November 15, 2020
Scripture: Habakkuk 3:3-16
I. The glory of God comes in salvation.
A. “You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed” (vs. 13). Everything that God does in history He does for a reason. God always acts for the salvation of His people. And in order for Habakkuk to give the people of Israel hope for their future salvation, he told them to look back to their past. The places in vs. 3 refer to how God moved in bringing the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. Habakkuk then reminds Israel of her past to stir up a future expectation of salvation. “If God saved us from the Egyptians in the past, won’t He save us from the Babylonians in the future?”
B. And when God saves us, we see His glory. Usually, when you hear the word glory, you think of brilliant light. And that is what we see when God saves His people in Habakkuk 3. We read in verses 3-4: “His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.” What do we see then when God rises up to save His people? Glory, splendor, majesty, shining excellence, light, beauty. Of course, the primary way that God has acted in history to save His people is through Jesus. And how is Jesus described in John 1:5? “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Jesus is this brilliant, glorious light.
C. God not only shows His power over nature (vs. 4, 8, 11) when He saves. He also shows His power over the nations. In verse 7 we read about a few nations that God had saved Israel from in the days of the Judges. The fact that God saved Israel from powerful nations in the past gave Israel hope that God would save Israel from Babylon in the future. And the same thing is true for us. Listen to what Jesus taught in Matthew 24:30: “Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
II. The glory of God comes in judgment.
A. “You crushed the head of the house of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck” (Hab. 3:13). God will show His glory by coming in judgment for the enemies of God’s people. Habakkuk reminded Israel of how God displayed His wrath against the Egyptians (vs. 5). We will also see the glory of God come in judgment in another way according to vs. 6. God comes in glory, and He stands and looks at the people of the earth. And with His look, He takes the measure of the people.
B. What do you do when you know that it is you who have sinned and deserve God’s judgment? You remember who God is. Psalm 103:10-12: “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
You will see the glory of God come with your own eyes. His glory will come in both salvation and judgment.
The prophecy of Habakkuk
Commentaries on Habakkuk by O. Palmer Robertson and Walter Chantry.
Sermon by Alistair Begg
Sermon Discussion Questions
1) What past events of salvation does Habakkuk refer to in order to encourage Israel regarding her future salvation? In what way is God’s glory described in Habakkuk 3?
2) How do we see God’s power over nature in Habakkuk 3? And how do we see God’s power over the nations in Habakkuk 3?
3) Why is the wrath of God a good thing? How is it possible for you to escape from the wrath of God?