“The Just Shall Live by Faith: A Faith that Works” — Lesson II (6/9/13)

June 9, 2013

1. Habakkuk 1:1-4 testifies to the appalling lack of justice in Judah at this time. (This reality closely parallels the state of our own country at this time.) When Habakkuk inquired of God about why God was not acting to deal with the situation, God answered by informing Him that He would judge the wicked among His own people through the wicked Babylonians (Hab. 1:5-11).

This revelation perplexed Habakkuk, so he inquired of God how He could use such wicked people to judge His own people (Hab. 1:12-2:1). The Lord answered him with an emphatic assurance that He would judge the wicked Babylonians as well one day and that Habakkuk would have to wait patiently by faith for that promised judgment (2:2-20).

2. When we correlate Hab. 2:2-4 and then 2:5-20 with Psalm 75, we strengthen what we discovered last time about what the just who live by faith must believe. Psalm 75 teaches that God is the Judge who exalts the righteous and abases the proud (Ps. 75:7).

He has promised that He will judge all those who are wicked, and by faith, we must await the fulfillment of that promise (Ps. 75:8). As we await His promised judgment, we are to sing of that promise (Ps. 75:9).

3. What righteous response should those who live by faith have to God’s promise of future judgment of the wicked and salvation of the righteous? Hab. 3 instructs us that righteous response is prayer (Hab. 3:1-2) and music (Hab. 3:19)!

Based on this observation, we understand that living by faith manifests itself in believing prayer and believing singing about God’s promised coming to judge and save.

4. Psalm 94 furthers our understanding of such prayer and music. The psalmist asks the Judge of the earth to lift Himself up to render judgment on the proud (Ps. 94:2; cf. Hab. 2:4). He asks a very similar question to the one that Habakkuk did about how long the wicked would triumph (Ps. 94:3; cf. Hab. 1:2).

He expresses confidence in God’s future judgment of the wicked (Ps. 94:23) and testifies to the Lord as His defense and rock of his refuge (Ps. 94:22; cf. Hab. 3:19). These close similarities between Psalm 94 and key ideas in Habakkuk show us that Psalm 94 is an example of what the just who live by faith should pray and sing.

5. Luke 17:20-18:8 moves us into the NT and directly into the teaching of the Son of Man Himself! The elect (Luke 18:7) are the just who live by faith; what is their righteous living by faith to be like? They must cry to Him day and night for Him to grant them justice (Luke 18:7). They must by faith long for the coming of the Son of Man who will be God’s agent to bring about justice for them (Luke 18:8)!

(For a more detailed treatment of Luke 18:1-8, see Praying for God to Avenge Us)

6. From the flow of thought from Hab. 1-2 to Hab. 3, we learned that prayer is a key way that the just shall live by faith. Our study of Psalm 94 and Luke 18:1-8 corroborated that understanding. What then should we pray?

Here are three Scriptural prayers that the just who live by faith should pray as they await God’s promised judgment on all the wicked:

Hab. 3:2 “In wrath, remember mercy.”

Psa 7:9 “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.”

Rev. 22:20 “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”


See the other lessons here

 

Rajesh

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