I. THE SILENCE OF GOD IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS THAT THE BELIEVER HAS TO CONTEND WITH.
A. When you pray and it seems that God is not hearing.
1. O Lord how long shall I cry and you will not hear?
2. We have all experienced this kind of a test of faith in our lives.
a. We pray for a situation and nothing seems to change.
b. Or what is even worse, sometimes the situation even gets worse.
B. Habakuk was concerned about the moral conditions of the nation.
1. The people had turned their backs on God.
2. They had forsaken the law of the Lord.
3. As a result, violent crimes were becoming common place.
a. He speaks of the spoiling or the robberies.
b. People had no conscience against taking something that belonged to someone else.
c. It was not safe to go out on the streets.
5. The law was being slacked.
a. That is the law enforcement agencies were not able to keep up with the rising crime rate.
b. There was not even a diligent attempt to enforce the laws in many areas, because the problem of lawlessness had become so great.
4. There was a breakdown in the judicial system, and true justice was not being served.
a. If a criminal was apprehended, he would usually get off with such a light sentence that there was no real deterrent to crime.
b. There was a breakdown of the social order.
5. The forces of wickedness prevailed over the righteous and therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
a. The wicked gained control of the government, they wrote the laws.
b. The legislation seemed to favor the wicked, and punish the righteous if they sought to stand up against the wickedness.
C. The prophet was frustrated by what he was observing because God did not seem to answer his prayers for changes.
1. Why do you even show me these things that are happening if you are not going to do anything about it?
2. I think his frustration is much like the frustration that we are feeling today as we watch the moral decline in our nation.
3. We are appalled by the legislation that is being proposed, yet we feel so helpless to do anything about it.
4. Jesus said that the children of this world, in this generation, are wiser than the children of light.
a. It would seem that they devised a strategy to take over the public education system, so that they could control the minds of the children.
b. They took over the media, so that they could control the minds of the adults. They learned the effective use of propaganda, so that they can form the opinions of the masses.
c. You do not have true news reporting today, you have a slanted view that is designed to create a mind set in you.
5. In the letters to the editors, they are not truly representative of the letters that are received.
a. When Dr. Shuller backed off from the support of a judge who he discovered advocated the legalizing of drugs, and it was reported in the papers.
b. Later in the letters to the editors column of the L.A. Times, they printed several letters that blasted Dr. Shuller for his stand. Absolutely no letters were published that supported his stand. I would be willing to bet that there were many letters that supported his stand, but the liberal editorial staff chose not to publish them.
6. The wicked encircle the righteous therefore wrong judgment proceeds. The common ignorant people draw wrong conclusions. If you did not have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, you would also be as desensitized to the evil as the rest of the world.
II. THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT IS WORSE THAN THE SILENCE OF GOD AND THE FEELLING THAT GOD IS DOING NOTHING, AND THAT IS: NOT UNDERSTANDING GOD WHEN HE BEGINS TO WORK.
A. God told the troubled prophet that He was doing a work in his days that if he were told, he would not believe it.
1. The prophet was crying, "God you are not doing anything." God answered, "I am doing something, and if you were told what I was doing, you would not believe it.
2. Through the prophet Isaiah God had declared, "My ways are not your ways, for My ways are beyond your finding out."
a. I am convinced that God's ways are better than my ways.
b. That His ways are wiser than my ways.
3. I do not always understand what God is doing. I do not need to understand, all I need is to trust in Him.
a. This is where my faith is tested.
b. Trusting the work of God though I cannot understand it.
B. As God began to reveal His plan to the prophet things only seemed to get worse in the mind of the prophet.
1. God said that He was raising up the Babylonians who were going to march through the breadth of the land and possess it.
2. They were going to destroy the nation and take the remainder of the people into captivity.
C. This announcement astounded the prophet.
1. God, you are the true God who has existed forever.
2. You mean that you have ordained them for judgment?
3. You are going to use them to correct us?
4. You so pure that You cannot behold evil.
5. Why would You a allow the wicked to devour a nation that is more righteous than they?
a. O God, admittedly we are bad, but they are worse.
b. I cannot understand why you would do this.
D. I am going to go and sit in the tower and wait to see what you will say to me, and frame an answer when you reprove me.
E. The Lord spoke to him while he was sitting in the tower, and gave him a truth, and a word by which he could survive the coming holocaust.
1. "The soul that is lifted up, is not right."
2. "The just shall live by His faith."
3. He was going to need this word if he were to survive the great calamity that was coming.
4. Things are not going to get better, but they will get worse.
III. THE FAITH TO SURVIVE AS IT WAS MANIFESTED IN THE PROPHET.
A. I heard what you said, and it frightened me.
1. I don't know why you are doing what you are doing, but just keep on doing it.
a. "Revive thy work" or literally keep alive Your work."
b. Don't stop Lord.
c. I may be afraid, but my trust is in you.
2. In the days in which your wrath comes, remember mercy.
B. He saw next the vision of God as He was now doing a work of awesome judgment upon the earth.
C. His faith was steadfast in the Lord to preserve His people.
1. Although the fig tree shall not blossom.
2. Though there is no fruit in the vine.
3. The olive trees are barren.
4. There is no grain in the fields.
5. The flock is cut off from the fold.
6. There is no herd in the stalls.
D. You cannot get more desperate or desolate than this.
E. "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
1. The word translated rejoice in the Hebrew is literally, jump up and down.
2. The word translated joy is literally spin around.
3. An exuberant joy, such as is often manifested at games.
F. How could this possibly be?
1. He knows that God will take care of those who trust fully in Him.
2. That God has resources that we know nothing about.