was given in the midst of these woes, was that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge and esteem of יהוה!
This promise still stands today as יהושע will come again soon and make a final end to all sin and He will firmly establish His righteous Kingdom, aměn!.
The 3 assurances that Ḥaḇaqquq received, in this chapter, was:
1 – That the righteous shall live by their steadfastness
2 – The earth will be filled with the esteem of יהוה, and
3 – That יהוה is in His Temple – He is on His Throne – all is not lost!!!.
יהוה IS IN CONTROL!!!
The idols of the Baḇelonians were just wood and stone, whereas יהוה is living and active!!!
The end of Chapter 2 is a solemn call for reverent submission and worship, as we are reminded that יהוה is in His Temple, therefore let the earth be silent before Him!
In other words – BE QUIET AND LISTEN!!!.
Tehillah/Psalm 24:3-4 asks the question, “who may go up or ascend into the mountain of יהוה?” and we are told that it is “those who have innocent hands and a clean heart”. Ya’aqoḇ/James 4 tells us that we are to “submit to Elohim and resist the devil and he will flee”, and that we are to “draw near to Elohim, for then He will draw near to us”, along with the clear instruction to “cleanse hands you sinners and cleanse your hearts you double minded”.
We are to humble ourselves in His sight and He will lift us up!
It is time for His children to get cleaned up for judgement is coming..
It is time for people to be silent before The One who is seated in His Set-Apart Hěḵal!
The Hebrew root word that is used here for ‘be silent’ is הַס has – Strong’s H2013 and it is used 8 times in Scripture as an interjection with imperative force meaning, “be silent! or hush!”.
It is the acknowledgement of who is in control that will put to silence the belief draining words of slanderous doubt; and it is time that we too ‘silence’ the negativity toward the Truth of walking firmly in the Torah of Elohim!
We see this interjection being used in:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 2:13 “Hush, all flesh, before יהוה, for He has roused Himself out of His set-apart dwelling!”
We also see it being used in:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 13:30 “And Kalěḇ silenced the people before Mosheh, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are certainly able to overcome it.”
Kalěḇ interjected the negativity of the false reports of the 10 spies who lacked belief, with a very big ‘SHUT UP!’ so to speak!
He silenced the crowd amidst their grumbling and negative reports of the obstacles of the land, in order to make the bold call for them to go and take the land, for they would be able to overcome it, as יהוה would lead them and fight for them! .
This interjection is used to command people to refrain from speaking (Amos 6:10); and is also used to command people to refrain from weeping (Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 8:11).
Why I am mentioning these examples, of the various commands to be quiet and listen, is to reiterate the much-needed adherence to this requirement of being still, in order to hear, which has sadly been neglected by so many people for far too long!.
The world has a way of over stimulating our thoughts, through various means, such as media and technological advancement, which leads to so many having a very short attention span and therefore, their ability to sit still and listen for extended periods becomes almost non-existent and virtually impossible for most. .
It is time be quiet and listen and give ear to hear what the set-apart Spirit says!
With this great assurance of יהוה presence, which the prophet could embrace because he had stationed himself to be diligently watching and waiting, Ḥaḇaqquq was equipped to respond with a well-constructed psalm or prayer in Chapter 3:.
CHAPTER 3 – HE WORSHIPPED
In watching and waiting, Ḥaḇaqquq was changed!
Instead of complaining, he began to praise יהוה!
We need to be watchful and awake, as we wait for His soon return, living by a steadfast belief in Messiah, knowing that the earth will be filled with His esteem and that He is in His Hěḵal (Temple) and is in control, and that no matter what we face or experience around us today, we are to be steadfast in remaining true to His Word, which will equip us to bring forth the praise that is due to our great Redeemer and King.
Let us make sure that we pour out our complaints and concerns to יהוה, in order to properly focus on standing upon Him, our Rock and refuge!.
May we too be reminded here again today… that as long as it is called today… that יהוה will turn our sighing into singing, if we will just take the time to wait before Him, in prayer, and listen to His Word! .
What we can see in this Chapter 3, is that, in a sense, he was praying that he could now finally see that יהוה was working and he was praying for יהוה to keep His Word alive and finish its course.
He knew that there was wrath to come, but pleaded with יהוה to remember His compassion too.
He then pondered, as he looks back and remembered how יהוה had worked in the past and, as a result, he could be confident in his steadfast stand in the Master and put complete trust in Him, to work in the present and in the future...
In verse 1 we see a very unfamiliar term being used, where the Hebrew word שִׁגָּיוֹן Shiggayon – Strong’s H7692 is being used and is only seen here and at the beginning of Tehillim/Psalm 7, and has been described as possibly meaning ‘a wild passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm’, which we see certainly happening in this chapter as he changes the rhythm from acknowledgement of יהוה to judgement coming and lawlessness seen and then to praise.
This word is derived from the root word שָׁגָה shagah – Strong’s H7686 and means ‘to go astray, to err, to wander or stray, and to be intoxicated’ and so we see that this is a prayer of intercession for those who are going astray – for those who have been led astray and have been intoxicated with the wine of the great whore.
The Hebrew word prayer is תְּפִלָּה tephillah – Strong’s H8605 and comes from the word פָּלַל palal – Strong’s H6419 which means ‘to intercede, intervene, make supplication, and judgement made favourable’ and in essence carries the meaning ‘to apply to a judge for a favourable decision’.
So, as we look at this prayer of appeal that has rapidly changing rhythms, let us look at some of these that are contained herein:.
In verse 2 we see a wonderful declaration of a prophet who had embraced the Truth and now cried out to יהוה, as He saw the desperate need for the pure obedience to the Torah and worship unto יהוה to be restored.
There are three key elements that we ae able to see here in this verse, as we see words like fear/afraid, renew and remember compassion.
Ḥaḇaqquq said that he had heard the report of יהוה.
That which he had received and was commanded to write down in the first two chapters, he had heard!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘heard’ comes from the root word שָׁמַע shama – Strong’s H8085 which is often translated as ‘hear’, and does not just mean ‘hear, obey’, but rather it means, ‘to listen with attention, comprehend and discern, give heed to what is being spoken’.
This highlights that true obedience can only be done when one is properly paying attention the hearing of the Word and giving heed to what is being spoken, in order to do what is being commanded.
In other words, this word implies having ears to hear.
Having positioned himself to watch and wait, He gave his ear to the proper hearing of the Word and now he could embrace the ‘fear of יהוה’.
As some of you may remember, I have previously spoken on the fear of יהוה, showing that it is not our fear but His, in describing that which ‘flows from the gut’ of יהוה.
That being His instructions and His Character, by His Breath/Spirit – which is His spoken, breathed out Word!!!
Here, in Ḥaḇaqquq, we see the form of the term – יָרֵאתִי יהוה – yarethiy יהוה being used here, and sadly the Scriptures translation we have has placed the ‘O יהוה’ in the next sentence within this verse, where it should be linked with the first sentence, ending with afraid and therefore, could more accurately be translated as:
“יהוה I have heard your report; I have the fear of יהוה”..
We must have a proper reverence for our Master and Elohim and in order to do that, we must also understand the fear of יהוה:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:1-6 “My son, if you accept my words, and treasure up my commands with you, 2 so that you make your ear attend to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; 3 for if you cry for discernment, lift up your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures, 5 then you would understand the fear of יהוה, and find the knowledge of Elohim. 6 For יהוה gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
For more on this, please see the message called, ‘WHERE HAS THE ‘FEAR’ IN ‘THE FEAR OF יהוה’ GONE AND WHERE IS HIS ESTEEM?’, which can be found on our site (https://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2016/2017 menu or by clicking on the following link:
We all want to understand the fear of יהוה and to do that I encourage you to please go through the notes of a message called, ‘THOSE FEARING ELOHIM LISTEN!’ which can be found on our site under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu or by clicking on the following link:
I also encourage you to go through the commentary and word study of the Mishlĕ/Proverbs for more on the above verses that are quoted, which can also be found on our site under the ‘proverbs’ menu.
The point I want to make here, is that Ḥaḇaqquq heard the Truth, embraced the Truth and was now able to understand that יהוה’s word is abundantly clear and His Appointed Times are set and His coming wrath was imminent and the state of the people was not a good one, as they were in much need of a renewal and deliverance, that only יהוה could bring.
Ḥaḇaqquq then cried out and asked יהוה to renew His work in the midst of the years and make it known.
The vision he was given was for the end time and he was pleading for יהוה to bring renewal. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘renew’ is חָיָה hayah – Strong’s H2462 which means, ‘recover, restore to health, heal, make alive, revive’. .
Ḥaḇaqquq was appealing to יהוה to revive and recover His fear over His people! In other words, recover the very breath of His Word that brings life to a dying people!
He was praying for a recovery of יהוה’s breath and we see similar language in the appeal that Kěpha made in:
Ma’asei/Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and turn back, for the blotting out of your sins, in order that times of refreshing might come from the presence of the Master”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘refreshing’ is ἀνάψυξις anapsuxis Strong’s G403 and means, ‘recovery of breath, refresh’ and we see that when we repent and turn back to The Master, we may receive a recovery of breath – for His Word gives us our very life, that we may live and breathe and praise His Name – for everything that has breath praise יהוה!.
It takes hearing ‘obediently’ to clearly guard to do what His instructions tell us to and be filled with His Spirit/Breath/Word that He puts in those who turn back to Him and thirdly, Ḥaḇaqquq pleaded with יהוה to ‘remember compassion’ in your wrath!
In other words, remember those who return and are recovered by His Breath, through the Fear of Elohim – and remember the righteous who do your will and refresh your faithful remnant in the midst of these dark and perilous times!!!.
Tehillah/Psalm 138:7-8 “Though I walk in the midst of distress, You revive me; You stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand saves me. 8 יהוה does perfect for me. O יהוה, Your loving-commitment is everlasting. Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”.
After crying out this great plea, Ḥaḇaqquq returns to prophesying and we see a rhythm change taking place in his prayer:.
Verse 3 begins with the true declaration, that Eloah is coming and the whole earth will be filled with His praise and then he proceeds to describe the destruction and devastation of His wrath that will go before Him, as He comes to trample the winepress and save His people!.
The phrase “Eloah comes from Tĕman” is prophetic for end times and refers to the second coming of Messiah, as Tĕman means ‘south’ and so, in effect, we see that He is coming from the south!
What does that mean and who is this Eloah that comes from the south?
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 9:14 “And יהוה shall appear for them, and His arrow go forth like lightning, and the Master יהוה sound the ram’s horn. And He shall go with whirlwinds from the south.”
This is describing the picture of His second coming as also described in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 66:15 “For look, יהוה comes with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His displeasure with burning, and His rebuke with flames of fire.”.
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘south’ in Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 9:14 is also from the root word בֵּימָן Tĕman – Strong’s 8646/8647 and this was a district in Eḏom and Tĕman was also the name of the grandson of Ěsaw and was an Eḏomite chief.
What we begin to see, is the clear language of end time prophecy regarding the destruction of Eḏom and Botsrah, highlighting the end time destruction of the enemies of יהוה.
Amos 1:12 “But I shall send fire upon Tĕman, and it shall consume the palaces of Botsrah.”
Oḇaḏyah/Obadiah 1:8-9 “In that day,” declares יהוה, “I shall destroy the wise men from Eḏom, and discernment from the mountains of Ěsaw! 9 “And your mighty men shall be discouraged, O Tĕman, so that everyone from the mountains of Ěsaw is cut off by slaughter.”
יהוה is coming to tread the winepress and destroy the enemies of His Bride.
Tĕman is derived from the root word יָמִין yamin – Strong’s H3225 which means ‘right hand/right side and also south side’ and is used literally of a man’s right hand as opposed to שְׂמאֹל semol – Strong’s H8040 which means ‘left hand’ and well as ‘north’.
Yemen is the modern name for Tĕman and we see a wonderful description of who is coming – for the ‘right hand of Elohim’ is the that which works deliverance and redemption and destroys the enemy – this is יהושע Messiah!
He is coming – He is the Set-Apart One who comes from Mount Paran! Paran means ‘place of caverns’ and is an area in the southern Sinai Peninsula and comes from the root word that means ‘especially beautiful/adorned, gleaning’ and this language would have been familiar to Yisra’ĕl, as it would remind them of that which Mosheh spoke before his death and would be a sober reminder to repent and return to יהוה:.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33:1-3 “And this is the blessing with which Mosheh the man of Elohim blessed the children of Yisra’ĕl before his death. 2 And he said, “יהוה came from Sinai, and rose from Sĕʽir for them. He shone forth from Mount Paran, and came with ten thousands of set-apart ones – at His right hand a law of fire for them. 3 Indeed, He loves the peoples, all His set-apart ones are in Your hand. And they, they sat down at Your feet, receiving Your Words.”
They also would echo the words of the song of Deḇorah in:
Shophetim/Judges 5:4-5 “יהוה, when You went out from Sĕʽir, when You stepped from the field of Eḏom, the earth shook and the heavens poured, the clouds also poured water. 5 “The mountains flowed at the presence of יהוה, this Sinai, at the presence of יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl.”
This would not only cause them to look back to the Covenant but also forward to the prophecy of Ḥanoḵ as a very sobering wake up call to turn and repent before it would be too late:
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:14-15 “And Ḥanoḵ, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied of these, saying, “See, יהוה comes with His myriads of set-apart ones, 15 to execute judgment on all, to punish all who are wicked among them concerning all their wicked works which they have committed in a wicked way, and concerning all the harsh words which wicked sinners have spoken against Him.” .
We also see these words of prophecy being spoken in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 63:1-4 “Who is this coming from Eḏom, with garments of glowing colours from Botsrah, who is robed in splendour, striding forward in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is there red on Your raiment, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. And I trod them down in My displeasure, and I trampled them in My wrath. Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have defiled all My raiment. 4 “For a day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.”.
These words would certainly carry great power, in calling back a backslidden people and Ḥaḇaqquq proceeds to speak of the power in which Eloah will come, giving reference back to how they were sold into the hands of Kushan because of their Ba’al worship and after hearing their cry for help, Othni’ĕl son of Qenaz, Kalěḇ’s younger brother was raised up by יהוה to save Yisra’ĕl (Shophetim/Judges 3:7-11), and also how the sun and moon stood still and did not go down until Yisra’ĕl avenged itself upon her enemies, when Yehoshua fought against the Amorites (Yehoshua/Joshua 10:13), and these words of remembrance would also shadow picture how a day of deliverance is coming again. .
Upon hearing, Ḥaḇaqquq says that he trembled and quivered and this is a very quick reminder that no matter how powerful man’s religious systems and infrastructures may appear, and claim to be, it will all be brought to its knees and destroyed, and this is a sobering reminder to us, to make sure that we are on the ‘right side’ of Elohim, for anyone who is not – no matter how significant they may claim to be – will be treated in such a way.
Many expositors see this verse 16 as a shift in the prayer/song, as being the cry of Baḇelon’s response, and then we come to another cry of Ḥaḇaqquq, that is often quoted as an isolated text without regard for the entire context and setting of the prayer and whole book of Ḥaḇaqquq!.
Verse 17 – This is a well-known verse within many circles, so let us briefly look at the application of these verses, regarding the circumstances of a plagued and corrupted people that I believe Ḥaḇaqquq was witnessing against.
1 – The Fig Tree does not blossom
The use of the fig tree and figs, throughout Scripture, carries great significance to us and typically represents the nation of Yisra’ĕl.
But what was the picture here?
The fig tree was not blossoming – when we consider this, we can immediately be drawn to the words of יהושע who cursed the fig tree:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 21:19 “And seeing a single fig tree by the way, He came to it and found naught on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” And immediately the fig tree withered.”
This cursing of the fig tree, which had leaves but no fruit, is a parable of the end time harvest and what happened to the fig tree is what would happen to all those who may profess to be in the Covenant, yet bear no fruit of repentance or the fruit of righteousness!.
A couple of chapters later, we see His words again in reference to the end-times in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:32 “And learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near.”
The meaning of this parable has been lost by the masses who have been taught that there are no requirements to keep the Torah, and sadly as a result those who believe such lies will be found to be outside of the Covenants of Promise!.
יהושע cursed the fig tree to get the disciples attention and teach them the necessity to remain in Him and bear much fruit.
Although this was not the season for figs to bear fruit, we see that Sha’ul tells Timotiyos to proclaim the Word and be urgent, in and out of season and never be found to be fruitless with leaves only!.
What is interesting to note, is that a fig tree typically produces fruit before it produces leaves and so when you see the leaves without fruit there is a problem!!!
This is a picture of covering up or hiding sin as Aḏam and Ḥawwah did, when they realised their nakedness due to sin, as they sowed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
Our only covering is the Blood of Messiah and the picture of having leaves only, is a picture of many today – as they may have the appearance of worship and appear to look the part – yet they clearly lack the fruit of righteous living according to the Torah and so, they sow for themselves fig leaves of traditions, through religious programmes that are used to to hide their lawlessness!
This was the state of Yisra’ĕl – all leaves and no fruit, or better put ‘rotten fruit’. Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8 is a fitting chapter that describes this sad and sick state of many who claim to be worshipping יהוה, yet cling to deceit and do not know the right-ruling of יהוה.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24 speaks of two baskets of figs – one good and one bad.
We do not have time to go into the details of this chapter, but I do encourage you to do so on your own time, but in summary this is what it speaks regarding the figs:
The Good figs are the obedient ones who repent and turn back to יהוה with all their heart who will be delivered, redeemed and protected and brought into the Promises of His Covenant.
The Bad figs speak of those who refuse to listen and choose to stay in Baḇel or Mitsrayim – a picture for us today of those who choose to remain in the world, as well as those who choose to remain in the man-made theologies, including both rabbinic Judaism and Christianity – this is the basket of bad figs for which the sword, famine and plague will be sent upon them!.
2 – No fruit on the Vine
The parable of the Vine in Yoḥanan/John 15 speaks clearly our need to remain in יהושע or else we will be cut off and thrown in to the fire and it is a parable that goes hand in hand with the words written in Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 15, which I spoke about a couple of months back in a message called, ‘Fruitful or fruitless – the Parable of the Vine’, which looks at Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 15 and Yoḥanan/John 15 together and I encourage you to go through those notes in regards to no fruit on the vine!
The notes of this message can be found under the sermons 2020/2021 menu, or by clicking the following link:
3 – The olives have failed
We know that olives were the source of the oil for the tabernacle, supplying the Lampstand as well as the anointing oil and incense and for the bread.
Oil, as we know, speaks of the anointing and Spirit of יהוה and His word that He has planted in us and when we see the picture of failed olives, we can see the parable of the 10 virgins – 5 who had oil in their lamps and 5 who did not – another parallel parable with that of Yirmeyahu’s two baskets of figs.
Olive oil is obtained through a crushing process and what is sad today is that the world is being crushed through enslavement – people are suffering more and more hardships and being crushed by the pressures of this life and sadly what is happening is that worry is choking out the Word and they are ‘dry’, while there is no oil coming forth – no Word – no belief!
Will Messiah find belief when He comes!.
4 – Fields bring forth no food
The field is the world and the Word is the seed – yet no food is being brought forth, as the ground of many hearts is not good – this picture we can reference back to the parable of the sower in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13.
Yisra’ĕl had the Word, yet had not maintained the field of their hearts and so were no longer filled with good seed and able to produce a harvest but rather, were hardened by deceit and it is no different today!
5 – Flock has been cut off and no herds
This is a picture of the denial of the work of Messiah, as the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, which is a two-fold picture, in a way, as one is of the rabbinic Judaism that reduces יהושע to a prophet and they did not receive Him and secondly, as the westernised Christian world has changed the Messiah into a Torahless teacher – and by doing so have cut off the True Living Word, by adding to or taking away from the Truth!.
This was the sad picture that Ḥaḇaqquq saw in his day and one which we certainly see today – Dry, fruitless and lawless people who have made their own leaves to cover their nakedness – which will be exposed on that Day!
However, what even struck me more, was that in light of the Torah portions that we go through on the Tabernacle, we see a clear picture by that which is lacking by so many, as יהוה is rebuilding the Tabernacle of Dawiḏ
Being dry, fruitless and lawless and without the pure garments of righteousness, we have no access to the Tabernacle and are unable to offer Him the bull of our lips in praise!.
Ḥaḇaqquq sees this sad state and despite all this, he makes a bold declaration, which we too are to make – we who embrace the Truth and cling to יהוה!
Yet I will!!!
Yet… despite what others may be doing… I will EXULT in יהוה… I will rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance!!!
Are you able to declare this too – knowing that you have clothed yourself in righteousness – putting on the armour of Elohim and are remaining in Him bearing fruit… much fruit, filled with the oil of His presence, keeping the field of your heart pure that the Good Seed yields a Good return and are offering up your bodies a daily living sacrifice, well pleasing to Elohim? If so, then you can make that statement and do it with great joy!!!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as exult comes from the root word עָלַז alaz – Strong’s H5937 which means ‘exult, rejoice, triumph, be jubilant ’and this word, in the Hebrew, describes an emotion of joy which finds expression in singing and shouting and is a natural response of the faithful, as we see in Tehillah/Psalm 149:
Tehillah/Psalm 149:1-5 “Praise Yah! Sing to יהוה a new song, His praise in an assembly of kind ones. 2 Let Yisra’ĕl rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Tsiyon exult in their Sovereign. 3 Let them praise His Name in a dance; let them sing praises to Him with the tambourine and lyre. 4 For יהוה takes pleasure in His people; He embellishes the meek ones with deliverance. 5 Let the lovingly-committed ones exult in esteem; let them sing aloud on their beds.”
Praise – Exult – Dance and Sing Aloud to יהוה!
Sing His praise in an assembly of lovingly-committed ones.
These are all very powerful words that illustrate the intensity in which we are to praise יהוה, our Elohim, and sadly, we find that the ability to praise Him in this way can often be a tough challenge for most, as they go through the daily grind of trying to make ends meet; and very quickly they often find their ability to praise our Maker fading away, until praise unto Him becomes a ‘thing of the past’; and all of this while the heat of His displeasure is most certainly heating up for an Appointed Time, of which the majority are foolishly unaware of. .
This root word עָלַז alaz – Strong’s H5937 means to be in an intense state of great joy and contentment and this is how those who embrace the Truth – we exult in יהוה!.
Verse 19 echoes that which Yeshayahu declared, when speaking of our diligent obedient response to His Word and keeping His Shabbat, entering His rest:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:14 “then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Yaʽaqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!”.
Ḥaḇaqquq was simply declaring this:
“Before יהוה I am playing my songs of praise!!!”
We know that which is coming, so let us embrace the Truth, declare His Truth and cling to His Truth and praise Him without the leaves of hypocrisy, but rather, praise and worship Him in purity and sincerity of Truth!
Yoḥanan/John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. 24 “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”.
Ḥaḇaqquq praises יהוה, in a final declaration of a committed and steadfast belief that would endure until the end.
These verses 17-19, represent one of the greatest confessions of belief that is found in Scriptures, as he was basically saying:
“Even though everything can be failing around me, I will still trust in יהוה”.
Ḥaḇaqquq had to wait and he would not have seen the deliverance spoken of here, yet he watched, waited and worshiped, as he held firm to the sure promises of deliverance being made complete, in יהוה’s perfect timing according to His perfect Word that never fails! .
He spoke of a coming famine, which would come physically, but he also recognised that there would also be a famine for the Word and that the nations who had caught away יהוה’s own, would pay the price!
יהוה is an Elohim of war and He cares for His Bride! יהוה cares, and is jealous, for His Covenanted people, that He will rescue!
Ḥaḇaqquq declared his trust in יהוה and he now knew where his strength came from, despite the economic destruction that was coming upon Yehuḏah and he recognised that יהוה would once again raise them up to a high place!
The imagery he uses is very powerful, as it is interesting to note that a deer will flee up in to the mountains for safety and here, Ḥaḇaqquq is declaring that יהוה will bring His people to a safe place and that they will walk on the high places, as they will be placed in places of authority, to rule and reign with Him over the nations!.
As we too face very tough questions in our walk of belief, may we have a steadfast and committed belief like Ḥaḇaqquq, as we learn from his account, as recorded here in this very powerful book. .
We have the written Word!
Let us be continually reminded to read it and run with it, as we who claim to live in Him ought to walk, even as He did!
We are the ones who ought to be living by belief, yet we may often find, at times, that we too doubt, complain and run ahead of יהוה and even criticise what יהוה is doing!
Could that describe you in any way, in some critical moments that you have found yourself in?.
Ḥaḇaqquq shows us how to deal with life’s problems:
(1) Admit them honestly;
(2) Talk to יהוה about them;
(3) Wait quietly before Him in prayer and meditation on the Word;
(4) When He speaks, listen and obey. .
Never run away from the difficulties of life, because יהוה wants to use those difficulties to strengthen your belief and build your character, shaping His image in you, so that you may be made complete not lacking anything.
“Never doubt in the dark what יהוה has told you in the light.”.
His Word is a light for our path and a lamp for our feet and the just shall live by belief, waking in the Light, as true children of light, who are never afraid of the darkness that grows thicker each day, but clings to the Truth, having lamps filled with oil and burning brightly, the desire of Elohim, which is our set-apartness.
Come out and be separate!.
If you ever find yourself in a place of wondering why or how, then remember to ask יהוה and cry out to Him.
But then, in doing so, be steadfast in watching and waiting upon Him correctly, having ears that are always ready to hear and obey, in order to walk in the purity of a complete set-apart and perfect life of worship, not living by sight but by belief in a living and active Elohim! .
Times are wicked and the fact is, we know it will get even worse than what we already see, in the rapid progression of depravity and darkness that is taking place at an alarming rate today!
The question is:
“Are you forever complaining, trying to figure it all out in your own strength?”
“Will you faithfully trust, and rely upon, יהושע Messiah, as you walk in Him, by being steadfast in watching and waiting, so that you are found to be worshipping and proclaiming His Good News to a corrupt and wicked generation?”
“will you still hold fast to Him and praise Him in every way, even when you see no results and wrestle with the ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions?”.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY OR HOW?
THEN HEAR THE CALL TO WATCH, WAIT AND WORSHIP!.
Have ears to hear the clear call to stand, wait and watch – looking into the perfect torah of freedom and wait on his leading and guidance and, in the process, be committed to continually worship the one who strengthens you!.
As I said, at the beginning this message, there is so much insight and instruction that is contained in this book, which we certainly cannot get through in one sitting, yet this is a book that reminds us to turn our eyes away from the chaos that tends to weaken one’s stand and fix them upon the Prince and Perfecter of our Belief, who is coming for a remnant Bride who lives by belief!.
I simply wanted to present to you an overview of this book, which teaches us a valuable lesson on putting trust in יהוה and His perfect work of deliverance..
For the purposes of this message, we recognise that to just look at one chapter alone, without looking at the other 2, would not enable us to get a full perspective of what is, in a nutshell, being spoken to us here, as a very living and active Word!
And that is:
When in doubt – seek יהוה – wait on Him and give Him praise..
Think about it:
Why worry or wonder ‘why’ or ‘how’, when you can watch for, wait on and worship our Mighty Living Compassionate Elohim:
יהוה of Hosts is His Name.
As we hear this prayer of Ḥaḇaqquq may we, like him, embrace the Truth and exult in יהוה.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY OR HOW?
THEN HEAR THE CALL TO:
WATCH, WAIT AND WORSHIP!.
יהוה bless your and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!.