Daily Archives: July 24, 2019

‘Tensions have never been higher’: Germany caught between right-wing & Islamic ‘radicalism’ — RT World News

Germany is facing both right-wing and Islamic radicalism as the two extremist factions feed on fear to increase their support in the country. RT looks at the worrying trend and how it can be tackled. 

A suspect in the recent assassination of a pro-migrant politician is believed to have extensive ties to far-right groups. On the other end of the spectrum, police last week arrested a German man of Lebanese descent for plotting an “imminent” terrorist attack.

“Both of these sides are feeding off each other, and both of them have to be crushed,” Bijan Tavassoli, a member of the German Left party, told RT said, warning that “the tension has never been higher, and it’s still increasing.”

Watch full report by RT’s Peter Oliver.

War Drums: Europe Readies A Naval Task Force As Iran Threatens To “Secure” The Strait Of Hormuz | The Economic Collapse

It is funny – for decades we have never had any problems with commercial ships passing through the Persian Gulf, but all of a sudden it has become a major flashpoint.  As you will see below, the Iranians are now warning that they plan to “secure” the Strait of Hormuz, and meanwhile a plan for a European-led naval task force to confront the Iranians is rapidly coming together.  The seizure of a British tanker a few days ago really rattled British officials, and they are determined to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  Of course the more the Persian Gulf region becomes saturated with military assets, the more likely it is that a “mistake” will happen, and it sure won’t take much of a spark to start World War 3 at this point.

Today, close to 20 percent of all the oil produced in the entire world passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and that makes it an exceedingly important waterway.  U.S. and European officials continue to stress the importance of freedom of navigation through the area, and they appear to be losing patience with the Iranians.

But Iran does not intend to back down one bit.  On Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that his country “will use its best efforts” to secure the Strait of Hormuz.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

“Iran will use its best efforts to secure the region, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, and will not allow any disturbance in shipping in this sensitive area,” Araqchi told French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, IRNA reported.

So what does that mean exactly?

Do the Iranians plan to keep grabbing oil tankers whenever it suits them?

The seizure of the Stena Impero pushed us dangerously close to war, and the British government is still hoping that negotiations will result in the release of that tanker.

However, the British also plan to flex their military muscles in order to keep such an incident from happening again, and they are calling for other European nations to join them

France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, three senior EU diplomats said on Tuesday.

The cautious backing at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels contrasts sharply with the lukewarm response shown by European allies to a similar American call first voiced at NATO in late June, when countries feared they could make U.S.-Iranian tensions worse.

Could this be the very beginning of a “coalition of the willing”?

According to Reuters, this task force would likely include “aircraft too”, and that is definitely raising some eyebrows…

British foreign ministry and defense officials have also discussed a possible mission, which would likely involve not just ships but aircraft too, directly with their Italian, Spanish, French and German counterparts.

A senior German diplomat in Berlin said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was in close contact with his British and French counterparts, Hunt and Jean-Yves Le Drian, to “contribute to the security” of the Gulf including on maritime security.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is making headlines as well.  In an interview with CBS News, CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie claimed that U.S. forces may have actually shot down at least two Iranian drones last week…

The U.S. believes it may have brought down two Iranian drones last week, rather than just the one that has been reported, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told CBS News’ David Martin in an interview Tuesday aboard the USS Boxer, the ship that took action against the drones. Asked by Martin whether it was “only one drone,” McKenzie revealed that he believed the Boxer had engaged two drones “successfully” and perhaps even more.

“As always it was a complex tactical picture, we believe two drones. We believe two drones were successfully — there may have been more that we are not aware of — those are the two that we engaged successfully,” said McKenzie.

We should be very thankful that there is no more shooting for the moment, but that could change at any time.

And even if things stabilize in the short-term, the truth is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult to stop the countdown to war at this point.  The U.S. and Israel have both made it exceedingly clear that they will never allow the Iranians to develop their nuclear program past a certain level, and the Iranians have been racing to move their program forward ever since the U.S. left Obama’s nuclear agreement.

Unless there is some sort of crazy miracle and another nuclear agreement happens, it appears that war is on the horizon.

Also, I wanted to mention that we just witnessed a very alarming “incident” off the coast of South Korea on Tuesday…

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement claiming they had fired more than 300 warning shots at a Russian A-50 command and control military aircraft early Tuesday morning after it had twice violated the country’s airspace, the first such incident between the countries.

Moscow furiously denied Seoul’s account of the encounter, claiming that South Korean military jets had dangerously intercepted two of its bombers during a planned flight over neutral waters.

That is a huge number of “warning shots”, and it is yet another example of how tense things are all over the world at this point.

Without a doubt, we are living during a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and once World War 3 begins we will not be able to stop it.

So let us pray for peace, because the alternative is too horrible to even think about right now.
— Read on theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/war-drums-europe-readies-a-naval-task-force-as-iran-threatens-to-secure-the-strait-of-hormuz

Jim Jordan Discusses Last Minute Addition of Zebley, and Mueller Expectations… — The Last Refuge

Representative Jim Jordan discusses his perspective on the last minute addition of Aaron Zebley to protect the collective interests of the DOJ/FBI small group and coup-plotters.

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It’s worth noting how the DOJ quickly promoted Aaron Zebley to the position of “Deputy Special Counsel” just yesterday to afford: (1) increased justification; and (2) enhanced credibility, for their narrative.

via Jim Jordan Discusses Last Minute Addition of Zebley, and Mueller Expectations… — The Last Refuge

Must-see or much ado? Mueller testimony in Congress to rehash ‘Russiagate’ — RT USA News

Americans who somehow missed the ‘Russiagate’ book can now see the movie adaptation, namely former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before two committees of Congress. A must-see event, or much ado about nothing?

Mueller will appear before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on Wednesday, four months after he concluded his investigation into Democrats’ allegations that Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia during the 2016 US presidential elections – finding nothing to substantiate that claim. 

Democrats, who had who had pinned their hopes of forcing Trump out of the Oval Office on Mueller, quickly pivoted from disappointment to outrage, arguing that his 448-page report released in mid-April proved the president had engaged in obstruction of justice. 

Mueller was initially reluctant to testify, telling reporters at the end of May that the report was self-explanatory and that he had nothing to add to it.

We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. The report is my testimony.

He was originally scheduled to appear on July 17, but the testimony was delayed by a week. There were reports on Tuesday that he requested his chief of staff Aaron Zebley to be sworn in, along with speculation as to what that might mean.

Republicans are expected to grill Mueller on the origins of his probe, the role of former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – infamous for anti-Trump texts exchanged during their extramarital affair – the role of the “dossier”compiled by British spy Christopher Steele and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as well as any other flaws and inconsistencies in the report.

Also on rt.com

Democrats, on the other hand, intend to milk the hearings for maximum publicity, live-tweeting the key moments with hashtags prepared beforehand and have celebrities reading from the special counsel’s report, all in an effort to paint Trump as a threat to “our democracy.”

The party’s strategy was outlined in a six-page memo from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), doubling up on the claims that the Clinton campaign first made in July 2016.

“Mueller’s report uncovered the truth behind one of the most serious attacks on our democracy in our history,” the memo said, adding that “the Russians waged an all-out, systematic assault on the 2016 elections to benefit Donald Trump.”

Pelosi pledged the Democrats would “investigate, litigate, legislate” in defense of “our sacred Constitution.” She did not, however, mention the word “impeach.” Though a growing number of Democrats have eagerly jumped on that bandwagon since the Mueller report came out, last week’s vote on an impeachment motion was defeated.

Also on rt.com

Mueller may have failed to deliver on the years of hype, but the media and politicians pushing the “Russiagate” conspiracy simply have no choice but to keep going – and in the absence of anything better, beating a dead horse will just have to do. 

Restaurants and bars across the Washington, DC area are already promoting their food and drink specials, with journalists and political operatives expected to huddle around television sets, hanging onto Mueller’s every word. But for the remaining 330 million or so Americans, it will be just another Wednesday.

— Read on www.rt.com/usa/464908-mueller-congress-testimony-russiagate/

On Boris Johnson – CultureWatch

As you would know – or should know – the Conservative Party in Britain has a new leader, and the nation now has a new Prime Minister: Boris Johnson. He easily beat his nearest challenger Jeremy Hunt in a two-to-one vote, and has now replaced Teresa May for the top job.

If a Christian or a conservative were to ask me what I make of all this, I would give a very brief response as follows: he is a real mixed bag. He is hardly a conservative on some matters – he has no problems with homosexuality for example, and his own personal life has been all rather rocky, with various marriages, affairs and mistresses. But on some other areas of concern, such as Islam, or immigration, or Brexit, he could be much better than folks like May were.

The 55-year-old is an interesting character to say the least. One might make some comparisons to Trump – to a limited degree, although that comparison might better lie with Nigel Farage. But Trump has said that Johnson is a “really good man” and has already referred to “Britain Trump”! He said this: “They’re saying ‘Britain Trump’, they call him Britain Trump and people are saying that’s a good thing.”

Trump went on to say “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!” And Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this: “He has a reputation for getting things done and making things happen. I wish him all the best as he charts the way forward for the UK. We have a great relationship with the UK and it will remain so with Boris.”

While some call him a buffoon and the like, he is no dummy. He studied at Eton and Oxford. I have his biography on Churchill and it is not a bad book, with many folks singing its praises. As to his religion, he left his mother’s Catholicism and became an Anglican. But at best this seems to be just a nominal faith.

He will certainly be more forthright on many issues than many of his milquetoast predecessors. Indeed, some cabinet ministers have already resigned, saying the prefer not to serve under Johnson. And consider this headline: “A leading Muslim Tory activist has compared Boris Johnson to Adolf Hitler and vowed to quit the party if he becomes leader.”

Hmm, we always have some pretty good indications about a guy when decidedly leftist leaders let it known how little they like him. And there are many more. Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland has said she has “profound concerns” about him, and Jeremy Corbyn said Labor would table a no confidence motion to get rid of him.

A very quick overview of his life includes these notable dates:
-1964 Birth in New York
-1977-1987 College years
-1987–1994 Journalist
-1994-1999 Political columnist
-1999–2005 Editor of the English Spectator 
-2001–2008 MP for Henley 
-2008–2016 Two term Mayor of London
-2016–2018 Foreign Secretary under May 
-2018–2019 Parliament backbencher

All this is a brief look at the man, but much more needs to be said. How he performs in the days ahead remains to be seen. For the rest of this article, let me draw upon some others who know more than I do about the man and his virtues and vices. While many conservatives are glad he is now at 10 Downing Street, not everyone has been so keen.

Writing a month and a half ago in various journals, including the Australian Spectator, one English conservative writer, David Sergeant, warned about the man, calling him a “leftist fraud”. It was a pretty strong piece indeed. Johnson was also called “a nasty piece of work,” “a radical social liberal,” and “a master of deception,” for starters.

Sergeant said this:

The truth is simple. Boris Johnson isn’t a conservative. He isn’t a man of the people or the champion of grassroots. He’s an internationalist, establishment elite who will say or do anything for personal advantage. Sure, for now that might mean members like what we hear, but let there be no doubt – once elected – Johnson would turn on us in an instant.
newenglishtimes.com/boris-johnson-is-a-leftist-fraud/

Others think – or hope – he is the right man for the job, and may be another Trump-like figure – or maybe even a Reagan-like figure. For example, Lloyd Evans, writing in the UK Spectator says Boris “will soon be the most popular leader in the world”. He certainly takes a much more positive view of the man himself. He writes:

It’s curious that most of the public believe they know Boris already. Many probably think of him as a brash, self-centred wag who dominates every conversation with a string of anecdotes and routines – like an albino Oscar Wilde. Not at all. He’s modest and even shy at the dinner-table. He restricts himself to his immediate neighbours and he never turns a social event into a solo performance. He’s a great listener. He draws people into his confidence by offering a personal revelation. ‘I’m a bit worried about my kids,’ he once said to me, when his brood were approaching their teens. ‘I’m not sure if they respect me.’

He concludes:

The EU won’t be able to read him. They won’t like that. And they’ll be rather miffed to discover that they can’t help warming to him either. Most of the people who loathe him have never met him. Everyone who enters his orbit finds themselves smitten by his curious, cat-like giggling presence. He likes people. And people like him back. In that respect he’s more of a Reagan than a Trump. He’ll work his magic on the heads of state and the chancellors he’s about to meet. By the autumn, we’ll have the most popular leader in the world.
blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/07/boris-johnson-will-soon-be-the-most-popular-leader-in-the-world/

Plenty of questions remain. Is Johnson an actual conservative? Is he all rhetoric and no action? Will he have the courage to really follow through on some of the big-ticket items, not least of which, delivering on Brexit? As the American Thinker has asked in a new article, will “Boris Johnson, slay the EU and revive the Reagan-Thatcher comity?” Time will tell.

At the very least, these are interesting days, and it is hoped that Johnson does far better than some of his predecessors. We shall see. In the meantime, I fully have to agree with Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice in the UK when he said:

“It was always going to be Boris Johnson who would become Tory Party leader and PM, but he and the whole of Her Majesty’s Government need our prayers right now. Keep praying for his appointments to Cabinet to be God-fearing, knowing that God works miracles in answer to his people’s heartfelt prayers.”

Amen to that.
— Read on billmuehlenberg.com/2019/07/24/on-boris-johnson/

US knocked off Fortune 500 list – guess who did it? – YouTube

The four biggest of the top ten banks in the world are Chinese. Only two banks on the list are US banks. Rick Sanchez debunks the widespread myth of US global economic and financial supremacy. Then Boom Bust co-host Christy Ai discusses the implications. She also discusses the positive role of immigration in job-creation and economic growth in the US.

— Read on m.youtube.com/watch

Brannon Howse: July 24, 2019 | Worldview Weekend

The Truth About Hamas. (Part 5) Topic: The relationship between Hamas and Iran. As tensions with Iran escalate we must remember that a U.S. Congressional committee has reported that Iran has terror cells in the U.S. As we look at the behavior of Hamas and Iran in Israel what does it tell us about the potential threats they pose to America with their terror cells? Topic: Hamas spent years lying about Israel. Islamists, such as Hamas, CAIR, and Muslim Brotherhood think they are following Allah but in fact as our friend Usama Dakdok has proven extensively, Allah is Satan and Jesus is God. Thus should we be shocked Islamists that follow the father of lies would spend so much time lying about God’s chosen people? We should also not be shocked that a growing, false dominate church that defends and engages in interfaith dialogue with Islamists would also lie about the Christians that are opposing Islam. Satan’s currency of choice is lies and so should we be shocked the Islamists and the leaders of a false church are notorious for their lies and attacks on God’s people? Topic: The marxists and Islamists have intimidated people from speaking truth by calling them racists, Islamophobic, bigoted and intolerant. This propaganda and brainwashing has intimidated many people and keeps them from speaking truth about the threats facing America. Whether pastors, police chiefs, sheriffs or elected officials at the local, state or federal level, many of the men that have been charged with keeping our communities and nation safe have surrendered to the enemies within because they fear the attack on their reputations. Brannon talks about the need for leaders, and particularly Christian leaders, to be willing to lay down their reputations and endure the lies and slander of our enemies. Just as brave men have laid down their lives to secure this nation we must be wiling to at least lay down our reputations. Topic: We take your calls.   

Download File Here

— Read on www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-july-24-2019

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Meet With Trump Three Times Before Brexit as Nigel Farage Urges Him to Form ‘Unstoppable’ Alliance With His Party — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

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Boris Johnson is set to meet Donald Trump three times in 100 days, pictured together in 2017.
Reuters

Boris Johnson will meet the US President three times in 100 days as he looks to deliver on his ‘do or die’ Brexit pledge.

The newly elected Tory leader will join Donald Trump for three rounds of talks as he tries to maintain the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries.

The meetings are scheduled to take place before the Brexit extension runs out on October 31, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the EU by Halloween, with or without a deal.

It comes after Nigel Farage urged the new PM to call for a General Election and form a pact with his Brexit Party – a plan he said the President wholeheartedly endorses.

He told The Times: ‘He [Mr Trump] thinks a Johnson-Farage alliance would be unstoppable and would deliver Brexit. He sees it very clearly.

‘I have said my levels of trust in Boris and the Conservative Party are very low, but if he really means it and is absolutely determined to deliver a clean break Brexit then of course I’d talk to him.’

‘It would need Boris to be incredibly brave. He would have to call a general election and accept that a significant number of his own MPs would leave the party.’

Shortly after Mr Johnson’s victory was announced yesterday, the US president told an audience Mr Johnson was ‘Britain’s Trump’, adding: ‘They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need.’

Farage was speaking following Trump’s rally in Washington, which saw the US President fuel rumours the Brexit Party Leader could be Britain’s next ambassador to America.

Mr Trump said Mr Farage would ‘work well’ with incoming PM Boris Johnson as he sought him out during a speech in Washington.

Mr Farage flew into the States as the news of Johnson’s win broke yesterday.

Mr Johnson and Mr Trump are expected to meet for the first time next month, but the location is yet to be confirmed.

Then they will likely sit down for talks at the G7 in Biarritz, France, and the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

Amid speculation over who would replace Sir Kim Darroch as ambassador, bookies have slashed odds on the man Trump dubbed ‘Mr Brexit’ being the man to help seal a US-UK trade deal after Britain leaves the EU.

Earlier this year, Theresa May rebuffed the suggestion that Mr Farage could provide access and a potential post-Brexit trade deal.

But yesterday the US President said: ‘I know he’s going to work well with Boris.’

Shortly after Mr Johnson’s victory was announced, the president told an audience Mr Johnson was ‘Britain’s Trump’, adding: ‘They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need.’

Mr Trump, who who has previously hailed Mr Farage as ‘Mr Brexit’, singled him out from the crowd in Washington, saying: ‘I know he’s going to work well with Boris.’

Yesterday Mr Farage once again offered his help, writing in the Telegraph that the Tories should ally with his Brexit Party. This notion was ruled out by Johnson last week.

There is a vacancy in the role after Sir Kim resigned in the fall-out from a cables leak that exposed him describing Mr Trump as ‘inept’. The US leader responded calling Sir Kim ‘a pompous fool’.

Yesterday the American president hailed Mr Farage’s gains in May’s European Parliament election as he predicted an excellent relationship with the incoming Prime Minister.

Mr Farage had earlier laid down the gauntlet to Boris Johnson and challenged him to deliver on his ‘do or die’ Brexit pledge.

The Brexit Party leader said he wished Mr Johnson ‘well’ but questioned whether the next prime minister had the ‘courage’ to actually take the UK out of the EU without a deal on October 31.

Speaking at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit 2019 in Washington, Mr Trump singled out Mr Farage in the audience, saying: ‘I tell you what, he got 32 per cent of the vote from nowhere over in the UK.

‘He did a great job and I know he’s going to work well with Boris, they are going to do some tremendous things.’

Mr Johnson’s vow to get Britain out of the bloc by the current Halloween deadline with or without an agreement dominated the Tory leadership campaign against Jeremy Hunt.

The former foreign secretary doubled down on his promise today as he was elected the new leader of the Conservative Party, telling activists: ‘We are going to get Brexit done on October 31.’

Mr Johnson now has no room for manoeuvre on the Brexit deadline having ruled out so strongly signing off on another delay to the UK’s divorce from Brussels.

And Mr Farage is already putting the pressure on to ensure there is no backsliding from the man who will take over from Theresa May as prime minister tomorrow.

Mr Farage tweeted shortly after the result was announced, saying: ‘I wish Boris Johnson well as Prime Minister with his do or die pledge to deliver Brexit on October 31st. Does he have the courage to deliver?’

He added: ‘It is do or die, not just for Brexit but for the future of the Conservative Party.’

Whether Mr Johnson is able to deliver on his pledge is likely to have major ramifications for his and Mr Farage’s political futures.

The Brexit Party surged to victory in the European Parliament elections earlier this year as they were fuelled by disllusioned Leave voters angry at the Conservative government’s failure to take the UK out of the EU.

Mr Johnson believes delivering Brexit on time will see those voters return to the Tories and help propel him to victory at a future general election.

But should Brexit be delayed again Mr Farage’s star will likely continue to rise and potentially make his party a major player in Westminster when the country next goes to the polls.

Speaking after he was named the new Tory leader, Mr Johnson said delivering Brexit would wake up the ‘slumbering giant’ of Britain.

He said: ‘Do you feel daunted? I don’t think you look remotely daunted to me.

‘And I think that we know we can do it and that the people of this country are trusting in us to do it and we know that we will do it.

‘And we know the mantra of the campaign that has just gone by, in case you have forgotten it and you probably have, it is deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn – and that is what we are going to do.

‘We are all going to defeat Jeremy Corbyn.

‘I know that some wag has already pointed out that deliver, unite and defeat was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign, since unfortunately it spells dud – but they forgot the final “e” my friends, “e” for energise.

‘And I say to all the doubters, dude, we are going to energise the country.

‘We are going to get Brexit done on October 31. We are going to take advantage of all the opportunities that it will bring in a new spirit of can-do.

‘And we are once again going to believe in ourselves and what we can achieve.’

Mr Johnson’s path to getting Brexit done by October 31 appears fraught with difficulty.

His first preference is to renegotiate a better deal with the EU but the bloc has insisted the terms of divorce cannot be changed.

His fall back is to take Britain out of the bloc without a deal but such a strategy is likely to be opposed by a majority of MPs.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Connor Boyd

via New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Meet With Trump Three Times Before Brexit as Nigel Farage Urges Him to Form ‘Unstoppable’ Alliance With His Party — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Video: “A People for Himself” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

Stepping down from his leadership role, Samuel warned Israel that in demanding a king, they’d actually rejected God. While they’d sinned greatly, though, Samuel assured the people that the Lord would not forsake them. Examining Samuel’s testimony of his legacy, Israel’s history, and God’s reliability, Alistair Begg reminds us that instead of reaching for empty things that cannot deliver, we should fear the Lord, serve Him, and be thankful. Whatever evil we’ve done, God’s grace is greater, and He will complete what He’s begun.

via Video: “A People for Himself” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

Signs of the Enemy’s Attacks on Individuals — ChuckLawless.com

Earlier this week, I wrote on ways the enemy attacks the church. In this post, I want to suggest some anecdotal signs of attack I’ve seen on individuals– particularly, if not primarily, on those Christian leaders who are taking steps of faith to get the gospel to a lost world:

  1. Unusual marital and family conflict. I’ve seen some of the healthiest homes face surprising strife when they take strong steps of obedience. Marriages are particularly a target.
  2. Recurring and uninvited temptations. We’re ultimately responsible for our wrong choices, but the tempter delights in setting traps for us. For example, the man who has lived in purity for decades is shocked by past images that suddenly erupt in his head.
  3. Returning, controlling sin. The enemy particularly wants us to return to actions of our “old self” (Eph. 4:22) so we begin to question the power of the gospel to transform. Battles won long ago now become sites of defeat.
  4. Strong discouragement and defeat. One day, hope and faith resound; the next day, disbelief and struggle reign, at least temporarily. Nothing has changed, except the enemy is attacking.
  5. Crippling doubt. You may have been moving in faith for some time, but you begin to hear messages like, “God is not going to use you. You’re not going to make much difference.” The enemy’s goal is to get you to quit.
  6. Evangelistic apathy. This happens when we focus more on ourselves and our situation than on others and their spiritual condition. If the enemy entices us toward personal recognition and hardens our hearts toward lostness, he’s gained some ground.
  7. Team disunity. From the Garden of Eden, Satan has sought to turn people against each other. A divided team doesn’t pose much threat to the enemy.
  8. Personal isolation. Under attack, even extroverts will sometimes withdraw in the battle. The problem is that leaders who fight battles alone most often lose.
  9. Inward focus. Satan has a way of turning faithful believers away from the blessings of obedience to the potential loss because of obedience. “Look at what you’re giving up,” he says.
  10. Prayer struggles. Sometimes, the leader who has always prayed diligently finds prayer unexpectedly difficult as he moves into the front lines. Prayerlessness equals powerlessness, and the enemy knows that fact.
  11. Physical persecution. It happens around the world, even if you don’t face this reality today. Our enemy, who is bent on destruction (see Rev. 9:11), wants to destroy the work of God by destroying the people of God.
  12. Reading distractions. The Word of God is the sword we use in the battle (Eph. 6:17). Distractions that keep us from reading—including the “good” work of ministry at times—can be a tool of the enemy.
  13. Demon hunting. This one might be a surprise to you, especially given the topic of this post. But, if you come out of this reading and find a demon behind every rock – a demon that’s causing every issue you face – you’re likely under attack. Satan often distracts us by claiming more power and influence than he really has.

Based on this list, let us know how we can best pray for you.

via Signs of the Enemy’s Attacks on Individuals — ChuckLawless.com

Christian, Recognize Short-Term Uncertainty — Unlocking the Bible

Listen to what God says about uncertainty in the letter of James:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. (James 4:13-14)

Here are people with plans: “Here is what I want to do: I am going to live in this or that city. I will to this college and pursue this career. We are going to marry and we are going to have children. We are going to plant a church. And, we would like to send out ten pastors, church planters, and missionaries every year!”

It is good to have plans, but remember, when you plan for the future, you don’t even know if you will be here tomorrow!

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:15)

Everything we hope to do in life depends on God’s grace and God’s strength, therefore the wise person says, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (Romans 4:15).

We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

The short life we have in this world is filled with uncertainty. God calls us to travel a winding path. None of us can see what is around the next corner – it may be a great trial, and it may be a great joy. We walk by faith, not by sight.

None of us knows for sure what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But here’s the thing: I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but, in Jesus Christ, I do know the final outcome of my life.

That’s where our hope is. Our hope is set on the ultimate destiny that is absolutely secure because it has been revealed and it has been purchased in Jesus Christ.

[This sermon clip is from Pastor Colin’s sermon, “Overcoming Evil with Steadiness,” from his series Overcoming Evil]

via Christian, Recognize Short-Term Uncertainty — Unlocking the Bible

July 24 For the love of God (Vol. 1)

Judges 7; Acts 11; Jeremiah 20; Mark 6

 

what is striking about Acts 11:1–18 is the amount of space devoted to retelling the narrative already laid out in some detail in Acts 10, often in the very same words. Isn’t this a rather extravagant use of the space on a scroll?

But Luke sees this as a turning point. Peter is called on the carpet by the churches in Judea for going into the house of an uncircumcised person and eating with him (11:3). Peter retells his experience. The vision of the sheet with the unclean animals, its repetition three times, the instruction from the Spirit to go with the Gentile messengers, the fact that six of the (Jewish) brothers accompanied him and therefore could corroborate his story, the descent of the Spirit in a manner that tied this event to Pentecost, the linking of this with the words of the Lord Jesus—all lead to Peter’s careful conclusion: “So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” (11:17).

Now some observations:

(1) Although Peter’s argument proves convincing (11:18), this does not mean that all of the theological implications have been worked out. This might be well and good for the Gentiles, and a matter for rejoicing. But many questions have not yet been thought through: Will the Gentiles have to be circumcised? Will they come under the kosher food laws after believing in Jesus? If not, are Jews permitted to abandon such laws, or was Peter a one-time exception? Should there be two quite different churches, one Jewish and one Gentile? What should the Gentiles obey? What is the relationship between this new covenant and the old one? Many of these questions are precipitated in the following chapters.

(2) The primary significance of this baptism in the Spirit is a little different than in Acts 2. Here, the dramatic expressions serve to authenticate this group of new converts to the mother church in Jerusalem—an irrelevant function at Pentecost.

(3) Next we hear of widespread, if unplanned, promulgation of the Gospel among Jews and Gentiles alike (11:19ff.), generating a further crisis. Now the Jerusalem leaders must deal not with an individual or a household that is Gentile, but with an entire church that is predominantly Gentile. They show great wisdom. The envoy they send, Barnabas, displays no evidence of having great theological acuity. But he can see that this is the work of the Spirit, and promptly encourages the new converts to pursue God faithfully—and soon sends off for the best Bible teacher he knows for a mixed race church like this one (11:25–26). That is how Saul of Tarsus comes to be associated with this great church.[1]


[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

‘Drinking Is A Sin,’ Says Morbidly Obese Pastor | The Babylon Bee

MOBILE, AL—According to sources close to local 305-pound minister Gary Alzado, the pastor claimed that drinking any kind of alcohol is a sin this past Sunday.

Alzado, whose weight puts him well into the “morbidly obese” category for his demographic, believes that consuming beverages with any amount of alcohol is sinful. He also eats four times more than the recommended amount of calories each day, scarfing down any food that comes within range of his person. 

“It is very clear from Scripture that even catching a whiff of alcohol is a sin,” he said in the church foyer as he reached for a tenth Krispy Kreme donut. “It is easy for us to overlook sin in our lives, especially the sin of enjoying too much beer once in a while.”

“Sometimes the sins we don’t think of as being sins are the most dangerous,” he added. “Welp, time to go to lunch—that fourth sweet tea of the day isn’t going to drink itself.”

Sources also confirmed sometimes he puts his hand into a bowl of Cheetos but then just leaves it there, as he’s too weary to bring it up to his mouth.
— Read on babylonbee.com/news/drinking-is-a-sin-says-morbidly-obese-pastor

How to Get Our Sanctification Unstuck — The Master’s Seminary

Rich Gregory | July 23, 2019

Work on the Washington Monument officially stopped in 1854 when the project ran out of cash. For the next 23 years, the giant marble stub stood unfinished until Congress—knowing that a half-finished monument doesn’t bestow any honor whatsoever—finally got around to raising the rest of the funds required to finish it. By that time, the original quarry contracted for the work was empty, and a new source of material had to be found. To this day, the Washington Monument stands in the National Mall with two distinct colors, marking the exact height where for decades the project sat unfinished.

Oftentimes, our Christian walk can feel sadly similar. We look at the lack of progress in our “progressive sanctification” and feel as though we’re simply stuck—our lives standing as half-finished monuments to the saving grace of God who began a good work within us, but seeming so far from completion. When we survey our spiritual walk and realize that we’re not making the kind of progress we so earnestly desire, how do we get things moving again?

The answer to this question can be found in 2 Peter 1. The author is a man who knew a thing or two about not growing as fast as he’d like. Just ask the rooster.

Peter was the living embodiment of Philippians 1:6, that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” He was well-qualified to speak to this question and definitively answer it for us.


The power of Christ that was so evident in His calming of the storm, the feeding of the 5,000, the raising of the dead, and the tearing of the veil—that is the power that is now being funneled down towards the end of your sanctification.


In 2 Peter 1:2-10, Peter gives two halves of an equation for sanctification. Spiritual growth equals the work of God plus the work of the disciple. The apostle smashes those two halves together without much explanation. As Peter understood, the proper order of operations requires that the second half (human effort) be entirely dependent upon the first half (the work of God). In our limited understanding, we tend to focus exclusively on the second half (found in 2 Peter 1:5-10) where we’re commanded to go about actively “supplying” certain efforts, while often forgetting the foundational importance of the first half.

When it comes to sanctification, it is not possible to just pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

While your effort is surely necessary, and is commanded in dozens of places in the New Testament, those efforts must necessarily fail if conducted apart from a total dependence upon the work of the Lord within us. The necessary work of sanctification can only be undertaken with a full dependence upon the power of God that is at work within us. And that is where the journey must begin.

Recognize God’s Power

Power is ultimately what we’re all after in sanctification. In verse two, Peter says that it’s possible for grace, peace, and knowledge to be multiplied to the believer. The word he uses for this multiplication refers to the exponential growth of an investment account. Every believer knows from experience that we have no power to accomplish this increase for ourselves. So where does the power come from?

Peter answers that question in verse three. It’s not just power that now belongs to you, it’s divine power. That divine power isn’t an impersonal power, rather it’s His divine power—the power of Christ Himself. The power of Christ that was so evident in His calming of the storm, the feeding of the 5,000, the raising of the dead, and the tearing of the veil—that is the power that is now being funneled down towards the end of your sanctification.

This clearly isn’t a weak human power to sometimes make a right choice. It’s an infinite, gushing fountainhead that serves as a constant, throbbing source undergirding not only your effort, but your progress as well. His power now becomes your power. It is a power that was given as a gift when he “granted” it and unilaterally “called” us to Himself, thereby guaranteeing its abundant availability. As Peter explains, this gift was brought to us by His own glory and excellence when He exercised His power on our behalf.

There is a profound implication that comes from the linking of these concepts. Because the exercise of His power in our growth is linked to His glorious and excellent person, it cannot possibly fail. When God stops being glorious, you’ll be allowed to say that you have no spiritual power. When He ceases to be holy, you’ll be justified in claiming that you can no longer grow. But as long as He is either of those things, and He must always be, the spiritual wind in your sails blows in one never-ending gust, providing you with everything you need for life and godliness.

Recognize God’s Provision

As Peter goes on to explain, it was this power that generated an incredible provision that enables our growth on a daily basis. Boiled down, he has provided nothing less than everything. What is that everything? As Peter explains, it’s an awareness of the true knowledge of Christ. The source of God’s power for life and godliness is made available to us through the knowledge of Christ. The word for knowledge that Peter uses is not just, “I know something about it.” It’s a word that means a full, deep, thorough, and complete awareness of something.

The implication is that the more clearly you see Jesus, the greater power you will have in your spiritual life. This connection between knowledge of Christ and progress in sanctification is verified by I John 3:2 where we’re told that our sanctification will only be perfected when our vision of Christ is likewise perfected. Therefore, if you’re not progressing today, it means that you’re not seeing Christ clearly.

Where is this knowledge of Christ found? Peter makes it clear that the truth of Christ is found in the pages of Scripture. This is why Peter says later in chapter 1 that we have the prophetic word made “more sure” than Peter’s own vision of the glory of Christ at the transfiguration. It is in the pages of Scripture that God provides you with everything you need for life and godliness.

He is the everything we need. Therefore, when you feel stuck, recognize that the provision of God’s power is not future tense. He’s not going to provide for you at some point down the road. It’s not as though God might or could provide. Rather, it’s in the past tense. He already has provided the full revelation of the person of Christ, and you’re holding that provision in your hands.

Recognize God’s Promises

If the power of God provided us with the necessary knowledge of Christ in order to grow, then it was the nature of God (His glory and excellence) which brings us the promises that motivate this growth. The power of God, granted as a gift, rooted in His nature, has now bestowed upon us a truckload of promises that enable our walk today. Those promises (v. 4) are described as being precious and very great. The words used by Peter refer to things that are exceedingly rare (precious) and large or loud (great). We find here that the promises of God are to be treasured as rare jewels. Their volume is to be cranked up to “great” levels so that we are constantly aware of them, thereby being motivated by them.

Imagine the horror of a world in which you knew the truth of God but were not enabled to move towards Him. Instead, He’s given you a truckload of promises that all motivate you to move! Why is this so important? For it is “by them” – these promises – that we become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world. When you feel stuck, remember that God has not only brought to you the knowledge of Jesus Christ, thereby providing everything you need for life and godliness, but He’s also handed you an arsenal of promises that are of infinite value in sustaining you for your daily struggle.

The Relationship Between Doing and Knowing

As Peter instructs us, you cannot hope to begin the doing of sanctification until you’ve first grasped the knowing. The foundation for your growth is not your own effort. It’s only through your dependence on God’s working in your life (His power, provision, and promises) that you can effectively turn your attention to the doing. It’s only after we’ve grasped these great truths about what God does in our growth that we can begin to turn and look at our part.

Rich Gregory is the Senior Vice President for Administration at The Master’s Seminary. He also serves as an associate pastor at Grace Community Church.

via How to Get Our Sanctification Unstuck — The Master’s Seminary

President Trump High Energy Remarks During Turning Point USA Student Action Summit – (Video and Transcript)… — The Last Refuge

Generation Z is absolutely the generation to absorb the truthfulness, purpose and benefit of President Donald John Trump.  Gen-Z are also some of his strongest supporters.

Earlier today President Donald Trump delivered rally-style remarks at the Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit.  President Trump discussed a number of topics including “The Squad,” Prime Minister-elect Boris Johnson’s victory in the UK and the corrupt Robert Mueller testifying before Congress. [Video and Transcript]

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[Transcript]

via President Trump High Energy Remarks During Turning Point USA Student Action Summit – (Video and Transcript)… — The Last Refuge

Postmodern Apostates — The Thirsty Theologian

Although the term emergent is obsolete, the postmodern sand on which they built their house remains. This is as relevant now as it was when this was first posted eleven years ago.

As you know, I’ve been reading The Truth War by John MacArthur. Like everyone else whom I have read on the subject of the Emergent [whatever] and postmodernism, he points out the fact that the postmodern belief system is not easily defined. That is certainly true, and I am afraid that that fact makes many (but certainly not MacArthur) reluctant to condemn it outright, and uncertain about how to react to it. But is that hesitancy justified? The typical postmodernist’s response to criticism is, “You don’t understand us! We are not all alike!” The implication is that, since we don’t understand them, we cannot judge them. But is that necessarily true?

Let’s suppose they are right: let’s assume D. A. Carson, John MacArthur, and anyone else who has written about Emergent and postmodernism has completely misunderstood them and has no idea what they believe. Does that disqualify us from judging them to be outside the Christian faith? If we don’t understand what they are saying, can we still say they are wrong? Yes, we can. It is enough to know what they do not believe, as deduced from what they do not—and will not—say.

The fundamentals of the Biblical, Christian faith are clearly stated in Scripture and are easily understood by any believer who diligently seeks to know. Those fundamentals—the Trinity, the virgin birth and deity of Christ, the sovereignty of God, the inspiration and authority of Scripture, original sin and depravity, justification by faith, the atonement, the resurrection—are clearly stated propositions, and Scripture makes it plain that these truths exclude any other religion, no matter how sincere and devout.

So I don’t have to know what Emergents believe. I don’t have to engage them in “conversation” in order to determine what they really believe. It is enough to know what they do not believe, and in knowing what they do not believe, I know who they are not. And they are intentionally vague and noncommittal on virtually everything. They consistently refuse to affirm the fundamentals of the faith, and so are unable to give a Biblical account for the hope that is in them (1 Peter 3:15). Furthermore, they ridicule anyone who claims faith in anything certain.

This is not the Biblical, Christian faith. Our faith is certain. We know the truth, and it has set us free (John 8:32). And we are growing in our knowledge of the truth. We are not becoming more confused, “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7), “carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

The battle against postmodern heresy is no intramural disagreement. It is no less than a battle against apostasy. Our opponents are not brothers with disagreements on disputable matters. At stake is the Gospel itself, our opponents are enemies of “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3), and no negotiation is possible. The lines are drawn.

Which side are you on?

via Postmodern Apostates — The Thirsty Theologian

Social Justice Leaders FREAK OUT Over Documentary Citing Their *Own Words* — Pulpit & Pen

Southern Baptist leaders who are proponents of the leftist-oriented Social Justice Movement are absolutely irate at a 3.5-minute trailer for a new documentary citing their own words. Their behavior in social media after release of the trailer by Founders Ministries is best described as something halfway between sheer panic and an unbridled hissy fit.

The short trailer, giving insight into the documentary’s fuller content, shows fiery clips of Founder’s president, Tom Ascol – a Social Justice opponent – interlaced with video of SBC leaders who are widely recognized as Social Justice proponents.

Read more: Social Justice Leaders FREAK OUT Over Documentary Citing Their *Own Words* — Pulpit & Pen

Nancy Pelosi Releases “Mueller Blitz” Designated Talking Points (Document pdf)… — The Last Refuge

Ever since Nancy Pelosi changed the House Rulesin December 2018 it has been obvious the professional political Democrats would not be using “impeachment” in the constitutional sense of the process (high crimes and misdemeanors); but rather weaponizing the process –as a tool itself– to position themselves for 2020.

Mueller’s team, led by Aaron Zebly, is working closely with Judiciary Committee Nadler’s team, led by Norm Eisen and Barry Berke, they hold the same purpose. They’re part of the same Lawfare network, aka ‘beach friends’. The impeachment objective is a group effort.

Today Speaker Pelosi released the prepared “Mueller Blitz” talking points to her Democrat caucus members and media allies.  This is the scripted intent of the hearings usefulness:

via Nancy Pelosi Releases “Mueller Blitz” Designated Talking Points (Document pdf)… — The Last Refuge

July 23 Advancing Through Adversity

Scripture reading: Genesis 37

Key verse: Genesis 39:21

The Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

The story of Joseph isn’t some fable that we read for entertainment and then pause long enough to consider the moral at the end of the story. It is the biblical account of a real man who endured real hardships. It is also a wonderful pattern after which we should model our responses in times of trial.

If you ever wonder why travail enters your life, take some time to read Joseph’s story in chapters 37 through 50 of Genesis. Over many years he repeatedly faced heartache: his brothers threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery; Potiphar’s wife framed him for rape; he was thrown into prison; he was forgotten by the butler he helped. Year after year, Joseph awoke daily to tribulation.

Yet nowhere does God’s Word state that Joseph had done anything wrong. God wasn’t punishing him. Instead, God advanced Joseph through his adversity. He used the pressure of trials to mold Joseph into the man who would lead and save an entire nation. Joseph never complained about his plight. He never blamed God or anyone else. He accepted his conditions and patiently trusted in the Lord.

Adversity is a part of life. Joseph was no more immune to it than you are. Yet isn’t it comforting to know that Joseph’s God is your God, and that through Christ, you can know Him in an even more personal way?

Dear heavenly Father, use the adversities of my life to mold me into what You want me to be.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 214). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 23, 2019 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Secret of Effective Prayer

Habakkuk 3:1–2

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.

Lord, I have heard of your fame;

I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.

Renew them in our day,

in our time make them known;

in wrath remember mercy.

The third chapter of Habakkuk is a prayer. It is one of the great prayers of the Bible, to be placed alongside Abraham’s intercession for Sodom, David’s prayer at the dedication of the materials for the temple, and the Psalms. But it is a prayer in context and cannot properly be understood apart from the entire prophecy.

Habakkuk began his book by asking God why he was so slow in answering his prayer for revival in Israel. Then when God did answer, he said he was going to send the Babylonians to punish his people Israel. This was not the answer Habakkuk wanted, and he asked God how he could do such a thing. How could he use a wicked people to punish those more righteous than themselves? These questions were asked in chapter 1. God’s answer came in chapter 2, summarized in verse 4: “See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous will live by his faith.” In the remainder of chapter 2 God describes how the one who is “puffed up” will be brought low. The Babylonians will themselves be punished. In the meantime, the one who knows God will live by faith in God. Times may be bad. The future may become worse. But the righteous will live by faith in him who alone is worthy of that faith.

Chapter 2, which contains this revelation, ends by saying: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (v. 20). It is an appropriate and solemn ending. All that remains is for Habakkuk to worship this God and lay his petitions before him.

The Nature of Prayer

Prayer is speaking to God. If you can talk to your wife or husband, you can talk to God. If you can talk to your brother or sister, you can talk to God. Anything that obscures the simplicity and spontaneity of prayer as conversation should be avoided, for prayer is a very simple thing. We must not think that we need a special time or place or mood to pray.

But having said that and having emphasized it as much as I know how, let me also say that prayer can also be formal. The last chapter of Habakkuk is such a prayer. It is a carefully structured, formal composition. In fact it is a poem. This suggests that after Habakkuk had received the revelation of God’s coming judgment on the Babylonians and the instruction to live by faith, he collected his thoughts and composed this chapter as a beautiful and careful expression of what his heart wanted to say to God. (Mary’s Magnificat may be another example of such a careful composition.)

If the thought of a carefully composed prayer bothers you, disregard this thought until later in your Christian walk. It is far more important that prayer be a simple thing in which you truly utter the deep thoughts of your heart and pour out your petitions to God. If prayer is not a simple thing for you yet, do not be led astray by the truth that it can also be more complex. Still, if you are one who prays naturally and if you know that you can come to God at any place and at any time, you can learn something additional from this prayer of Habakkuk. There is also room for composed prayer in which we put down in writing the deepest expression and clearest insights of our hearts and minds.

Habakkuk’s prayer can be divided into three parts. The first part is an approach to God; we find it in verse 2. The second part is the prayer itself, consisting largely of rehearsal of God’s mighty acts; we find it in verses 3–15. The third and final part is Habakkuk’s personal testimony; we find this is verses 16–19. The first of these (verse 2) will occupy our thoughts in this chapter.

Approaching Humbly

Habakkuk’s prayer begins in this way: “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” In many ways this is a very simple verse. Still, it contains all the essential elements of an effective approach to God and teaches us how our prayers can be effective.

What are the elements of effective prayer? The first and most essential is humility. We cannot succeed in prayer if we come into God’s presence demanding things because of who we are. We cannot succeed if we think that somehow we deserve to be there and deserve to be heard. Habakkuk’s approach to God is a very humble prayer. Some might say, “How do you get humility from that verse? Is it because the prophet claims to stand in awe of God’s deeds?” That is part of it. But the true measure of Habakkuk’s humility in this prayer is seen by comparing 3:2 with the prophet’s earlier prayers. Place them side by side. Here he says: “I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Earlier the prophet’s prayers went: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?” (Hab. 1:2); “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” (1:13). Can you not hear the difference? The prayers of chapter 1 are complaints. The final prayer assumes a different attitude.

The first prayers were not entirely bad. If we are free to come to God at any time of the day or night on any day of the week to voice what is on our hearts and minds, then we are certainly free to ask the kind of questions Habakkuk asks in these verses. Habakkuk was grieved by Israel’s sin. He was disturbed that revival had not come. The prophet had every right to ask God why there was no revival and what God was going to do about the situation.

But something happened in the interval between the prayers of the first chapter and the prayer of the third, and it changed Habakkuk. Quite simply, Habakkuk had taken his mind off himself, the Israelites, and the Babylonians and focused on God. So long as he was operating merely on the human level, the difference between the relative goodness of Israel and the relative badness of the Babylonians seemed great. He could ask, “Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” But once he had looked to God—once he saw the righteousness of God and reminded himself of the eternal and sovereign God he worshiped—these differences faded into insignificance and the relative goodness of Israel seemed unimportant. Habakkuk saw that all, including himself, fall short of God’s standards and require God’s mercy to be saved.

Lloyd-Jones puts it this way: “How was Habakkuk brought to such a position? It would seem that it was when he stopped thinking of his own nation, or of the Chaldeans, and contemplated only the holiness and justice of God against the dark background of sin in the world. Our problems can nearly all be traced to our persistence in looking at the immediate problems themselves, instead of looking at them in the light of God. So long as Habakkuk was looking at Israel and the Chaldeans, he was troubled. Now he has forgotten Israel as such, and the Chaldeans, and his eyes are on God. He has returned to the realm of spiritual truth—the holiness of God, sin in man and in the world—and so he is able to see things in an entirely new light. He is now concerned for the glory of God and for nothing else. He had to stop thinking in terms of the fact that the Chaldeans were worse sinners than the Jews and that yet God was going to use them, perplexing though this problem was. That attitude made him forget the sin of his own nation through concentrating on the sin of others, which happened to be greater. As long as he remained in this attitude he remained in perplexity, unhappy in heart and mind. But the prophet came to the place where he was lifted entirely out of that state, to see only the wonderful vision of the Lord in His holy temple, with sinful mankind and the universe beneath Him. The distinction between the Israelites and the Chaldeans became relatively unimportant when things were seen like that. It was no longer possible to be exalted either as an individual or as a nation. When things are seen from a spiritual viewpoint, there can only be an acknowledgment that ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,’ and ‘The whole world lieth in the evil one.’ The holiness of God and the sin of man are the only things that matter.”

This is what needs to happen if we are to learn to pray effectively. As long as we come into God’s presence saying, “Well, I am not perfect, God, but I am a good deal better than Bill Smith or Mary Jones; and therefore, you should listen to me because, after all, I am a Christian and I am pretty good and, well, I did put five dollars in the collection plate last Sunday instead of a quarter, and …”—as long as we come with that attitude, we are going to have an exceedingly ineffective prayer life. But on the other hand, if we can say, as Habakkuk himself learned to say, “It is only by grace that I am even led to pray, only on the basis of grace that I can come; I do not deserve anything from you, but I come because you have invited me to come; I lay my petitions before you”—if we pray like that, God will hear our prayer and will answer.

Sometimes this error can be quite subtle. R. A. Torrey tells how on one occasion when he was speaking on prayer, a note was put into his hands that read: “Dear Mr. Torrey: I am in great perplexity. I have been praying for a long time for something that I am confident is according to God’s will, but I do not get it. I have been a member of the Presbyterian church for thirty years, and have tried to be a consistent one all the time. I have been a superintendent in the Sunday school for twenty-five years, and an elder in the church for twenty years; and yet God does not answer my prayer and I cannot understand it. Can you explain it to me?”

Torrey replied, “It is perfectly easy to explain it. This man thinks that because he has been a consistent church member for thirty years, a faithful Sunday school superintendent for twenty-five years, and an elder in the church for twenty years, that God is under obligation to answer. He is really praying in his own name, and God will not hear our prayers when we approach him in that way. We must, if we would have God answer our prayers, give up any thought that we have any claims upon God. If we got what we deserved, every last one of us would spend eternity in hell. But Jesus Christ has great claims on God, and we should go to God in our prayers not on the ground of any goodness in ourselves, but on the ground of Jesus Christ’s claims.”

At the close of the meeting a man stepped up to him and said, “You have hit the nail square on the head. I did think that because I had been a consistent church member for thirty years, a Sunday school superintendent for twenty-five years, and an elder in the church for twenty years, that God was under obligation to answer my prayers. I see my mistake.”

So long as we approach God feeling that we are owed something because we are better or more faithful than someone else, we are making this mistake too. It is only when we abandon all thoughts of being better that we begin to approach God with a genuine and proper humility.

This is necessary when we pray for our church, particularly if we are evangelicals. We evangelicals tend to look at the liberal church and condemn it for its obvious departure from biblical truth. We say, “The liberal church no longer believes the Bible to be the authoritative and inerrant Word of God. It no longer believes in the virgin birth of Christ. It has doubts about the resurrection. It may even question the Lord’s divinity. Isn’t that terrible? Isn’t it good that we still believe these doctrines?” Well, it is terrible that a professedly Christian church should deny such doctrines, even in part. It is good that the evangelical church still holds to them. But if we approach God on the basis of that distinction, thinking that we therefore have some special claim upon God because of it and that he must answer our prayers because of it, we are repeating the error of the man who talked to Torrey. The only way we dare approach God is humbly, and the only way we can rightly present our petitions is with the utterance “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” We may be relatively better than the liberal church, but we are also relatively worse than the church of other generations. We do not have the convictions of the martyr church, nor the sensitivity to sin of the church of the Great Awakening. If there is to be a revival, it will not start with the liberal establishment. It will begin with us. It is only when the people of God humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways that he hears from heaven, forgives their sins, and heals their land (2 Chron. 7:14).

Adoration

The second element in Habakkuk’s approach to God (the second secret of effective prayer) is worship or adoration. This is also seen in the opening half of the verse: “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.” Worship is acknowledging God’s true worth, his “worth-ship.” It is rehearsing his attributes so that we might have a true mental image of him. Habakkuk does precisely that in the central part of his prayer.

Most of us have a problem at this point. Often our prayers have very little worship or adoration in them. We have an acrostic for prayer based on the word ACTS: “A” for adoration, “C” for confession of sin, “T” for thanksgiving, and “S” for supplications or petitions. In this acrostic, adoration rightly comes first and should dominate any normal prayer, with each of the other items (particularly the last) taking progressively less time. But what often happens is quite different. We rush through the first part of our prayer (“Oh, Lord, we thank you that you are a wonderful God and that you sent Jesus to die for us …”) but then settle down on the requests (“Lord, here are sixteen things I want from you”). This is how Habakkuk prayed at the beginning. It is not very effective. Our requests will not be God’s desires for us and most will go unanswered. On the other hand, if we focus first on God’s great characteristics and his acts in past and present history, then our requests will change—they will be more in line with God’s desires—and we will receive what we are praying for now quite properly.

Prayer for God’s Work

This leads to the third and final secret of effective prayer, namely, petitions that are in accord with God’s desires. After Habakkuk had approached God humbly and had recognized his true worth and great deeds, he was ready to make his petitions; but now, as we suggested would be the case, they are different from what he was uttering a chapter or two earlier. There are two petitions: first, that God would renew his deeds in the prophet’s day and, second, that God would remember mercy in the midst of the anticipated outpouring of his wrath.

The first request deserves special study. Notice how Habakkuk prays that God’s deeds, not his own deeds or desires, might be renewed. This is what “them” in the phrase “renew them in our day” refers to. Usually, when we pray to God for some specific project, we are asking God to renew our work. It is like building a castle of dominoes. So long as the structure goes up unhindered, we seldom think of God. We do not need him. But suddenly something jars the table a bit, and the dominoes tumble. Now we become alert to prayer. We say, “Oh, God, renew the work; the structure is tumbling.” Our interest is really on what we are building and not on what God may desire. We need to learn that God may not be interested in our little piles of dominoes. We need to come to the point where we say, “Renew your deeds; revive your work.”

We notice too that Habakkuk prays for revival. That is what the word “renew” or “renewal” means. To renew is not merely to refurbish something, like refinishing an antique. It is to do a new work. It is to make a new creature in Christ out of one who was an old sinner. Revival means to make alive. Formerly the people were spiritually dead. Now they are being made alive through God’s Spirit.

Earlier Habakkuk might have prayed for God to change his mind regarding the Babylonian invasion. So long as Habakkuk was thinking of his own work, he would have been concerned for that. Since the Babylonian invasion threatened the work he knew, he would have wanted God to turn the invasion aside. However, he has gotten his mind off his own work now and desires the establishment of God’s work instead. He knows that if God is sending the Babylonian invasion, he will build a new work out of the disaster of that invasion. At this point he is ready to write off the relative goodness of Israel and anticipate nothing less than a whole new beginning.

Notice, finally, that the prayer is for God to renew his work “in our day, in our time.” What day is that? What time is he referring to? Clearly, it is the day of the invasion. Habakkuk is asking for renewal in the midst of bad times.

The 1982 meetings of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology were on the theme of revival, and John Richard de Witt made the point that revivals usually begin in bad times. He used the text, “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground” (Isa. 44:3) and then illustrated it from revival periods. “One thinks of what took place in the Reformation period, the greatest time of revival and reformation in all the history of the church. We know the condition of the church before the ministry of Martin Luther. Alexander VI, the Borgia pope, was in the Vatican. He filled the palace with his own illegitimate children and did not hesitate to lift them to positions of esteem and influence. (It was a far more reprehensible thing in those days for a minister of religion to be married than to keep a concubine.) Alexander VI was succeeded by Julius II, the warrior pope so pillared by Erasmus. Then came Leo X, the Medici pope who said, ‘God has given us the papacy; let us enjoy it.’ That was the attitude of the leadership of the church of Christ in those days. All across Europe the church was in a ruinous condition. People were superstitious and ignorant. They were looking here and there for answers to their spiritual problems. They sought answers in mysticism, the relics of the saints, holy days and the purchase of indulgences—but to no avail.

“There had been the distant rolling of revival thunder and dimly perceptible flashes of lightning in the ministries of men like John Wycliffe of England and John Hus of Bohemia, but it was not until the early sixteenth century that God had mercy on his church. Martin Luther arose, groping through the dry land of the religious teachings of his time with a thirst that would not be satisfied with anything short of the pure water that only the Lord Jesus Christ can give. Luther had been terrified by the righteousness of God. ‘I could not love a righteous God,’ Luther said. ‘I hated him.’ But Luther persisted in study of what he called ‘the dear Paul’ until he came to understand that ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Then he bestrode the Europe of his day like a colossus. With the mighty hammer of the Word of God he shattered the corrupt ecclesiastical establishment and held high the banner of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and his sole sufficiency to deliver his people from their sins. It was on dry ground that the water of God’s reviving Holy Spirit fell in the sixteenth century.

“Jonathan Edwards has something to say about this as well. Edwards succeeded his grandfather Solomon Stoddard as minister of the church in Northampton, Massachusetts. In Stoddard’s long ministry there had been five periods of quickening, but for many years after the fifth of those quickenings there was barrenness and aridity. Edwards speaks of the licentiousness which prevailed among the young people, the breakdown in family structure, the failure of family worship, the contentions, jealousies and divisions which marked the community. The situation of Northampton was marked by a spiritual need that only the Holy Spirit could remedy. And he did remedy it! There too the Holy Spirit of God came down and did his reviving work.

“The same was true of England in the eighteenth century. Bishop J. C. Ryle, in his Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century, tells of the great lawyer Blackstone, whose name will be familiar to any who have studied law. Early in the reign of King George III Blackstone visited the principal churches of London to see what was being preached. His report was that there was no more Christianity in the discourses he heard than in the writings of Cicero and that it was impossible to discover from what he heard whether the preachers were followers of Mohammed, Confucius or Jesus Christ. This was the scene upon which revival burst through the ministries of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley. God came down on a spiritual desert.”

That is the way God usually operates. So Habakkuk was in line with God’s normal way of acting when he prayed for renewal in the time of invasion and destruction soon to come upon Israel. Are our times bad? Is ours a spiritual desert? If so, it is now particularly that we can cry out for revival and be heard.

Remember Mercy

The last of Habakkuk’s requests is a simple one, but it goes to the heart of all we have been saying: “In wrath remember mercy.” What a great request to leave with God! What an effective request! What an appropriate way to win and be assured of God’s favor! God is the God of mercy, so to pray for mercy (even in the day of his wrath) is to plead for that which is central to his character.

If we would see a mighty working of the Spirit of God in our time, we must get to the point where we desire and earnestly pray for his mercy. We must pray for his mercy on us as a nation. On one occasion the Lord Jesus Christ told a story about a Pharisee and a tax collector. The Pharisee was proud of his spiritual achievements, so when he went up to the temple to pray he prayed like this: “God, I thank you that I am not like all other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” The tax collector was aware of his failures and would not even look up to heaven. He prayed, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

This is precisely what the second and third chapters of Habakkuk are about. The Pharisee? He is the man who is “puffed up,” whose “desires are not upright” (Hab. 2:4). The tax collector? He is the “righteous” man who lives “by his faith.” He prays, “In wrath remember mercy.” It is this man who, so the Lord says, goes home “justified” (Luke 18:14; cf. vv. 9–14).[1]


2. The Prophet says here, in the name of the whole people, that he was terrified by the voice of God, for so I understand the word, though in many places it means report, as some also explain it in this place. But as the preaching of the Gospel is called in Isa. 53, שמעה, shemoe, report, it seems to me more suitable to the present passage to render it the voice of God; for the general sentiment, that the faithful were terrified at the report of God, would be frigid. It ought rather to be applied to the Prophecies which have been already explained: and doubtless Habakkuk did not intend here to speak only in general of God’s power; but, as we have seen in the last lecture, he humbly confesses the sins of the people, and then prays for forgiveness. It is then not to be doubted but that he says here, that he was terrified by the voice of God, that is, when he heard him threatening punishment so grievous. He then adds, Revive thy work in the middle of the years, and make it known. At last, by way of anticipation, he subjoins, that God would remember his mercy, though justly offended by the sins of the people.

But by saying, that he feared the voice of God, he makes a confession, or gives an evidence of repentance; for we cannot from the heart seek pardon, unless we be first made humble. When a sinner is not displeased with himself, and confesses not his guilt, he is not deserving of mercy. We then see why the Prophet speaks here of fear; and that is, that he might thus obtain for himself and for others the favour of God; for as soon as a sinner willingly condemns himself, and does not do this formally, but seriously from the heart, he is already reconciled to God; for God bids us in this way to anticipate his judgment. This is one thing. But if it be asked, for what purpose the Prophet heard God’s voice; the obvious answer is,—that as it is not the private prayer of one person, but of the whole Church, he prescribes here to the faithful the way by which they were to obtain favour from God, and turn him to mercy; and that is, by dreading his threatenings and by acknowledging that whatever God threatened by his Prophets was near at hand.

Then follows the second clause, Jehovah! in the middle of the years revive thy work. By the work of God he means the condition of his people or of the Church. For though God is the creator of heaven and earth, he would yet have his own Church to be acknowledged to be, as it were, his peculiar workmanship, and a special monument of his power, wisdom, justice, and goodness. Hence, by way of eminence, he calls here the condition of the elect people the work of God; for the seed of Abraham was not only a part of the human race, but was the holy and peculiar possession of God. Since, then, the Israelites were set apart by the Lord, they are rightly called his work; as we read in another place, “The work of thine hands thou wilt not despise,” Ps. 138:8. And God often says, “This is my planting,” “This is the work of my hands,” when he speaks of his Church.

By the middle of the years, he means the middle course, as it were, of the people’s life. For from the time when God chose the race of Abraham to the coming of Christ, was the whole course, as it were, of their life, when we compare the people to a man; for the fulness of their age was at the coming of Christ. If, then, that people had been destroyed, it would have been the same as though death were to snatch away a person in the flower of his age. Hence the Prophet prays God not to take away the life of his people in the middle of their course; for Christ having not come, the people had not attained maturity, nor arrived at manhood. In the middle, then, of the years thy work revive; that is, “Though we seem destined to death, yet restore us.” Make it known, he says, in the middle of the years; that is, “Show it to be in reality thy work.”

We now apprehend the real meaning of the Prophet. After having confessed that the Israelites justly trembled at God’s voice, as they saw themselves deservedly given up to perdition, he then appeals to the mercy of God, and prays God to revive his own work. He brings forward here nothing but the favour of adoption: thus he confesses that there was no reason why God should forgive his people, except that he had been pleased freely to adopt them and to choose them as his peculiar people; for on this account it is that God is wont to show his favour towards us even to the last. As, then, this people had been once chosen by God, the Prophet records this adoption, and prays God to continue and fulfil to the end what he had begun. With regard to the half course of life, the comparison ought to be observed; for we see that the race of Abraham was not chosen for a short time, but until Christ the Redeemer was manifested. Now we have this in common with the ancient people, that God adopts us, that he may at length bring us into the inheritance of eternal life. Until, then, the work of our salvation is completed, we are, as it were, running our course. We may therefore adopt this form of prayer, which is prescribed for us by the Holy Spirit,—that God would not forsake his own work in the middle of our course.

What he now subjoins—in wrath remember mercy, is intended to anticipate an objection; for this thought might have occurred to the faithful—“there is no ground for us to hope pardon from God, whom we have so grievously provoked, nor is there any reason for us to rely any more on the covenant which we have so perfidiously violated.” The Prophet meets this objection, and he flees to the gracious favour of God, however much he perceived that the people would have to suffer the just punishment of their sins, such as they deserved. He then confesses that God was justly angry with his people, and yet that the hope of salvation was not on that account closed up, for the Lord had promised to be propitious. Since God then is not inexorable towards his people—nay, while he chastises them he ceases not to be a father; hence the Prophet connects here the mercy of God with his wrath.

We have elsewhere said that the word wrath is not to be taken according to its strict sense, when the faithful or the elect are spoken of; for God does not chastise them because he hates them; nay, on the contrary, he thereby manifests the care he has for their salvation. Hence the scourges by which God chastises his children are testimonies of his love. But the Scripture represents the judgment with which God visits his people as wrath, not towards their persons but towards their sins. Though then God shows love to his chosen, yet he testifies when he punishes their sins that iniquity is hated by him. When God then comes forth as it were as a judge, and shows that sins displease him, he is said to be angry with the faithful; and there is also in this a reference to the perceptions of men; for we cannot, when God chastises us, do otherwise than feel the accusations of our own conscience. Hence then is this hatred; for when our conscience condemns us we must necessarily acknowledge God to be angry with us, that is with respect to us. When therefore we provoke God’s wrath by our sins we feel him to be angry with us; but yet the Prophet connects together things which seem wholly contrary—even that God would remember mercy in wrath; that is, that he would show himself displeased with them in such a way as to afford to the faithful at the same time some taste of his favour and mercy by finding him to be propitious to them.

We now then perceive how the Prophet had joined the last clause to the foregoing. Whenever, then, the judgment of the flesh would lead us to despair, let us ever set up against it this truth—that God is in such a way angry that he never forgets his mercy—that is, in his dealings with his elect. It follows—[2]


2 Habakkuk’s “prayer” is oriented to the past as the basis for his appeal for present help (cf. Ex 32:13; Ps 77:11; Ac 4:25–28). The noun “fame” (šēmaʿ; GK 9051) is normally used of secondhand information (e.g., Job 28:22; Na 3:19), suggesting a remoteness from the hearer’s own experience to the persons or events referred to (cf. Job 42:5). The Lord’s “deeds” (pōʿal) envisaged here corroborate this sense of remoteness, being associated with his sovereign power and preeminently with his “work” at the exodus—a primary anchor of Israel’s recollection, faith, and hope (e.g., Nu 23:23; Pss 44:1; 68:28; 77:12; 90:16; 95:9; 111:3), as is the cross to the Christian.

Habakkuk’s appeal for “mercy” (rāḥam) is thus grounded in God’s covenantal commitment to Israel, displayed in the events of the exodus as a whole and sealed at Sinai (cf. Dt 4:31); it is no wishful or manipulative plea for help grounded merely in the desperation of the moment. However, it is also an admission of how far Israel has fallen away from the revelation of God’s character and ways, made “known” at the exodus. Not only do the “deeds” of that epoch represent secondhand knowledge, but the need to “renew” (hîyâ) them implies that their impact is facing extinction. Moreover, the imminence of “wrath” (or “turmoil,” rōgez; cf. v. 7), betrays the presence of sin, which the Lord is committed to judge in his people—a judgment rooted in the covenant no less than “mercy” (e.g., Ex 32:10–12; Dt 6:15; 29:20–28; 31:17; 32:22). This appeal for God’s covenanted “mercy” in the face of present distress and judgment echoes Psalm 77:9, with which this chapter has much in common (see Overview).[3]


The Prophet Prays for the Sustaining of Life for the Believer (3:2)

2          a    Yahweh,

b    I have heard

c    your report;

b    I have feared,

a    Yahweh,

c    your work.

a    In (the) midst

b    of (the) years

c    make him live;

a    in (the) midst

b    of (the) years

c    make (him) understand;

a    in (the time of) trembling

c    remember mercy.

Now the prophet begins his song, a song to be rehearsed in the congregation of Israel throughout the dark years which Israel must soon begin to experience. The song comes as a response to the revelation given the prophet concerning the coming days.

In adopting this form for his word of acceptance concerning the future prospect, the prophet echoes a tradition as old as Moses. As the Lord anticipated the unfaithfulness of Israel after they had entered the land, he instructed Moses to write a song and place it in the mouths of the Israelites as a vehicle for instructing future generations (Deut. 31:19). It would be a song that could not be forgotten by the children to come (Deut. 31:21). So now as Habakkuk looks down the corridors of time, he too composes a song. He has heard the report about the Lord, and fear has come into his heart.

Several instances in the law book of Deuteronomy indicate the naturalness with which “hearing and fearing” may be regarded as the expected reaction (Deut. 13:12; 17:13; 19:20; 21:21). Is Habakkuk to be blamed for trembling at the revelation he had received? Clearly not. If fear is a natural reaction on the occasion of personal tragedy, how much more is it understandable that the prophet should react with a sense of awe and fear when he is informed that the favored nation of the Lord shall be utterly devastated? Even though he is assured that the righteous by faith shall live, he cannot but be awestruck at the judgment to come. As a matter of fact, the prophet’s response of fear at hearing of the Lord’s activity indicates that he accepts as true the message that he has received. In this case, fear is a significant indicator of the faith of the prophet.

Most translators and interpreters take the reference to your work in direct grammatical connection with the second half of the verse. But the poetic parallelism of the section as well as the pronoun attached to the verb in the second section of the verse (“make him live”) suggest that your work should be taken in conjunction with the first half of the verse. The prophet has heard the report about the Lord, and has feared his work. Under this construction, it is quite natural to see the reference to the work (pōʿal) of the Lord as referring to the announcement given earlier to Habakkuk: “I am working a work [pōʿal pōʿēl] in your days which you would not believe if told” (Hab. 1:5). Now the prophet has come to understand just how awesome is that work which the Lord shall perform, and he fears.

In the second half of the verse, the prophet formally enters his petition, a petition that must have been repeated many times over by the community of Israel as they celebrated this psalm of Habakkuk. No doubt the fervency of this rehearsal must have intensified as the day drew nearer when the Babylonians would overrun the land of Palestine and even Jerusalem itself.

The prophet sets his petition in (the) midst of (the) years. Twice he repeats this peculiar phrase, which occurs only here in the OT; then he parallels it with a second expression (in [the time of ] trembling remember mercy).

Scholars have offered various explanations of this phrase in (the) midst of (the) years. It does not likely refer to the boundary line between the OT and NT aeons. Calvin’s suggestion that it alludes to the midpoint of history between Abraham and Christ is more plausible, since this understanding would have greater meaning to Habakkuk as an old covenant prophet.

The quaint rendering of the LXX, “between the two beasts,” has provided the inspiration for numerous nativity scenes. This picture was filled out by Origen, who concluded on the basis of Isa. 1:3 that the two animals must have been an ox and an ass.

Most likely the midst of (the) years refers to the time between the two acts of judgment revealed to Habakkuk in the process of his earlier dialogue. In the time between the purging judgment that must fall on the house of God itself and the consuming judgment that must avenge God’s elect—in that crucial period before the destruction of God’s enemies—may the Lord be sure to preserve life.

Habakkuk’s prayer that the Lord would make him live may represent a deliberate reflection on the vision for the eschaton which he had received earlier. The proud will not stand; but the just—he shall live! (Hab. 2:4). In other words, Habakkuk provides a prime example of one who is pleading the promises. Having received the word of reassurance that the justified (by faith) shall live by his steadfast trust, the prophet now makes this promise the focal point of his petition. By this form he encourages Israel continually to plead for life through all the dark years of judgment to come.

On a broader scale, the pattern of Habakkuk’s prayer provides the framework for understanding the present era. According to Peter, judgment must begin with the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17). This present era represents the time in which God continues to purify his own by many chastening judgments. In these circumstances, the believer must plead the promise that the Lord shall preserve the life of his own despite temporal calamities. Between the time of God’s chastening of his own and his bringing final judgment on his enemies, the cry must go up for the Lord to uphold his word and to sustain life for the believing. make him live, the prophet pleads. While the pronoun him attached to the verb could be taken to refer more abstractly to Israel as the one that God would preserve in life, the connection with the earlier monumental saying of Hab. 2:4 suggests that it is the just by faith whom the Lord shall preserve in life. Make him, the one who believes, to live.

The prophet also prays, make (him) understand. Standing in parallel construction with make him live, this verb has the same object, although it must be implied by the context. By this petition, the prophet asks that the Lord will make known to the believing the program and plan that he has designed. Even as Habakkuk had agonized in coming to an understanding of the mysterious ways of God and finally had rested his case in the light of the revelation provided him, so he intercedes on the behalf of others that the Lord will make plain to them the understanding necessary for survival in the midst of calamity.

Finally, the prophet pleads, in (the time of) trembling remember mercy. The term translated trembling (rōḡez) does not mean essentially “wrath” as it is rendered customarily (“In wrath remember mercy”—AV, NASB, NIV). Instead, the word indicates a condition of agitation, excitement, or disturbance. The term is prominent throughout this poem, occurring no less than four times (vv. 2, 7, 16). In this verse, it is set in parallelism with the phrase in (the) midst of (the) years, characterizing the time in which this prayer of Habakkuk is to function. It is a time of disturbance and agitation, a time when foundations shall be shaken. God’s own people shall go into exile. Trembling shall characterize even the most stable of human institutions.

In such a circumstance, the prophet prays that the Lord will remember to be merciful. For nothing but the undeserved mercy of God will prove sufficient to sustain people under such stress.

So the petitions of the prophet are threefold: that the Lord will preserve life, that the Lord will provide understanding, and that the Lord will remember mercy. Only the initiative of divine grace will prove sufficient under the calamitous circumstances which the believing shall face.[4]


2. I have heard thy speech—Thy revelation to me concerning the coming chastisement of the Jews [Calvin], and the destruction of their oppressors. This is Habakkuk’s reply to God’s communication [Grotius]. Maurer translates, “the report of Thy coming,” literally, “Thy report.”

and was afraid—reverential fear of God’s judgments (Hab 3:16).

revive thy work—Perfect the work of delivering Thy people, and do not let Thy promise lie as if it were dead, but give it new life by performing it [Menochius]. Calvin explains “thy work” to be Israel; called “the work of My hands” (Is 45:11). God’s elect people are peculiarly His work (Is 43:1), pre-eminently illustrating His power, wisdom, and goodness. “Though we seem, as it were, dead nationally, revive us” (Ps 85:6). However (Ps 64:9), where “the work of God” refers to His judgment on their enemies, favors the former view (Ps 90:16, 17; Ps 90:16, 17, Is 51:9, 10).

in the midst of the years—namely, of calamity in which we live. Now that our calamities are at their height; during our seventy years’ captivity. Calvin more fancifully explains it, in the midst of the years of Thy people, extending from Abraham to Messiah; if they be cut off before His coming, they will be cut off as it were in the midst of their years, before attaining their maturity. So Bengel makes the midst of the years to be the middle point of the years of the world. There is a strikingly similar phrase (Da 9:27), In the midst of the week. The parallel clause, “in wrath” (that is, in the midst of wrath), however, shows that “in the midst of the years” means “in the years of our present exile and calamity.”

make known—Made it (Thy work) known by experimental proof; show in very deed, that this is Thy work.[5]


Ver. 2.—§ 2. The proœmium, in which the prophet expresses his fear at the coming judgment, and prays God in his wrath to remember mercy. Thy speech; or, the report of thee; the declaration made by God in the preceding chapters concerning the punishment of the Jews and the destruction of the Chaldeans. The LXX., regarding the ambiguity of the Hebrew, gives a double rendering, εἰσακήκοα τὴν ἀκοήν σου, and κατενόησα τὰ ἔργα σου, “I heard thy report,” and “I considered thy works.” Pusey considers that both meanings are intended, viz. both what God had lately declared, and all that might be heard of God, his greatness and his workings. Was afraid. The revelation of God’s interposition makes the prophet tremble. Revive thy work. God’s work is the two-fold judgment spoken of above; and the prophet prays God to “quicken” and make it live, because, though it brings temporary distress upon his countrymen, it will also cause the destruction of their enemies, and re-establish the Jews and crown them with salvation, and make the glory of God known to all the earth. Dr. Briggs (‘Messianic Prophecy,’ p. 234) translates, “Jahveh, I have heard the report of thee; I fear, Jahveh, thy work. In the midst of the years revive him (Israel).” He explains God’s “work” to be his acts in theophany—his judgment, especially as in ver. 16, the cause of fear to the psalmist. In the midst of the years. The “years” are the period between the announcement of the judgment and its final accomplishment (ch. 2:3); the prophet prays that God would manifest his power, not merely at the extreme limit of this epoch, but earlier, sooner. This overthrow of the world-power forms, as it were, the central point of history, the beginning of a new age which shall culminate in the Messianic kingdom. Make known. Let all the earth know and acknowledge thy work. The LXX. have given two or more versions of this passage, one of which is remarkable. Thus they read, “In the midst of two animals (δύο ζώων) thou shalt be known; when the years draw nigh thou shalt be well known; when the time is come thou shalt be revealed.” The rendering, “two animals,” arises from a confusion of words; but many of the Fathers, who were conversant with the Greek Scriptures, saw herein a reference to the incarnation of our blessed Lord, as lying in the stable at Bethlehem between the ox and the ass, which was the mystical explanation of Isa. 1:3, “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib.” Others interpreted the two animals of the two thieves between whom Christ was crucified; or of angels and men; or Jews and Gentiles; or the two Testaments; or Moses and Elias. Others again accented the word ζῶων so as to understand “two lives,” the present and the future, in the midst of which the Judge shall appear; or the life of Christ before his death and after his resurrection. There is a great truth underlying most of these interpretations, namely, that this magnificent hymn is concerned with the victories of Christ and his Church. In wrath remember mercy. When thine anger is displayed by sending the Chaldeans against us, remember thy mercy, and make a speedy end of our misery, and mitigate our enemies’ cruelty (comp. ch. 1:13; and vers. 9, 13, 18, 19 of this chapter). The LXX. gives a double version, “In the troubling of my soul, in wrath, thou wilt remember mercy.”[6]


3:2. The prayer opens by reviewing God’s work in the past (I have heard the report), and continues with a review of the events at the exodus. It also predicts that God will once again powerfully deliver His people (see Pss 18; 144:5–8; Is 64:1–3 for similar uses of deliverance imagery). While some have understood these images as primarily focused on the Lord’s impending dealings with Judah and Babylon, the perspective of history demonstrates that this vision (cf. also 2:3) was not fulfilled then. Rather, it will yet be fulfilled in the Lord’s final, eschatological judgment.

This recollection is characterized by fear of the Lord. It contains the only petitions in Habakkuk’s prayer: that God would revive [His] work (accomplish Your promises), provide understanding (make it known), and in wrath remember mercy in the midst of the coming judgment.[7]


[1] Boice, J. M. (2002). The Minor Prophets: an expositional commentary (pp. 417–425). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets (Vol. 4, pp. 135–140). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Armerding, C. E. (2008). Habakkuk. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, p. 638). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Robertson, O. P. (1990). The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah (pp. 215–218). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 704). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Habakkuk (pp. 50–51). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Rydelnik, M. A. (2014). Habakkuk. In The moody bible commentary (p. 1392). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.