The Past is Prophecy (Habakkuk Sermon 8 of 9)
June 16, 2002 | Andrew Davis
I. Our Historical Faith
I'd like to ask if you would open in your Bibles to Habakkuk chapter 3. We're continuing in our series, in Habakkuk 3 looking this morning at the verses that Warren read verses 3-15. When I was in sixth grade, I had to walk home every day up a certain hill and at the top of that hill was a group of neighborhood thugs that used to wait for me there. Now I was not a powerful fighter or a boxer. I know that may be surprising to some of you looking at me now, but at that time I was rather small for my age. And I feared and dreaded that walk up the hill every week. At that time, my parents contracted with a builder to have an addition put on to our house, and this man, one of the biggest men I've ever seen in my life, came and started working on our house with his two sons. Sons were in their mid 20s and they were powerful and strong.
And one day this builder took me to his house, he was going out and I wanted to ride in his truck. And he said, "Well sure, I'm going home to pick some things up come with me. And so I rode in his truck and I just happened to notice that his house was at the base of that hill that I walked home every day and I said wow what a coincidence. The next week as I was starting to walk home and I looked up the hill and there were those kids waiting for me, I said, "I think I might ring the door bell on that house and see if I might obtain some help." Well, I rang the doorbell and one of his sons, maybe 22, 23 year old young man came out, he wasn't young man to me he was big and strong, and powerful. Said, "What can I do for you? I explained the situation, he said, "Come with me. So the two of us walked up that hill together.
And the faces on those bullies was just completely different than anything I'd seen up to that point. There had been arrogance, there had been control, there had been dominance there had been all these kinds of things, but now they were puzzled. They didn't quite understand the connection between me and this 6 foot 2 builder next to me. And as we came to the top, all of a sudden I realized that eighth grade bullies aren't as big as they really seem to be. Well, this guy soon sized out who the leader was and he went to him and he took him by the shirt and just did this arm curl thing, and just pulled him right up and they were face-to-face, so they could have a conversation. His feet dangling a little bit off the ground and he explained to him that he and I were friends and that he wouldn't take it kindly, if this behavior continued. And so they had that conversation. I don't remember the words that were said but I remember the picture I remember it, and so then he lowered him back down and they were gone and I never saw them again.
But while he was doing that, I felt safe, I felt protected, I felt that somebody had interceded and stepped up in front of the danger and had taken care of me. And I want you to come to Habakkuk 3:3-15 and read the text that way. But my experience on that hill is nothing compared to the power and protection and sovereignty that moves out for us and stands between us and our enemies. It just moves right in in between and says, "You will not get to them because in order to get to them, you have to go through me." I get the picture of Jesus our Good Shepherd, going out from the garden of Gethsemane and standing between us and wrath between us and death between us and condemnation and judgment. Just standing there and saying it's going to come to me and not to them.
And that's the picture I want you to have, as you read and look at Habakkuk 3 verse 3-15 because they're the prophet, Habakkuk is looking back in history at a time that God did that for Israel. The Exodus is a famous time, but God moved his people out with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and they came and they were right up against the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and his mighty army. The most powerful in the world at that time, was coming out and going to destroy Israel, and God just moved and placed himself between his people and that hoard that was coming to destroy them. Now, the situation in Habakkuk say it was different. At this point the real danger to the people of God was the wrath of God. But God was using an invading nation of Gentiles, the Babylonians to come and destroy his people and Habakkuk was praying to God in the light of some past historical events. He was looking back in history, he was thinking about what God had done in the past in history, and he was bringing that knowledge of ancient historical events to his present day, in effect saying God what you did in the past, do it again. Move out, protect deliver your people. Now, ours is a historical faith. Is it not? We spend much of our time looking back at ancient historical events.
You might wonder what do they have to do with us? What could the Babylonian invasion of Judah in 600 BC have to do with my life, today. Well, it has everything to do with your life because God doesn't change, and you still have enemies and God still moves out to deliver and to protect you from your enemies. One of my heroes from the 20th century Josef Tson a Romanian pastor had an experience concerning this whole issue of our historical faith, Josef Tson growing up in communist Romania, came to personal faith in Jesus Christ, as a young boy, he was nurtured in that faith in a Godly home, went to college, and continued to grow as a Christian and then he got to seminary.
Now, seminary can be a very enriching and an empowering experience you can grow in your faith if your teachers are good, but if not, you can actually have your faith destroyed you can have the tenants and the pillars of your faith shaken, cracks in the pillars can appear. At that time, Josef Tson got hold of a book written by a liberal Methodist named Leslie Weatherhead, and in the book by Weatherhead (it's called The Plain Man Looks At the Cross), basically said that all of the historical events of the Bible are really myths. Really they're just metaphors for our present relationship with God. It really doesn't make a difference whether any of those things actually happened or not. There are metaphors for our present relationship the atoning sacrifice of Christ it's just a myth, it's a metaphor for love, gives us courage for our present life this metaphor.
Well, Josef Tson, was very deeply troubled by this, and he went to his professor and he explained the book and the man looked at the dust coffer, looked a little bit and said, "This man Leslie Weatherhead is a renowned scholar academic if he says it, it must be true." That's what Josef Tson's professor said. That's what Josef Tson said at that moment, "I saw my faith like scaffolding in my insides going down in pieces, everything in me was demolished. I went to my room and said it is risky to preach the gospel here in Romania. I was ready," listen now, "I was ready to risk my life for the truth, but for metaphors I will risk nothing." And he left the seminary, and started working as a teacher.
Now, praise God, later, somebody came and was able to give him the biblical truth and some answers to Weatherhead's attacks on Christianity, and came to a strong, vibrant courageous faith in Christ. And led that Romanian Church. He was persecuted for his faith, and his faith was strong and able to stand firm. But listen, again, what he said, I was ready to risk my life for the truth, but for metaphors I will risk nothing. James Montgomery Boice put it this way, "Christianity is fact. The first issue any inquirer needs to settle is whether it is truly fact or only fiction." Is the Biblical faith only a collection of beautiful, and inspiring stories or, did God actually deliver the Jewish people from Egypt by miracles, at the time of the Exodus. Did he actually bring plagues upon Egypt. Did he actually divide the waters at the Red Sea, and later the waters of the Jordan River.
Did he stop the sun, and the moon in the days of Joshua, at Gibeon above all did he really send his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for the sins of his people, his death for their death, and then rise again triumphantly from the dead. If these things are true, we have a great God in whom we can indeed rejoice we can rejoice even in the worst of times as Habakkuk did. The whole issue is, "Is it true? I want to know, is it true." Christianity is unique in this way. Unlike Buddhism, unlike Hinduism, unlike even Islam, Christianity stands or falls on whether certain historical events occurred or not.
1 Corinthians 15, Paul puts it this way: "If Christ has not been raised, from the dead, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith." In other words, if Christ Resurrection is a myth, if it's just a story then preaching about it is a waste of time, your faith is worthless and you're still in your sins. Christianity relies on historical fact, God's truth is based upon God's acts James Boice put it this way, "The religion of the Bible is not essentially a religion of ideas, although it contains many great ideas, it is essentially a religion of acts." God's mighty acts in history. He sent his son, his son died on the cross, but did not stay dead. But actually in the third day was raised again to life historical fact. And if not then there is no Christianity. And so, what Habakkuk does at this particular crisis in his life at this crisis in Israel's history, he looks back, himself to historical facts that had occurred a long time before that. God's mighty moving in history on behalf of his people. And he derives strength and courage from that and so we see in Habakkuk 3 a movement in Habakkuk as he's praying in the prophet himself a movement from fear to faith.
And he does it all based on a meditation of God's actions in the past, that's what we're seeing in Habakkuk 3. Now, the whole thing, the key to it all is God's immutability, the fact that God never changes. And therefore, God's actions in the past teach us something about his character, it teaches us something about what kind of God he is. Now, he never seems to do the same thing twice. If you notice, have you ever seen any Red Seas parted recently? Have you actually sat on a hill and had Jesus feed you like the 5,000? He doesn't do the same thing again and again, he's infinitely creative, he's always doing new things. But all of those mighty acts in the past, they all teach us something about the character of God. And if there's something you can learn about the character of God, and it was true 2,000 or 4,000 years ago, guess what? It's still true today. God's immutability. His actions show us his character and he never changes. And so, therefore, history, ancient history, even, 600 BC, is actually prophecy. It tells us what God will do again in the future, it tells us how he will act because his character doesn't change.
II. Habakkuk’s Poetical Prayer: Moving Him from Fear to Faith
Now, we're looking at a prayer. Basically Habakkuk 3 is a prayer. It's a poetical prayer, but it's a prayer. Isn't the Bible amazing? We have a prayer here from a prophet long ago and it makes it into the Bible. Therefore, not only is this prayer Habakkuk's word to God, but because it's written down here, it's God's word to us. Isn't that incredible? And so we're reading the prayer of a man who lived a long time ago, and we're seeing something of Habakkuk's personal journey of faith. He's struggling, he's going through hard things. He begins by looking around, in chapter one, at his own people. He sees that the Jews are corrupt, they're evil, they're using their positions of power, as judges or counselors, or authority figures in the land, for their own personal gain, they're wicked and they're sinful. And so he cries out against his own people.
He says, "God, how long are you going to let them go on like this? They're evil, they're doing bad things. How can you let them continue?" God says, "I'm not going to let them continue. I'm going to bring the Babylonian army, and they're going to come in here and they're going to destroy this place, they're going to destroy Jerusalem. They're going to sweep in here like a desert wind, and when they're gone nothing will be left. At that point, Habakkuk felt like he was out of the frying pan into the fire, he's much worse. He said, "God we're bad, but we're not as bad as the Babylonians, they are idolatrous people, they're wicked. How can you use evil Babylonians to destroy your own people? Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, you cannot tolerate wrong. Why are you tolerating injustice? Why are you tolerating the wicked?"
And so he's deeply concerned. And he says... At the beginning of chapter two, he says, "I'm going to stand here and I'm going to wait for you to give me an answer. I don't understand evil in the world. How can you, a good and righteous powerful God, allow evil in history?" Habakkuk 2 is God's timeless answer, four-fold answer, and we've seen it already.
Answer number one, the Babylonian Empire will get theirs in turn. Yes, they'll have their day in the sun, they'll be in charge for a while, 70 years to be precise, but then they are going to fall, and the people that they have conquered will then turn and conquer them. The law of the boomerang, we've already talked about that. What goes around comes around. You live by the sword, you will die by the sword. And so the Babylonian empire is temporary, but guess what?
Secondly, the empire that replaces them is temporary as well, and the empire that replaces them is temporary. As a matter of fact, all human effort apart from God is dust in the wind. All human empires will rise and they will fall, and they will amount to nothing. Is it not from the Lord has not the Lord Almighty, determined that the people's labors only fuel for the fire. The nations exhaust themselves for nothing. Why?
Because lesson number three. Habakkuk 2:14, "The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." God is building an empire for Himself, for his own name's sake, for his glory, and all nations will see the glory of that empire. Now, those three answers are all a big picture aren't they? It's what God's doing with the big tapestry of human history.
What about the individual though? What about the lowly man, woman, and child? What about the individual? Are they going to just get ignored, swept away. No, God's plan is big enough to look down to the single individual and give them a word. Habakkuk 2:4, "The righteous will live by faith." And to that single individual, he speaks and he says, "If you believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and now if you believe in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through faith, in Christ's name, you will live for ever. You'll enter my Kingdom and you'll see my glory." Habakkuk 2, that's his answer.
Habakkuk 3 is Habakkuk's response. He prays and we see him moving from fear to faith. And specifically in verses 3-15, we see that, I think at that point, he's hoping for an encore of God's past actions. He said, "You know God, that time that you moved out in power back then, remember how you did that to Pharaoh's army? Or remember how you did that in Hezekiah's day, when in one night an angel came out, and 185,000 Assyrian troops around the walls of Jerusalem fell down dead in one night. God, would you do it again? Would you move out again and do it again?" And so we saw in verse 2 the last time I preached. Verse 2, it says, "Lord, I've heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds, oh, Lord. Renew them in our day. In our time, make them known. In wrath, remember mercy." he's praying for God to deliver his people. And then from verse 3-15, he's talking about past deliverances. He's looking back in history.
Now, people at Habakkuk's time came to Jeremiah, who was one of Habakkuk's contemporaries and said the exact same thing. Jeremiah 21:1, people said to... Of Jerusalem said to Jeremiah, "Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, is attacking us. Perhaps, the Lord will perform wonders for us, as in times past, so that he will withdraw from us." They were counting on that, right? They're saying, "Please pray that God would do that thing again that he did with the Assyrians a little while ago." They're hoping that God will move out, but God's not going to do that this time because his people have sinned. They're idolaters, they're wicked and then time has come for judgment. And so Habakkuk is praying, but ultimately he is allowing God to be God. Can we even speak that way? God's going to be God, whether you allow him to be or not.
He's powerful, he's mighty, he's strong, but we're going to allow God to be God. In the end, he says, "No matter what God does, I will rejoice in him." Verses 17 and 18. "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produced no food, though there are no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the stalls, yet, I will rejoice in God, my Savior." I will be joyful in him. No matter what happens, no matter what the circumstance of my life, I will rejoice in God."
And so we see the full movement from fear through contemplation of God's past actions up to a confident faith and reliance in him. That's Chapter three.
III. Looking Back: God’s Mighty Deliverances
Now, as we look back at God's mighty deliverances we have a timeless principle in verse six. Look at it. The very end of verse six, it says this, "His ways [namely God's ways] are eternal." Do you see that? God's ways are eternal. He speaks and it stands forever. Heaven and earth pass away, but his words never pass away. And therefore, his actions stand eternally. What he has done in the past, stands for eternity. And so as he moves through, he begins to recount God's powerful acts for Israel. Look at verse three. "God came from Teman the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah his glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the Earth." Now, Teman in Mount Paran is where Mount Sinai was and I think this refers to God coming out from the region of Sinai coming across at the time of the Exodus to protect his people from Pharaoh and his army. He's coming out to protect his people and deliver them.
Deuteronomy 33:2. It says, "The Lord came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; he shone forth from Mount Paran. He came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from his mountain slopes." And so he comes with angels, like God bring them all, bring the whole army and come and protect us, come and deliver us and that's what he does. This is what we call a "theophany." It is God moving down and saying, "Here I am." he did that at the time of the Exodus. That's in Exodus 14. This is one of the most powerful stories in the Bible. "Then the Angel of the Lord who had been traveling in front of Israel's army withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them coming in between the armies of Egypt and Israel." So here's the picture. There's the Red Sea and there is the Jews, their back is up against the sea and they're in trouble. Pharaoh's army, the most powerful in the history of the world at that point, was coming to wipe them out.
And the angel of the Lord comes and stands between the army, between the army and the people of God with a pillar of fire. That's what it says. And so it said, "Throughout the night, the cloud brought darkness to one side and light to the other side." He makes a distinction between his people and his enemies, between his people and his enemies. If you are his people, he protects you. If you are one of his enemies, his wrath is upon you. And so there it is, there's a division and he stands between in the breach. So that neither went near each other all night long. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and all that night the Lord drove the sea back, the Red Sea, with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were thus divided and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them. That was foolish. They chase them into the Red Sea. I would have run the other way, after 10 plagues. But they followed them.
The Lord had hardened their hearts. They followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night, the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into a confusion. He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptian said, "Wait a minute, let's get away from the Israelites because God is fighting for them." That's exactly right. God was fighting for his people, but it was too late for the Egyptians because of the Word of God, the sea came down on top of them and they were destroyed. That is what I think is in Habakkuk's mind as he recites this. Look at verse four. It says, "His splendor was like the sunrise, rays flash from his hand where his power was hidden." This is like lightning and thunder coming from the hand of God.
And then he turns to God's use of plagues and pestilence, the very thing he had destroyed Egypt with before. Verse five, "Plague went before him," it says, "pestilence followed his steps." This is the judgment of God. And then in verse six, "He stood," it says "And shook the earth. He looked or he scanned out, he scoped out the nations, surveyed them and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled, the age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal." So God surveyed the nations and made them tremble. Even though they were like mountains, strong and permanent, powerful. No, they tremble when God just looks at them. He touches the mountains and they smoke. That's the power of God for his people.
Verse seven, "I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish." These are Gentile people, they represent the whole world. God's wrath and his power is there for his people, and that whole army was destroyed at the Red Sea.
For the Sake of His Name
Now you might ask, "Why does God do this?" Well, for many reasons, first of all, just because of his holiness and his righteousness. But also that his name might be proclaimed in all nations. He makes his name great. God's reputation spreads all over the world, people hear of these mighty acts of God, they hear and they tremble. So that when Joshua sends two spies into Jericho, it's the first city that they're going to destroy, there's a prostitute there named Rahab. A single individual but she heard the reputation of God. I heard what you did at the Red Sea, I heard what God did and I know that he is the God, he's the true God, the only God, and she was justified by faith, she trusted in this God and she believed. So why does God make much of his name, why does he make much of his reputation, why does he want his name spread all over the world so that people might call on that name and be saved, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. And so God does these great and mighty acts for the salvation of people but also so that his wrath might be known.
If you are his enemy, his wrath is a terrifying thing. If you're on the wrong side of that divide if you're not among his people, but rather you're among his enemies, his wrath is terrifying. Our God is a great savior, but he's a terrifying enemy, and so that we would flee from the wrath to come, and find salvation through faith in Christ, so that's why he makes much of his great acts and his mighty name. Look at verse eight, "Were you angry with the rivers, O Lord? Was Your wrath against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode with your horses and your victorious chariots?" Were you angry at the Red Sea? Not at all. But rather he came out to deliver his people. Look at verse nine, "You uncovered your bow and you called for many arrows." Bow and arrow, instrument of war this is God at war, and he uncovers his bow and he calls for not just one or two arrows, but handfuls of them, groups of seven, it says, in the Hebrew, it's a tough verse to translate, but I think the NIV does a good job. He uncovers his bow and he calls for lots of arrows, and then suddenly in verse 11, "sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear."
So in verse nine, he calls for the arrows and not just one or two, but lots of them. And then in verse 11, they're flying, they're moving through the air, and when God shoots an arrow it finds its center with deadly accuracy. Oh, flee the wrath to come. Why should God be your enemy because when he centers on you to destroy you, you will not be able to escape, but there is a place of refuge, there is a place of refuge and that place is Jesus Christ. I love this. Look at verse 13. The point of it all is deliverance for his people. "You came out to deliver your people to save your anointed one. You crush the leader of the land of wickedness, You stripped him from head to foot with his own spear, you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us gloating as though about to devour the wretched who are in hiding. You trampled the sea with your horses churning the great waters." The point is deliverance for the people of God, God comes out to save them, he comes out to deliver them.
But who are his people? That's the question, isn't it? Is it the Jewish nation as a whole? Well, most of them were being destroyed that day, most of them were being destroyed when the Babylonians invaded. He's already told us who his people are, it's those who believe in him. The righteous will live, they will survive by what? Faith. If they have no faith they are his enemies and his arrows will find them. But if they believe, simple faith in the eternal God, then he will protect them far greater than the protection I received that day on that hill. He will come out with all of his power and nothing will harm you. He will bring you to eternity forever and ever.
IV. God’s Ultimate Deliverance: Salvation in Christ
His people was not ultimately Israel. All Jewish history leads to one individual, doesn't it? To Jesus Christ? So what does it say in verse 13, "You came out to deliver your people to save your anointed one." What's another word for anointed one? The Greek word is Christ, Hebrew word is Messiah. You came out to deliver your Messiah. Why? Why does that matter? Because Jesus hadn't been born yet, he had a Jewish lineage. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, salvation is from the Jews. If Jewish history ended the day the Babylonians invaded then there would be no salvation for anybody. Why? Because God promised through Abraham's seed all peoples on earth would be blessed and so God had to protect some Jews, he had to keep alive a remnant so that there would be a history. And so, ultimately, the Babylonian Empire would be crushed by another empire, the Persians, and the King of Persia would allow some Jews to go back to the promised land, right, and they would establish or re-establish a Jewish history in that Promised Land, and generations later, Jesus would be born in the fullness of time, Christ would come and why, so that we could call on him and be saved, so that we could have eternal life. And not have to face the wrath of God, not have to face the flying arrows of God because he never misses. He never misses.
And I wondered about Jesus, you know. I've thought about him and I've wondered about Satan concerning Jesus. If you were Satan, what a terrible way to begin a sentence, would you have killed Jesus or not? That's a tough question, isn't it? Prophecies all speak of him dying. Isaiah 53 talks about him as a lamb led to the slaughter. Would you have killed him? I think Satan didn't know what to do with Jesus. Caesarea Philippi one day, Jesus says to his disciples, he says, "Who do the people say I am?" "You are the Christ, the Son of living God," says Peter. A minute later though, Jesus tells him, "I'm going to die on the cross." Peter takes him aside and begins to rebuke him and says, "Never, Lord. This shall never happen to you," and Jesus says to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan. You're a stumbling block to me." Satan was tempting Jesus not to die.
But the night before Jesus was crucified, Satan entered into Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus to death. In the end, Satan wanted to kill Jesus. And so he took a spear, spiritually now, took a spear and point it right at the heart of the Son of God. It's called death. Death on the cross. "Do I throw it or not? Do I throw it or not?" In the end he threw it. Why? Because he hated Jesus, he's a killer, a murderer. Satan, I mean. And so he takes that spear and hurls it at the heart of Jesus and it penetrated his heart. Jesus died on the cross. He did.
But look again at our text. Verse 13 and 14. "You came out to deliver your people to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness." Who's the leader of the land of wickedness? The land of wickedness is Babylon, but then it's the Persians, then it's the Greeks, then it's the Romans, then it's the Barbarians, then it's the Nazis and one empire after another. Who's the real leader of the land of wickedness? It's the devil himself. It's the god of this world. Okay, then Satan must be crushed. Okay. Well, I came out to deliver you from him? To crush you. Well, how am I going to do it?
Look what the text says. Verse 14. "With his own spear, you pierced his head." Okay, so there's a death on a cross coming right at the heart of Jesus and it goes through his heart. But through the powerful and mighty resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day, that spear turned around and came right back at Satan and destroyed his kingdom. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross has destroyed the devil. It's destroyed his kingdom. Somebody's saying then, "Hallelujah, with his own spear you pierced his head." The very thing that God had predicted in the first predictive prophecy back in Genesis 3. "You [Satan] will bruise his heel, but he will crush your head." With his own spear, you pierced his head and you stripped him of all of his plunder." That's us, folks. He rescued us. He delivered his people by the death of Jesus Christ. I bet you never thought this was in Habakkuk 3, but there it is. It's all right there.
V. Application: This Means You!!
What is the application for us? Well, as you look at it, I'm speaking to you, this means you. First and foremost, I'm saying to you that God, if you're a child of God, God is for us. Therefore, be not discouraged or dismayed. I don't care what you're facing. It doesn't matter what could discourage or gets you down. Nothing compares to the invasion of the Babylonians to destroy your hometown. But no matter what you're facing, be not discouraged because God is for us. And so therefore, I urge you to do what Habakkuk does. Think back at God's mighty actions in the past. The beauty of it is, we have even more to think about now, don't we? He didn't have the New Testament. We've got all of Jesus' miracles, including his death on the cross and his mighty resurrection from the dead. Think about it much. If you're depressed this morning, if you're discouraged, if you're going through a hard time, think back to what Jesus did at the cross. Think to what he did when God raised him from the dead. Think of that mighty victory and be not discouraged. If God is for us, who can be against us? Be not discouraged.
Secondly, God is holy, be not presumptuous. God never changes. His eyes are still too pure to look on evil, too pure to look on evil. God is holy, be not presumptuous. Don't presume that all is well with you if you're not a child of God. Do you know what God was doing in Habakkuk's time? He was destroying his own city, his own temple and "Will you escape?" he said in Jeremiah 25:29. That's what I'm doing. Will you escape? God has never changed. He's still holy, be not presumptuous.
Thirdly, God is Savior through Christ. Believe in him. Flee from your sins. Flee from the wrath to come. There is a division between God's people and God's enemies. There is no third category. And if you are not among his people through faith in Christ, then you are among his enemies and his arrows will find you. Flee from the wrath to come and find salvation in Christ. And if you are a child of God nothing shall harm you eternally. God will protect you. He will stand between your foes and you and nothing shall harm you.