Today’s Bible Reading: Habakkuk 1-3:19; Revelation 9:1-21; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 30:10
Today we read the writings of the prophet Habakkuk who has some very heavy questions for God. Habakkuk looked at the violence and injustice around him in the nation of Judah. He wondered where God was, and why God did not set things right (Habakkuk 1:2). God is perfectly fine with us questioning Him. Doing so shows that we are paying attention to the world around us and notice that things are not as God desires. But the key is being open to hearing God’s response. We have the questions. But we don’t have the answers.
Notice too that Habakkuk is distressed over all the sin he sees (Habakkuk 1:3). We should be appalled at the state of the world, our country, and even our own lives. God wants us to recognize sin and be disturbed by it. Sadly, most people don’t fit this description. We actually call “good” that which God calls “sin” such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and the like.
Even though it may seem like God is not dealing with the evil that is in the world, He has it all under control (Habakkuk 1:5). In Habakkuk’s case, God was preparing the cruel and violent Babylonians to come and conquer sinful Judah (Habakkuk 1:6). This is the reason why I would not be surprised if God used some other country or group of people to destroy the United States.
But notice that the conquering nations are not guilt-free (Habakkuk 1:11). God allows them to do what is naturally in their hearts, but that does not free them from the consequences of their own sin. God is actually using the sin of one nation to judge the sin of other nations. Our sin gives God an inexhaustible supply of fuel with which to judge.
Habakkuk’s response is great. He waits for God’s response (Habakkuk 2:1). How often do we pray for something then give up on it because God takes longer than we’d like in answering? So when God’s response does come, nobody’s home because we’ve taken matters into our own hands. God isn’t slow. He’s always right on time. It is we who are impatient.
God had people write down the Bible so that its message would be recorded correctly (Habakkuk 2:2). Mormonism claims the Bible was recorded incorrectly and God eventually called Joseph Smith to write down the “correct” version. This is not true and is proven by the fact that the Mormons have abandoned much of their original doctrine including polygamy and their stance on women and non-Caucasians. Likewise, Catholicism has an evolving doctrine similar to Mormonism in that it officially changes over time. None of this is biblical. God authored the Bible one time so that we would have the correct information we need. Religions such as Catholicism and Mormonism don’t accept this because they want to raise the importance and intelligence of man to a level it does not deserve. This is simply pride.
Yesterday Proverbs told us that too much wealth is not a good thing. This is confirmed by God’s words to Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:13). We work so hard to acquire wealth but it is all in vain. All we need is what we need. We think anything above that will provide security but that is not true (Habakkuk 2:9). God is the only true security. If we have a relationship with Him through Jesus, we are safe.
More judgements come upon the earth in our reading in Revelation today and they are worse than the ones that came before. The ones we will read about today are truly demonic. When the fifth trumpet is sounded locust-like beings emerge from the “bottomless pit”, perhaps a reference to hell (Revelation 9:1-3). They will be given authority to torment anyone who does not belong to God (Revelation 9:4-5).
We must remember that at this point in history evil will be more widespread on the earth than ever before. People all over the planet, led by the antichrist, will be on a crusade to kill all Christians and eliminate God from the planet. God’s response will be proportionate. He will have to use extraordinary and supernatural efforts to get their attention. None of this has to happen. The human race can avoid all of this if we would just turn back to God now. But as we can see from reading current events, we are rapidly moving in the completely opposite direction.
While people alive during the Tribulation may think that things on earth are in complete chaos. God won’t. He will have everything under control including the exact amount of time these locust things will exist (Revelation 9:5).
The next trumpet brings the sixth trumpet judgement (13th overall) which is the death of one-third of the population on the earth (Revelation 9:13-16). Back in Revelation 6:8 we read that 25% of the earth’s population would be killed during the wars and famine brought on by the antichrist. The sixth trumpet judgement kills 33% of the remaining 75% (leaving 50% of the original total at the time the Tribulation started).
All this is happening in just seven years and with God’s full knowledge and approval. In fact, He already knows that He is going to have to do all this and has set aside an appointed time when it will occur (Revelation 9:15).
Sadly, even all this horror will not be enough to turn the human race back to Him (Revelation 9:20-21). Human beings are quite stupid, aren’t we? We cling to sin so tightly because we think it is the truth. We refuse to believe that we might be wrong. And the lengths God has to go to try to make us realize that… its amazing how stubborn we are.
Thirteen judgements down. Eight to go.
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