Habakkuk – Chaldean details – Part 1
I became a believer in Jesus Christ in September 1981. I have never really been interested in Bible prophecy. Looking back on it, one reason is the conclusions people were drawing seemed highly subjective. You’d hear one person give their opinion, then someone else would declare a completely different meaning of the same passage of scripture. Also, a significant amount of their explanations was the attempt to assign modern day explanations to the prophetic symbolism, which no one really agreed upon. I quickly concluded there was no decisive way to understand prophecy, so I abandoned it altogether. Another reason I never became interested in Bible prophecy is it seemed that those who talked about it, talked about nothing else. There was little to no discussion about the Christian faith, Christian beliefs, or their own personal walk with the Lord. I deemed this prophecy declaring group shallow individuals and turned my back on the subject.
So now, almost thirty-eight years later why am I becoming interested in Bible prophecy? Well, a few different reasons. The primary reason is I have since discovered that nothing in the Bible is “highly subjective”. We can, and must, employ a sound and consistent method of studying the scriptures. A method designed to discover, not determine the meaning of a passage.
The second reason I have become interested in Bible prophecy is I’ve learned something that I did not know back then. Nearly one-third of the Holy Bible contains predictive prophecy. That being the case, God surely must intend for us to have some understanding of prophecy since it occupies such a significant portion of the scriptures.
The fourth reason I have become interested in Bible prophecy is I’ve learned that the vast majority of predictive Bible prophecy has already been fulfilled! Comparatively, very little prophecy is yet future to us.
I know I could enumerate several more reasons why I have a recent interest in Bible prophecy, but the fifth reason I’ll state is my most recent discovery. To my delight and amazement, I have discovered that more often than not the prophecy of the event is where you will find, if not the most, then certainly additional detail about the actual historical event recorded.
For example, if you want to know what was going on in the mind of Christ during His crucifixion you will not find much in the gospel accounts. You must turn to Biblical, predictive prophecy given around 700 years before Christ was even born, found in Psalm 22. I would challenge you to read the gospel accounts of the crucifixion and Psalm 22 together.
With this as a backdrop let’s once again peer into the first chapter of Habakkuk. In our previous discussion, we said the first four verses tell us of Habakkuk’s confusion turned to prayer basically asking God, “why aren’t you doing anything about all of this wickedness?”
Habakkuk 1:5 introduces God’s answer to Habakkuk’s prayer.
5 “Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you.
As a contemporary person have you ever asked the question, “why doesn’t God do anything about all this wickedness”? I believe God’s answer to the question is the same for us today as it was for Habakkuk in 605 B.C.
“Look among the nations and watch—”. We need to keep this verse in context. We dare not use it as a proof text pulled inappropriately from the pages of Scripture into modern times. However, we would be amiss were we not to recognize its timeless nature. Do you want to witness what God will do? Look among the nations! You truly will be astounded. God always has, and always will work a work among the nations.
We know that the Assyrians carried the Nothern Kingdom into captivity in 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom called Judah, Habakkuk’s people should have learned from them to repent from their wickedness and turn back to God. They did not learn and they did not repent. In 605 BC God tells Habakkuk, “watch what I’m about to do”.
In verse 6 God tells Habakkuk He will raise up the Chaldeans (Babylonians) against Judah.
6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans,
A bitter and hasty nation
Which marches through the breadth of the earth,
To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
Next time I want to consider what God says about the Chaldeans.
If you’d like to get a jump on our next study lookup the word “hasty” in a Hebrew lexicon.
Why should we care about Biblical predictive prophecy? Because God put it in His message to mankind, the Holy Bible.
Can we understand Biblical predictive prophecy? Of course, we can if we will understand that the Bible is God revealing His will and His future actions to us. We also must understand that the Bible is meant to be understood literally, and it must be studied to be correctly perceived.
Every time I ponder the Word of God I am amazed at His sovereignty and goodness. The depths of Yahweh’s love and His intense desire for us to understand His message is far more than we could ever deserve.
He truly is worthy of all praise, worship, and obedience!
All Scripture Quotes from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.