“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.”
The record of this servant of God began with presumptuous accusations against God and the impudence to infer that He is not Lord over all. This was indeed a burden upon Chavakkuk which consumed his emotions and agitated his mind. He did not imagine that there was wickedness in the land or that that violence was rampant any more than was deceived by the feelings of grief at the strife and contention that beset him. His carnal understanding of the sovereignty of God coupled together with his temporal concept of the Law of God caused confusion in his mind and depression in his soul. These things vexed him as deeply as the wickedness of the great cities vexed the soul of righteous Lot.
This grief was necessary as the schoolmaster brought Chavakkuk to ‘embrace’ the truth. Truth is absolute in God. He is truth and His name is Faithful and True. All the works of His hands are verity and judgment and His commandments are sure (Ps. 111:7). His children, born of the incorruptible, eternal seed know the truth yet while they are partakers of flesh and blood they are shown the truth in Messiah. The Spirit of God within gives an appreciation for the truth through a clear demonstration and effectual manifestation of that which loves and makes a lie, Adam. As the children grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, Adam and his ways are revealed, thus daily as the outer man perishes the inward man is renewed in the truth. Chavakkuk was shown the villainy and corruption of this present evil generation as the precursor of the understanding of the reign of the King.
The Spirit taught this servant in a manner that brought him from a burden, which he most likely never lost until he put off this tabernacle, to a supplication which was made after he ‘went astray’ (Heb. ‘shaga’). Before he went astray he was not yet properly prepared to receive the beautiful lesson and so the path ordained for him to walk was that of ‘erring because of ignorance’. He first needed to be brought into the valley of Achor (trouble), past Mt. Nebo (prophet) where he thought more highly of himself than he ought and into the wilderness where the Heavenly Father gave him the truth. Here he stood alone with no man to instruct, no commentary to read and no Adamic theology to confuse him as Yehovah revealed to him that “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea” (2:14). In the midst of the civil unrest, governmental intrusion, incompetence and moral decay of the country Almighty God gave comfort to His child in the assurance that nothing was out of place, without absolute control or contrary to His eternal Will.
“Yehovah I have heard the report of you and I fear...”
The Word of God is ever present and all His creation evidently declares His majesty. He has spoken (given His report) to men of old who stand as examples of the “suffering affliction and of patience” (James 5:10). Yet in these last days he has given His report by His Son, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among His people. This is the same report that was in the beginning and shall ever be. It is not augmented and adjusted for an ‘ever changing world’. His Word is immutable as He is unchangeable for; “I know that whatsoever God does it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it for God does it and men should fear before Him” (Ecc. 3:14).
And so, only those born of the Spirit can know the truth for; “he that is of God hears God’s words”. Only those who are given ears to hear can hear the report given to them by the Spirit which bears witness with their spirit that they are the sons of God. This report, therefore, cannot be a report of man for all have heard and followed that report for it is an account of earthly things. Those unto whom the arm of Yehovah is revealed shall hear the testimony and only when the Father is pleased to reveal these things to them can they hear, even though it may prick against them for many years. Chavakkuk was prepared, made ready and given to hear the report.
Jesus spoke the report of Yehovah as He stood in the Temple and taught the people. The religious leaders of the time, those of prominence, wealth and fame made many accusations against the Anointed One of Israel but they could not hear the report. They were of the same lump of clay as all other vessels fashioned from the dust of the earth yet they were of their father, the Devil. The report which Messiah gave was not for them; “Why do you not understand My speech? Even because you cannot hear My word” (John 8:43). The Word of God is only for His people; to all others it is unlawful to speak.
This report was at this time prepared for this servant and at the appointed time it was heard and was effectual. The gospel which Chavakkuk heard was that of the sovereign right of God to rule over all His creation, the absolute authority over all things, whatsoever comes to pass and the power of Yehovah to deliver. When he heard this testimony and saw as God gave him eyes to see, he was strickened with the reality that; “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). This was the same response that Isaiah experienced when he saw the beauty of His Holiness; “Then said I, woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips for mine eyes have seen the King, Yehovah of Hosts” (Is. 6:5). Jeremiah understood his inadequacies as he proclaimed “behold I cannot speak for I am a child” yet the Lord said; “Say not, I am a child, for you shall go to all that I shall send you and whatsoever I command you that you shall speak. Be not afraid of their faces for I am with you to deliver you saith Yehovah” (1:16ff) and when the truth was opened unto Saul of Tarsus, he fell to the earth, was strickened blind and cried out “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5). The presence of the truth in the report of the Spirit of God is a fearful thing for it manifestly declares the glory and power of God and the wretched, vile, impudence of man. Chavakkuk was taught of the Spirit therefore he knew the truth and the truth set him free.
“God came from Teman and the Holy One from mount Paran” (3:3)
The directional points given by God to the nation of Israel were not dictated by a compass, a map or any inventions of man. The east is the rising of the sun and the direction that the door of the Tabernacle always faced. Teman (south) is to the right and represents the authority of the King to rule in peace. God brought forth His people out of the land of captivity in the south and by His holy arm He delivered them. He alone has the power and the right to perform all the intent of His heart. He came forth out of the wilderness and into the ‘great house’ (Pharaoh); “even for this same purpose have I raised you up that I might shew My power in you and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth”. His alone is the power and the glory and although there is a magnificent type set forth in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt yet it is minute in the comparison to the fact that God and all His works are from His right hand. This is the place of the beginning and the end where all is performed and comes to pass according to the good pleasure and the power of His Will. Here Messiah is seated as He finished His work from the foundation of the world and here the sheep of Yehovah find rest (Matt. 25:33).
Chavakkuk could not see the exalted glory and abundance (Mt. Paran) of the hand of God in the affairs of the nations of this world. Herein he was angry and accused God of improprieties. When the Spirit communicated the righteousness of God, revealed from faith to faith and impossible to be proven by temporal evidences to Adam, Chavakkuk knew that “His glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of His praise”, He was given to understand that Yehovah, Most High God, is seated in heaven as He rules over the kingdoms of this world and gives them unto whomsoever He wills, which are the basest of men (Dan. 4:17). Chavakkuk proclaimed that out of the hand of God came forth the leaders and governments of this world. Every step of the armies of man with all their atrocities and oppressions proceed from the ‘horns’ that are in the hand of God. God has hidden the perfection and beauty of His power in these things which every man looks upon but no man can find. This was revealed for hope and comfort to a child of grace by the loving Father, “whose dominion is an eternal dominion and His kingdom from generation to generation and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing as He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:34ff). The result of this leadership and instruction of the Spirit of God is why Chavakkuk cried out as a child to his Father; “in wrath remember mercy”.
“I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble” (3:7).
The power and wonder of Almighty God may indeed be seen with the eyes of Adam yet having eyes to see man does not perceive. He looks upon the magnificence of the creation and his mind develops the conjecture of evolution. He espies the courses of the heavens and extrapolates with finite reasoning the origin of the universe in complete deference to the Creator for these things has God put into his heart.
The earthen vessels of the children of the Spirit are subject to the same vanities as every other vessel fashioned from the dust of the earth. These however have a point of reference which enables them to see the vanity and feel the bondage of this corruption. They are made aware of the exacting demands of God’s perfection by the Spirit within as well as the inabilities of man to measure up to that standard. Thus the ‘habitation of darkness’ (tents of Cushan) is in ‘distress’, ‘sorrow’ and ‘weakness’ because of the ‘iniquity’ (affliction) within. The law of the natural man delights after the things of this world yet the incorruptible seed delights in the Law of God after the inward man. These two are incompatible for the flesh lusts after the Spirit: “But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rms. 7:23).
The children as they are made partakers of flesh and blood dwell in a land of strife (Midian) because of the sufferings of this present time. Though for a time appointed of the Father, they walk according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience, yet when it pleases the Father He removes that veil (curtain). This revelation is not a quickening or a new birth but the manifestation of that which has been from the beginning. The chosen vessel is declared and the warfare realized as the veil is lifted and the groaning of the Spirit within is discovered. Though this veil is not completely removed until such time as the body of this death is dissolved, yet, as through a glass darkly, the strangers and pilgrims of hope see the gory of God.
The bow of God according to His righteousness has been made bare. He has roared out of Zion upon the white horse conquering and to conquer. His judgment against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of man has been revealed and the Lamb of God has endured the wrath of God against the sin of His people. Indeed all that is exalted is made low (mountains) and all who are abased under the burdens of sin have been brought forth (valley). The brightness of His power has gone forth as lightning as the accuser of the brethren is cast out for “Yehovah has made bare His Holy arm in the eyes of all nations and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Is. 52:10).
The types and foreshadows of the law have been abolished as the sun and moon stood still in their habitation and “the host of heaven shall be dissolved and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll” (Is. 34:4). Messiah has come forth as Noah from the ark unto a new heaven and a new earth. The old has passed away and behold all things are new. His children walk in newness of life as they are manifested in the New Covenant wherein the Spirit causes them to walk in the statutes and commandments of God. The Prince of Peace has protected the children given unto Him of the Father and has raised them up in the last days and in the New Jerusalem there is “no need of the sun neither of the moon to shine in it for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev. 21:23).
“Thou wentest forth for the salvation of His people, the salvation of thine anointed” (3:13)
He has “wounded the head out of the house of the wicked by discovering the foundation unto the neck”. The promise of God given in the garden was of justice and vengeance against the serpent and upon the seed of the serpent which is the house of the wicked (Gen. 3:15). He is the creator of all things, for by Him, for Him and through Him are all things made. His purpose and the intent of His heart are for His Beloved; “I am my Beloved’s and His desire is toward me” (Song 7:10).
The wickedness which Chavakkuk saw in the world is true and factual yet it is intrinsically part and parcel to the intent of the heart of Yehovah God. The heart of the king is in His hand and He turns it like the rivers of waters, the wrath of man praises Him though it is condemned and judged by a righteous Judge and He has put it in their hearts to accomplished His purpose and fulfill His Holy Will. The natural man finds it a confusing subject that the very foundation of wickedness should be in the hands of and pursuant to the perfect will of God for these are things most wonderful and past finding out. When he hears such things, his belly trembles, his lips quiver, rottenness enters into his bones and he trembles within himself for he finds no rest in the day of trouble (3:16). This is the testimony of the Spirit of God in the prisoners of hope which causes them to cry out in earnest expectation of the deliverance and the manifestation of the sons of God (Rms. 8:19).
The frail, carnal and corrupt characteristics of Adam cause him to walk after sight, sound, hearing and the limited capacities of his nature. The child of grace walks by faith and when the fullness of time was come and the Anointed Servant had made Himself of no reputation He fulfilled the Law of God and abolished the handwriting of ordinances, nailing them to the cross. All the mysticism, glamour and spectacle of the patterns were dissolved. The fig tree, whose leaves Adam used to present his righteousness before God, neither blossomed nor gave fruit for it has been cursed of God and withered (Joel 1:12). The vine has brought forth wild grapes and has been struck and destroyed by the husbandman (Is. 5:5 & Amos 4:9). The work of the anointing according to the oil pressed from the olive has no more power or use as the Anointing from on high is of the Spirit of God. There is no fruit in the labours of man in the field of the earth but yet the fields (good ground afore prepared of God and planted with good seed – Matt. 13::23) are ripe unto the harvest unto God. The flock of the nation of people of Israel has been separated from the fold of the Israel of our God as His sheep hear His voice and follow Him and there are no herds held captive in the stalls anymore. The herds of God, of every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue, have one Shepherd over them. He leads them in the paths of righteousness for His name sake as they walk in the footsteps of the flock. No longer are they burdened with the weak and beggarly elements of this world or subjugated to the judgment of eating, drinking and the observance of days. These walk in the perfect liberty of God wherein unto the pure, all things are pure.
The Anointed of Yehovah came forth to redeem His people from the house of the strong man. He who knew no sin became the sin of His people and he removed that inability in Adam as far as the east is from the west, never to be called into account again. He stood condemned according to the Law of God and for His sin He was judged, yet He was found righteous; “because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth; yet it pleased Yehovah to bruise Him” (Is. 53:9). Therefore by His stripes His children are healed, when, in the end of the world, He entered into that sanctuary not made with hands and His soul was made an offering for sin. Justice had been served, vengeance was satisfied and the wrath of God suffered and “He shall see the of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied, by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many for He shall bear their iniquities”.
The salvation of the Anointed of God is not for the potential deliverance of His seed for in Him are all things accomplished. He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God and His people are seated together with Him in the heavenlies. They sing the song of deliverance which no man can know and they praise His name for He alone is worthy yet while they are still in the dwelling of this habitation, they rejoice in the testimony of a finished work in Him. They are grieved because the Father has made them subject to the vanity of this existence but they are mindful that this subjugation is in hope of the glory to be revealed. They are burdened with the weight and sin which does so easily beset them yet they know that Yehovah God is their strength and they can do all things through Him. As they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will they learn that this world is not their home and they long for Jerusalem.
Chavakkuk confessed that although all the types and foreshadows were removed and the testimonies to the natural senses had vanished, yet he would rejoice in Yehovah God of his deliverance. He did not need the type for he had experienced the fulfillment. He began embracing the natural conditions of the world and had concluded that God was not in control. When the Spirit taught him the truth and set him free from the limitations of the carnal mind, which is enmity against God, he embraced the wonders of the sovereignty of God. This is as absolute a sovereignty as God is completely joined together as one with nothing amiss or deficient for it is the Word of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
“I know you are able to do all and that nothing can thwart your purpose” (Job 42:2).
The Father teaches His children in and through trials and tribulations. He showed His servants the corruption and wickedness of this world and then revealed His sovereignty over all. His command is absolute and this is the comfort and assurance of the strangers and sojourners in this weary land. Herein do they understand and know the number of man wherein is wisdom (Rev. 13:18) and herein do they find that peace which passes all understanding. The Anointing in you is the hope of glory, the anticipation of the manifestation of the sons of God and the deliverance from the bondage of this corruption, the body of this death.
This lesson could be learned no other way as it was perfectly taught of God to His dear children.
“Look thou upon and be merciful to me as you usest to do unto those that love thy name. Order my steps in thy Word and let not iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man; so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant and teach me thy statutes” (Ps. 119:132ff).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirles
November 9, 2014