Hababkkuk 2: And watch to see what He will say to me

2 am watch. A watchman must be prepared to be corrected. Habakkuk is such a person. He is quite indignant about the conditions around in his nation and not satisfied with the first answer from God. So he puts forward his feeling and decides to continue watching and waiting for a further answer from the Almighty God.

The Lord did not disappoint him and gave him a second reply. But He also instructed the watchman what to do instead of complaining. The watchman continued to see and realized the greatness of God. He saw the glory of God and burst into a prayer in song.

Habakkuk 2 New Living Translation (NLT) verses 1-4

I will climb up to my watchtower
    and stand at my guardpost.
There I will wait to see what the Lord says
    and how he[a] will answer my complaint.

Then the Lord said to me,

“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
    so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
This vision is for a future time.
    It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
    for it will surely take place.
    It will not be delayed.

“Look at the proud!
    They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
    But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.[b]

(AMP: “but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall [a]live by his faith and in His faithfulness.”)

Habakkuk 3 Amplified Bible (AMP) verses 1-4

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, set to wild, enthusiastic, and triumphal music.

2 O Lord, I have heard the report of You and was afraid. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make [Yourself] known! In wrath [earnestly] remember love, pity, and mercy.

3 God [approaching from Sinai] came from Teman [which represents Edom] and the Holy One from Mount Paran [in the Sinai region]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! His glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of His praise.

And His brightness was like the sunlight; rays streamed from His hand, and there [in the sunlike splendor] was the hiding place of His power.

_________________________New Testament

Luke 21:26-28

Amplified Bible (AMP)

26 Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and [a]caused to totter.

27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor).

28 Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near.

jesus-white-horse

Luke 21-22: As He was accustomed, He prayed.

As He was accustomed, He prayed. Jesus speaks:  Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” Jesus speaks of ‘THAT DAY’ when the unexpected will arrive. Everyone has a ‘that day’ too in our own life. Watch and pray so we will not be weighed down by the burdens and distractions of this world.

Luke 21

10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you,

The Importance of Watching

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy[c] to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet.

Luke 22

The Prayer in the Garden

39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[e]

45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”

57 But he denied Him,[f] saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”

58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.”

But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”

59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”

60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”

Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster[g] crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows,[h] you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

stand on His promises

Isaiah 22: why is everyone running to the rooftops?

Another morning watch: Why is everyone running to the rooftops?  Where is our personal rooftop?

Summary notes:

  1. Everyone is running away from danger. They cannot run out as the enemies are coming in from outside. They cannot stay put as the enemies can break down the walls, and enter the house. They cannot fight the enemies as the enemies are too strong for them. So they run to the rooftops. They seem to believe there is a security there for them. (They worship and sacrifice to other gods at the rooftops. See below Jeremiah 19:13; 32:29)
  2. The enemies are: famine and disease.
  3. Even their leaders surrender without resistance.
  4. The people who try to flee are captured too.

Isaiah 22

This message came to me concerning Jerusalem—the Valley of Vision[a]:

What is happening?
    Why is everyone running to the rooftops?
The whole city is in a terrible uproar.
    What do I see in this reveling city?
Bodies are lying everywhere,
    killed not in battle but by famine and disease.
All your leaders have fled.
    They surrendered without resistance.
The people tried to slip away,
    but they were captured, too.

_____________What do they do at the rooftops?

Yes, all the houses in Jerusalem, including the palace of Judah’s kings, will become like Topheth—all the houses where you burned incense on the rooftops to your star gods, and where liquid offerings were poured out to your idols.’”

The Babylonians outside the walls will come in and set fire to the city. They will burn down all these houses where the people provoked my anger by burning incense to Baal on the rooftops and by pouring out liquid offerings to other gods.
NYT2010072116005415C

a hymn written in pain: two love stories

This is a very touching hymn. Many years ago we met a young Christian man named John who played the guitar and led his cell group in praise and worship. He memorized many hymns and short choruses. He became blind after a wrongly diagnosed illness. He lost his job and fiancée after that.

My sister flew in one day for her check up from another city. She was suffering at that time from an illness that increasingly weakened her to the point that she could not walk without support. We took her to this cell group the same evening. She was touched when she saw John playing the music and singing joyously praising God despite his personal tragedy. He told us he was engaged to be married but the sudden blindness made him break off the engagement as he could no longer take care of his fiancée who needed special care.

it was a memorable evening for my sister. She later told us that she prayed and let go (of something that she had been hanging onto) that night. She became healed after that!

The power of God’s love is awesome!

________________the hymn

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I climb the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

It was on this day, June 6, 1882, the day of his sister’s marriage. His family was staying overnight in Glasgow, Scotland, leaving him alone in the Manse (a parsonage). George Matheson was hurting. It was not physical pain that cut him, or regret for the blindness that had robbed him of sight by the time he was eighteen. Rather, it was anguish of spirit. As his heart moaned, words welled up in his mind, words of comfort. “I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself,” In less than five minutes, the poem was complete. (excerpt from : http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1801-1900/blind-matheson-penned-immortal-hymn-11630603.html)

Matheson obviously didn’t intend to tell us what caused his “most severe mental suffering,” but people who know his background strongly suspect that it had to do with a heartbreaking experience several years earlier.  His fiancée had broken her engagement to him, telling him that she couldn’t see herself going through life married to a blind man.  Matheson never married, and it seems likely that his sister’s wedding brought to memory the woman that he had loved and the wedding that he had never enjoyed. (excerpt from: http://www.lectionary.org/HymnStories/O%20Love%20that%20Will%20Not%20Let%20Me%20Go.htm)

These verses written in pain became one of the great hymns of the church.

Words: George Ma­the­son, in the Church of Scot­land mag­a­zine Life and Work, Jan­u­a­ry 1882.

Music: St. Mar­garet (Peace), Al­bert L. Peace, 1884 (MI­DI, score).

God's love

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

a hymn: WATCHMAN, TELL US OF THE NIGHT

Watchman, tell us of the night,
What its signs of promise are.
Traveler, o’er yon mountain’s height,
See that glory beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
Aught of joy or hope foretell?
Traveler, yes—it brings the day,
Promised day of Israel.

Watchman, tell us of the night;
Higher yet that star ascends.
Traveler, blessedness and light,
Peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone
Gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveler, ages are its own;
See, it bursts o’er all the earth.

Watchman, tell us of the night,
For the morning seems to dawn.
Traveler, darkness takes its flight,
Doubt and terror are withdrawn.
Watchman, let thy wanderings cease;
Hie thee to thy quiet home.
Traveler, lo! the Prince of Peace,
Lo! the Son of God is come!

Words: John Bow­ring, Hymns: As a Se­quel to Ma­tins, 1825.

Music: Watch­man, Low­ell Ma­son, The Bos­ton Han­del and Hay­dn So­ci­e­ty Col­lect­ion of Church Mu­sic, 10th edi­tion, 1831 (MI­DI, score).

“This hymn evokes a vi­vid child­hood mem­o­ry. Two men with deep, so­nor­ous voic­es sang this song at the Christ­mas Eve mid­night ser­vice each year as long as we can re­mem­ber. The church was dark, the watch­man’s and tra­vel­er’s two lan­terns giv­ing the on­ly light in a hushed sanc­tu­a­ry. The watch­man stood at the al­tar, and the tra­vel­er slow­ly made his way down the aisle, as the two sang the quest­ion-re­ply vers­es to each other. It was hard to miss the sym­bol­ism of the lone­ly tra­vel­er mak­ing his way to the One Who sheds light on a dark world.” (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/a/watchman.htm)

Mason showed an in­tense in­ter­est in mu­sic from child­hood. He lived in Sa­van­nah, Georgia, for 15 years, work­ing as a bank clerk, but pur­suing his true love—mu­sic—on the side…Low­ell Ma­son wrote over 1,600 re­li­gious works, and is of­ten called the “fa­ther of Amer­i­can church music.”

mason_l2

At age 33, Bowring be­came ed­it­or of the West­min­ster Re­view. An ac­comp­lished lin­guist, it has been said he was flu­ent in over 20 lan­guages and could speak 80 more; he was known for his trans­la­tions of Dutch po­e­try. He was al­so one of the pre­em­i­nent Brit­ish states­men of his day.

bowring

a new watchman: Your watchmen shall lift up their voices

The test of a true watchman is he or she must be able to see, hear and speak what the Lord God says, speaks and gives understanding. God reveals His purpose to them and they wait to see the accomplishment of God’s purpose. Meanwhile, they keep telling and testifying for God.

It is often not a pleasant task as watchman are being raised for hard and turbulent times, preparing for the changes ahead. People do not like changes.

In the reality (both spiritual and physical) changes are the only constant.

The good and perfect plan of God will continue to progress, bringing changes, inside and outside an individual, the sum total of individuals, until this history of mankind ends.

THE WATCHMAN’S DUTIES: SEE; DECLARE; SPEAK AND TESTIFY OF THE LORD; DO NOT REST UNTIL THEY SEE WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED IS ACCOMPLISHED

For thus has the Lord said to me: “Go, set a watchman, Let him declare what he sees.”

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
THE GOOD WATCHMAN
Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion.

THE BAD WATCHMAN

Isaiah 56:10

His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
INDIVIDUAL IS REQUIRED TO WATCH TOO

Matthew 26:41

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
JESUS WAS A WATCHMAN

Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
Jesus prays in the garden  Matthew 26:39-40

a hymn: Though your sins be as scarlet

Though your sins be as scarlet
Though your sins be as scarlet

“Though your sins be as scarlet,

They shall be as white as snow;

Though your sins be as scarlet,

They shall be as white as snow;

Though they be red as crimson,

They shall be as wool;”

“Though your sins be as scarlet,

Though your sins be as scarlet,

They shall be as white as snow,

They shall be as white as snow.

2

Hear the voice that entreats you,

O return ye unto God!

Hear the voice that entreats you,

O return ye unto God!

He is of great compassion,

And of wondrous love;

Hear the voice that entreats you,

Hear the voice that entreats you,

O return ye unto God!

O return ye unto God!

3

He’ll forgive your transgressions,

And remember them no more;

He’ll forgive your transgressions,

And remember them no more;

“Look unto Me, ye people,”

Saith the Lord your God!

He’ll forgive your transgressions,

He’ll forgive your transgressions,

And remember them no more,

And remember them no more.

Lyrics: Fanny Jane Crosby

Music: William Howard Doane

click this link to listen to the music: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/1037

___________________Bible promise:

Isaiah 1:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.

words of hope and power

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