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Wicked Men - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2022 8:00 am

Wicked Men - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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October 4, 2022 8:00 am

God can even use wicked men to accomplish his purposes. This is the fourth of five messages in the series God's Surprising Servants by Dr. Jim Orrick.

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I invite you to open your Bibles again to the book of back chapter 1 the things that we are covering this week is God surprising serve things or persons that God uses that we don't often think of as being being used by him.

So Sunday morning I preached on the way that God uses that the quiet wasting things to bring about his judgment.

Things like the moth, which was Sunday morning and then Sunday night to bring to our attention the fact that often our unconscious influence is more powerfully used. Even then our deliberate, conscious influence last night from Romans chapter 5 we saw how that God uses adversity in general and tonight were going to focus in on one particular source of adversity and that's wicked men.

So last night I explained that adversity work included things like sickness or the sorrow of a passing love one some sort of financial problem or something like that. I never really focus last night so much on people and and when when adversity comes from wicked people.

It's even harder to understand because we expected people are going to behave according to certain rules of social conduct and are just going to be nice and so is so shocking when when someone makes our lives miserable and they are behaving according to a standard other than the one that we believe everyone ought to be abiding by the basic principles of justice and righteousness. Now this is probably not going to be the most exhilarating sermon of the series, but it may be the most practical one of the series because I can hardly imagine that anyone could live their entire life without experiencing some vexation that stems from the bad activity of wicked people and even if it's not directed at you personally. Then there are times when we have to live in a government where bad decisions are made by governing officials or we may live in a neighborhood where there are dangers that are propagated by by wicked men and wicked women who are at work. There, and so on set, but usually we will have some experience at some time in our lives where we are caused great grief by people who are acting wickedly in the Bible we often see the wicked men at work and often these wicked men are people who are professing to be followers of God in some way, and sadly enough in our own lives. Sometimes some of the most vexing treatment that we have to endure is propagated by people who are professing to be believers. Jesus warned his disciples, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will put you out of the synagogue so the in the early centuries of Christianity. They are the primary persecution that came against Christians came from religious people came from the Jews, and in the seventh century. In the 60s switched over to the Romans and there came to be terrible persecution from Rome in the 60s until Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70.

And then there followed several other epics of of great persecution that came from wrong throughout the world today there are Christians who are taking their lives in their hands if they declare themselves forthrightly for Jesus Christ and especially if they take the profession of their faith. So far as to follow the Lord in baptism. I think that in many in many cultures, that is just like the last step we will tolerated the family says the belligerent family says we will tolerate what you're doing until you take this final step of obviously affiliating yourself with the people of Jesus Christ by following him in baptism and in some countries the lives of believers who follow the Lord in baptism are met are measured in weeks, the likelihood of their surviving a year is very unlikely because of the persecution that they are encountering so how we make sense of all of this, there are some people who say well, God is not in control of wicked people and they hope to find some comfort there.

When good things happen. God is behind that but when bad things happen. Satan is behind that. I don't think that there is any real comfort to be found in that that option I think the real comfort is to be found in say God is in control of wicked people and they cannot do anything without God's permission.

And so when when rotten things happened to us because of the bad actions of bad people. Ultimately, if we're going to have peace about it. I think we need to be able to say like Joseph did his brothers, you meant it for evil but God meant it for good. Now when bad people are serving as God's servants.

Of course they're not doing so. Deliberate in the book of Isaiah the prophet describes how that the Lord is going to use Babylon to chastise his people and that he explains. The Babylonians have no intention of serving Yahweh when they're doing it. Instead, they are serving their own selfish interests and they are going to get punished for that. But when here's the question to consider when the Babylonians were executing God's judgments against Israel were the Babylonians, obeying God's will answer that question we need to understand that when we talk about God's will. Were talking about two distinguishable things.

First of all there is God's will, of command or another word God's will, of preset precept is a command what God expects of us.

There is God's will, of preset and then distinguishable from God's will, of precept is God's will and purpose. We talk about God's will and purpose. We call that the decrees of God. The decrees of God or his eternal purpose. According to the counsel of his will, whereby for his own glory. He has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. That's the answer to the Baptist catechism gives to the question, what are the decrees of God. Here again, the decrees of God or the God are his eternal purpose. So God being an intelligent being is not just waking up in the morning saying hey what do I feel like doing today. Instead, like like an intelligent person who plans out that his future God has a purpose that he has planned out from eternity past, so the decrees of God's eternal purpose.

According to the counsel of his will. So he has formed this purpose, not in reaction to events that he foresaw, but did not plan now hee hee that's not the way the God formed his purpose, he formed his purpose according to his will, and so nothing happens by accident. None of the Angels ever runs up to God and says you'll never believe what happened today. They God. God knows the end from the beginning because he has planned the end from the beginning. He knows the end from the beginning, not merely because he is omniscient, but because he has eternally decreed what's going to happen, including the wicked acts of wicked men.

The decrees of God or his eternal purpose. According the counsel of his will, whereby for his own glory.

He has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.

And so God that God's ultimate purpose in his decrees is that all things that happen would ultimately bring glory to him. So back to my question when when wicked men are used by God to carry out God's purposes are they obeying God's will. There obeying God's will and purpose, but they are disobeying God's will, of precept.

A great example of this in one verses in acts chapter 2 in verse 23. It took us so long to find Habakkuk. I'm not one had to turn their so in acts chapter 2 in verse 23 the heaters preaching on the day of Pentecost and he says something like this. I don't have it memorize word very close to it. According to the determined purpose and counsel of God.

You by the hands of lawless men crucified the Lord of glory at EC both both wills there that one verse. According to the eternal purpose of God.

That's his will, of purpose you by the hands of lawless men crucified the Lord of glory. Were they obeying God's will. When they crucified Jesus they were obeying his will, of purpose, but they were disobeying his will of precept is will of precept was believe my son receive my son love my son follow my son and when they with hatred crucified, they were disobeying God's will, of preset but all the while inadvertently they weren't meaning to do it, but they were fulfilling God's will and purpose that Jesus should be the Lamb of God and that his blood would be shed and so when when wicked men and women carry out the purposes of God and act as his servants. They are fulfilling the purpose of God. All the while they are disobeying the precepts of God. Well, just as an aside, what is our rule of conduct. Our rule of conduct is God's will, of preset.

We are to do what God says we don't know all of God's hidden councils. We don't know them until he unfolds the and God's will, of purpose is a great comfort to us. It's a rock for our comfort. But God's will. Precept is the rule for our conduct, so we are to do what God says still continue with this for just a bit. Someone someone may ask the question, will of God has already foreordained everything that is going to come to pass.

What's the purpose in our praying.

Does God change his will, of purpose.

When we and we pray and a very simple answer to that is, we pray, because God has commanded us to pray and somehow in a Mysterious Way, God uses our prayers to fulfill his purposes. God in his wisdom has not only ordained the end that all things should be for his own glory but he is also foreordained the means by which this end would be brought about the same question applies to evangelism and missions. If God has already elected whoever is going to be saved, then why do we evangelize and why do we send out missionaries will the very simple answer that goes along with today's message is because God has commanded and God uses the preaching of his word to call those who are his elect out their sin and salvation, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We we don't always understand how our obedience helps to fulfill God's will, of purpose, but that shouldn't keep us from doing what God has plainly told us to do a theory about the sovereignty of God, even if it is the right theory about the sovereignty of God should never interfere with our doing are plainly revealed duty God's will, of preset what God has revealed for us is the way that we are to live when God uses wicked people as almost certainly you have some experience with it. How are we to respond. I think that Habakkuk gives us a good model to follow. Mostly, he starts off with an example that is not all that great but the it's one that we can relate to. Let me give you the situation in the book of Habakkuk Habakkuk starts off with Habakkuk the prophet expressing his amazement, that God allows so much wickedness to go on in the land of Israel is just amazed that he lets it happen and then God's. Then God says well I'm about to do something about that. I'm going to bring the Chaldeans to punish Israel and then Habakkuk responds, the Chaldeans, they are worse than we are. How can you use the Chaldeans and Habakkuk's as well. I just I need to think about this for a little while and so he retreats into his tower and he thinks about it for a little while and then God reveals to him how he's going to make it through this.

You make it through all of this Habakkuk you another faithful if you live by faith. Just the just shall live by faith.

And then he gives Habakkuk of vision of how he is going to punish the Chaldeans when he's finished with, and then the third so that takes up most of chapter 2 and then in the third chapter, which is the pastor, which is the chapter that pastor read just a few minutes ago.

Then Habakkuk responds with adoration and praise on how great God is and then he concludes that he is going to rejoice in the Lord. So that's a quick summary of the book of Habakkuk.

I'm not going to read the entire book, but I have the whole book in mind as we look at these various things and the first thing that will see is that when wicked men are at work.

It often seems that God is absent.

Look with me at the first three or four verses Habakkuk at the Oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw me just point out to you that this entire book is poetry and you don't read poetry the exact same way that you read prose poetry is condensed deliberately artistic language that is meant to arouse an emotional reaction.

So that's one of the primary functions of poetry is to is to stimulate an emotional reaction so much of the Bible is his, and poetry. I'm just looking at the book of Nahum Saul poetry looking at the book of Micah all poetry. I estimate that about one third of the Bible is written in poetry. It's it's rather daunting because most of us have not had a very good education in poetry and we don't quite know what to do with it and you're not going to be lost at sea. If you don't ever understand how to read poetry but you'll miss some of the real beauties in the Bible.

If you just persist in reading poetry as if it were prose and us out one at one of the characteristics of poetry is that it it it draws heavily on metaphor draws heavily on suggestions that for which you you supply the concrete imagery and it. I love poetry love the poetry, the Bible of English and American poetry just want to point out to you that this is this is poetry. It it doesn't always follow the same logical patterns that prose does so, the book of Habakkuk is going is going to read drastically different than the book of Romans, which is very logical and and lays point down upon point.

Habakkuk is is more more feeling. It's more emotional and so try to feel the emotion in in these things that we read when when wicked men are at work. It seems like God is absent first 20 Lord, how long shall I cry for help and you will not hear or cry to you violence and you will not say this is not the way that I have understood you to be. You seem to take pride on being the one who hears prayer while I'm praying and you're not hearing me. Verse three.

Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you look idly at wrong. I thought that you were a God who was at work in the world.

I how is it that you can let such wickedness go on. Looks to me like you're not doing anything destruction and violence are reforming strife and contention arrives and look at the terrible consequences of you're not hearing prayer and you're letting this go on verse four so the law was paralyzed. Injustice never goes forth for the wicked surround the righteous. So justice goes forth perverted now in these opening verses.

He is describing the conditions of things in Israel, but it applies to when God is using wicked men, and when God is allowing wicked things to go on their times when we feel like are you listening are you present.

Don't you care that the sort of things are happening and God is a God is a a big God is never any never the cost for us to be insulting or to be disrespectful to the Lord shouldn't which always avoid that. But when you have questions. It's not wrong for you to ask the Lord questions why are you letting this go on he made he may give you an answer as he does to Habakkuk and the answer that he gives is I'm about to do something about the situation that you so verse five and here we see the wicked. The wicked man that God is about to use in bringing judgment to Israel.

Look among the nations and see wonder and be astounded. So the Lord says I'm getting ready to tell you something that is going to make your jaw drop open. This is going to be surprising to you.

In fact it's going to stretch your credulity. Not sure that you can believe this, for I'm doing a work in your days, that if that you would not believe if told here is for behold, I'm raising up the Chaldeans that bitter and hasty nation now in using poetic language. He describes how good the Chaldeans are being bad.

First of all, they are just a group of pirates. They march through the breadth of the earth to seize dwellings, not their own.

They are not going to abide by the law. They have a law of their own that drives them and what they're doing. They are very good at this. They are dreaded and fearsome there justice and dignity go forth from themselves. In other words there making up the rules as they go along. This is one of the sources of frustration when we are suffering because of the bad behavior of wicked men. It's like why you guys acting like that. What and what's the reason it seems like your your departing from all reason, the way that's the way wicked people act there their vicious their horses are swifter than leopards more fierce than the evening moves their horsemen press proudly on their horsemen come from afar.

They fly like an eagle swift to devour.

They come they all come from violence all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand at Kings. They scoffing at rulers. They laugh.

They laugh at every fortress with a pile of earth and take it they sweep by like the wind and go on guilty men whose mind is there God some some nod towards the fact that they may be religious, but especially obvious in the translation that I am reading that it is their own mind that they worship and now Habakkuk response to that and this is the first of several responses that we get this going occupy his responses going to occupy our attention for the rest of the time this first response is understandable, but it is shortsighted and then beginning in chapter 2 we see several responses that I think are worthy of our invitation, but let's look at his his first response, which is understandable but shortsighted and other really are to two prongs to his reaction here. The first the first problem is he says, Lord.

This is out of character for you and the second problem is, it looks like you don't love your people. So sometimes when we are undergoing persecution or some kind of hardship at the hands of wicked people we think this is out of character for you to let this go on and it looks like you don't love me.

We can see both of those things beginning in verse 12 are you not from everlasting. O Lord my God, my holy one, we shall not die, Lord, you have ordained him as a judgment in you all rock have established and, for reproof, you who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traders and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he. That's the first prong of this complaint.

I thought you were holy. How can you use people like that and then it looks like you don't love your people. This look like looks like you just treating us like fish.

Verse 14 you make mankind like the fish of the sea like crawling things that have no ruler. He brings all of them up.

He drags them out with his Nancy gathers them in his dragnet so he rejoices in his glad. Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet, for by then. He lives in luxury and his food is rich see then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever fisherman here is the.

The captain of the host. The king of the Chaldeans is just going through the nations like like a fisherman would throw his hook and catch a fish or like a fisherman throw his neck and hauling fish only thought vicious nations in your putting us in their it's understandable, but it shortsighted. Now spend the rest of our time looking at the responses that Habakkuk does has that are worthy of our invitation in the first one is well-versed in chapter 2 verse one. I will take my stand at my watch, post and station myself on the tower and look out to see what he will say to me and what I will answer concerning my complaint I would expect them to say what he will answer concerning my complaint but I think he anticipates that there's going to be further discussion here.

He's going to answer my complaint and then I'm going to answer him back, but I think the first thing that Habakkuk does that is a response that is worthy of our imitation is a says I need to take a deep breath here and think about this for a little while and I need to get in a place where I can see the big picture. I think that's the significance of stationing himself on the tower and see things from a high perspective that you can't see from other and then I think that's what Habakkuk is saying I'm going to I'm going to take my stand at my watch, post, I'm going to look carefully to see what God may be revealing. In using these wicked men to accomplish his purposes, and I'm going to strive to get the big picture of things. The second thing that Habakkuk does that is worthy of our imitation is that he says I'm going to live by faith, not faith is embracing truth that you cannot figure out by reason, but instead you understand truth because God has revealed it.

Faith is believing what God has said, especially when the only reason for believing it is because God has said it and you believe it with the intention of obeying and and Habakkuk is going to make it through this. The Lord, the Lord tells him you're going to make it through this if you will not be guided by your site but if you will be guided by what you know about me not understand. Habakkuk that what you know about me seems to be obscure right now but you got to trust me for a while. It's going to look like I don't love you and I don't love Israel, you got to trust me, it reminds me of him that we sing when darkness avails his lovely face. I rest on his unchanging grace in every high and stormy. Gail my anchor holds within the veil. I I may not be able to see his face but his grace is unchanging and then there's this from the John Dunn, though thou with clouds of anger do disguise thy face yet through that mask. I know those eyes, which, though they turn away. Sometimes they never will despise so imagines that God's faces covered over with a mask of anger, just as it is here the book of Habakkuk through that mask of anger.

He sees those eyes. And he says, though they may turn away.

Sometimes they never will despise. I think one of the principles that there were about to read. In this passage of Scripture is do not doubt in the dark. What you have seen in the light there dark days that will come there times when wicked men will knock you back on your heels and you'll say do I even know this God at all. And the Lord says son daughter you'll survive this thing you will live by faith. Let's read God's response to Habakkuk, the Lord answered me write the vision. I'm in chapter 2 verse two. Write the vision make it plain on tablet so he so he may run who reads it for the vision awaits its appointed time it hastens to the end, it will not fly in the same slow wait for it will surely come, it will not delay. Behold his soul is puffed up. It is not upright within him.

The righteous shall live by his faith, your I think the Lord begins to sound the distant thunders of the storm that he is going to bring against the Chaldeans and he says it's not going to be immediate, the this the Chaldeans are going to come I'm going to use these wicked men to accomplish my purposes, but just wait just wait, that's not the end of the story, but to make it through the end of the story and live. You got to live by faith, and of course this is that statement that is quoted in the book of Romans to teach us how we become Christians.

It's not because of all the things that we can figure out it's based on what God has revealed in his son Jesus Christ. It is a salvation that is from faith from first to last, as it is written, the just shall live by faith.

And that's the quotation of this very verse of Scripture from the book of Habakkuk.

I remember several years ago I when I was pastor of a church in Kansas City.

There was a young man in the church who was unusually bright and by the time he was 13 or 14 years old. He had read probably more books than I'll ever read in my whole really intelligent young man but he wasn't a believer. He was open-minded to becoming a believer, but he was just not convinced and I would talk to him. We were we were on cordial terms and he always listened carefully to my preaching and the conversations that we had were always very rich that he never became a Christian and then I left that church and went to teach at Boyce College in the first year or two that I was there. Someone told me this young man has become a Christian is coming to be a student at Boyce College and so I was happy to hear that and happy to see them when I did, and invited them to come into my office and he sat down and ice about here. You become a believer.

That's right to tell me about it.

He said well I wanted to be the first person to prove Christianity from principles of philosophy and logic and so I was out to do that and one that I wasn't. I was always distressed. I know wasn't a Christian and one day my dad set me down. In fact, you probably know is that this is not embarrassing to anybody Jamila for his dad vision Benjamin Ellis is a young man I'm talking about and so he said one day my dad sat me down and said to me under the guise of humility you are trying to search to search out carefully logical proof for Christianity, but I think it is in fact and evidence of your American and if you are going to ever become a Christian, then you are simply going to have to believe what the Bible says and Benjamin said it occurred to me that I was going to have to take something on faith because I really couldn't prove that reason was a reliable means of revealing truth. I was taking that on faith and I realized that I was going to have to take something on faith and so I decided that I was going to believe the Bible is the word of God and I said so shortly after that he became a Christian he said it was virtually at the same time because of course I knew what the Bible said about Jesus. So once I embrace what the Bible said about Jesus and I embrace Jesus and became a follower of Jesus Christ.

Benjamin was a little bit like verse four says behold his soul is puffed up. I know all this stuff I can figure all this stuff out. Bible says that not many wise are among those who are called nothing God has anything in particular against really smart people.

It's just that really smart people think we can figure it out knows how to change the pronoun. There, yet we think alike. I can I can get this, I've been able to figure out all the stuff all my life and I'm going to figure this out to. I don't need to. I don't need to be reduced to that childlike faith. Yes, you did unless you become like a little child you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Your soul be puffed up, it will not be upright the righteous shall live by his faith. And that's the way that we have got to survive when we are being tossed around by wicked men, wicked men are God's servants. Sometimes he uses them to chastise us. Sometimes he uses wicked men to move us out of a a comfortable button wrong course this afternoon when I was talking to Carol about this message. I I said I can really only think of three times in my life I'm 62. Today's my birthday so I said in my life so blessed I can really only think of three times when my life was really upended by bad men and in all three cases.

I explained to her it was God's moving me away from a comfortable but wrong course not sinful, just not right for me into something else. And thank God I can look back on all three of those experiences and see how the Lord was using it to to move me into something else, but it sure was painful at the time very very painful to have my life disrupted so so deeply by these bad men all all all three instances were orchestrated by men who were professing Christian and to be fair, I think that in all three instances, these professing Christians thought that they were doing the right thing. It it may be that they were not abiding by the same standard of right that you and I would but I think in all three cases, they thought that they were doing the right thing. So first of all, we have seen Habakkuk saying I'm going to think about this and try to see it from a a a big perspective.

I'm going to get a my watchtower and I'm going to wait and live by faith. Just like the Lord has said, not the rest of chapter 2 is taken up with the way that the Lord is going to eventually judge the Chaldeans, I'm not going to read that what I'm going to skip ahead to Habakkuk's nest next response was refined at the beginning of chapter 3. In this I think is, as I said his song of praise, where he's overflowing with gratitude.

In response to what the Lord is revealed to, but he resorts to prayer.

I think we have assumed that were going to be doing that all along that here at Smith made specific overlord. I've heard the report of you and your work will Lord do I fear in the midst of the years revive it in the midst of the years make it known in wrath remember mercy and so he very meekly and humbly praise to the Lord. Ice I see what you're doing it. It makes me fear, but don't abandon the good thing that you have in store for your people in the midst of the years make it known. Don't get so carried away with your wrath that you forget that you are a merciful God, and so he resorts to prayer. That's the third response that Habakkuk text that is worthy of imitation and in the fourth response that Habakkuk takes that is worthy of imitation is in verse 16 of this chapter and this is this is a statement of submission I hear in my body trembles my lips quiver at the sound rottenness enters into my bones.

My legs tremble beneath me yet. I will wait quietly yet. I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon the people who invade us. I'm I'm really scared. This is a very emotional thing for me, but so help me God. I will quietly wait for the day of trouble. I'm not one to complain anymore.

You have shown me a vision of your justice and you have shown me a vision of your character and I respond with, say it is better to know you than it is to know why. I think that's really one of the main messages of the book of Job. Note that Job was never as far as we can read in the book of Job, God never explained to him here's while this bad stuff happen to you instead. When God shows up at the end of Job he asked him all these questions, which demonstrate that God is vastly superior in every way, to Joe and that quiets Job's heart, that the same thing that happens to Habakkuk here and that's the same thing that needs to happen to us. We need to learn how to say with the Psalmist in Psalm 131 overlord. My heart is not lifted up my eyes are not raised too high. I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me but I've calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within, O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore like a little child who doesn't even have to understand how mommy and daddy can protect him from all of this stuff, but somehow it's okay when I'm on mommy's lap.

The Psalmist says that's the way that I've calmed and quieted my soul. George Herbert has a poem where he is in distress because he has not achieved a lofty position that he thought Shirley would be to the glory of God. If God would give him this great position and he says, but that thou art my wisdom, Lord. In other words, if it weren't for the fact that you are my wisdom in both my eyes are thine. That's the way he has of saying I have entrusted the guidance of my life to you. If it weren't for the fact that I've done that my soul would be extremely stirred for missing my design, were it not better. So he starts to make a suggestion to the Lord written not better to bestow some place and power on me, then, should thy praises with me, grow and share in my degree.

I mean if you make me famous. I'll talk about you when I'm interviewed. But when I thus disputing Greve I do resume my site so slightly sent.I told you I know I told you that I was going to give you my eyes, so you could guide me that you know this is a great job that my eyes back when I thus disputing Greve I do resume my site and pilfering or stealing what I once did give disease the of thy right and then he muses, how no, I am now sure it's me raise that I should then raise the perhaps great places and I praise do not so well agree that I think that if I were made famous and influential.

I would be sure to give glory to God, but it doesn't always happen that way.

Fact, it rarely happens that way. And so I conclude this poem wherefore onto my gift. I stand, I gave you my eyes. You keep my eyes.

Wherefore, under my gift. I stand I will know more. Advise only do thou lend me a hand. Since thou hast both mine eyes so I'm I'm blind I need someone to guide me. Do let me feel your hand. Do let me get on your lap like that weaned child it it in the title. That poem is submission.

It is in submission to the Lord, that we find peace and quiet. Sometimes I would wager that you probably saying joyful joyful we adore the words of joyful joyful we adore the written by Henry Van Dyke. He wrote several other poems and think is very short one, which is a good illustration of this point in this little short poem, he describes how that he was ardently seeking after peace and insisting upon getting it, but he never got until will listen to the poem with eager hard and will on fire. I thought to win my great desire peace shall be mine. I said that life grew bitter and the weary strife. My soul was hurt my pride was wounded deep to heaven. I cried. God grant me peace so I must die. The dumb stars glittered no reply broken at last I bowed my head for getting all myself and said whatever comes thy will be done and in that moment. Peace was one that's what happened. Habakkuk here. I'm scared about all this that's happening. I'm on on unhappy about it mice my legs were trembling. I'm scared but I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon the people who invade us. I will submit to your great sovereign ways and the fifth thing that Habakkuk does that is worthy of our imitation is found in those final verses, though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit. Be on the vines and the produce of the olive fail in the fields yield no food the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, but just let me say that's a real economic situation right there. And this is the sort of thing that is going to happen when the bad men come the bad men who are God's servants come it's going to be lean times. Not a lot of food to eat. Habakkuk has seen a vision of God's glory, and he sees he's seen something that's better than having a barn full of livestock in a field full of their first 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Even though all these other things can be taken away from me. What really gives my soul. Joy cannot be taken away from me. I will rejoice in the Lord is the God who gives me salvation. I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

He is the God who gives me strength. God, the Lord is my strength.

What do I make of this.

He makes my feet like the deer's.

I think that means he's making me highly adaptable deer are just incredibly adaptable and can get in places and get away and places it just can imagine. I think that he saying I am going to be nimble and adaptable, like a deer and then what about this. He makes me tread on my high places. I think he saying that he's going to give me ultimate victory is the poetic way of saying the Lord, the Lord has done a lot of great things on high places. He gave the law on Mount Sinai. He sent fire down from heaven on Mount Elijah caramel Mount caramel Jesus spoke the sermon on the Mount, Jesus was killed on Mount Calvary. Jesus ascended up to heaven, from the Mount of olives.

A lot of important things of happened on mountains and I think this is just the poetic way of saying the Lord ultimately is going to give me victory.

I will rejoice in the Lord is the God of my salvation.

He's the God who gives me strength is the God who gives me adaptability. He is the God who gives me victory even in the midst of these dark times when he is using wicked men to accomplish his purposes.

One of the benefits of this message for me is that I have a tendency to look back with some bitterness and perhaps in unforgiveness on those bad men who did bad things to me and if I can see like Joseph, whatever their motives were, let's just go ahead and say that they meant it for evil God meant it for good. And that gives me an entirely different perspective and so let this let this sermon loses into your memories of how bad people have mistreated you in the past and see what good Lord has brought out of it so I can't see any good that came out of it and you just going to have to walk by faith. It may be that you're going through something like this right now.

People you're being bypassed for promotion that you really ought to have had it may be because you're a Christian, maybe because you're not going along with being a pal to various perverted ideas that the corporation is trying to foist on that simple really.

And you are enduring some kind of persecution. It may be that is just around the corner for you because everyone who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution but just notice that the devil himself is God's devil, and he cannot do anything without God's permission, and these wicked men, though their motives are not at all intending to serve God's will, of precept, inadvertently, our sovereign God is overruling all things for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose and they are serving God's will, of purpose

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