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How long O Lord shall I cry out?

How long O Lord shall I cry out?

There are a couple of small books tucked away in the OT that are worthy to explore. This week's offerings are Habakkuk and Zephaniah. Be blessed.

Habakkuk 1:

1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk's Complaint

2 O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save?

3 Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.

4 So the law is paralysed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.

The LORD's Answer

5 "Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.

6 For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own.

7 They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.

8 Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour.

9 They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand.

10 At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it.

11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!"

Habakkuk's Second Complaint

12 Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.

13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?

14 You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler.

15 He brings all of them up with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad.

16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich.

17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever?

Things to think about…

1.Ever felt like the Lord is simply not hearing you or not concerned regarding your situation? This is exactly Habakkuk's complaint in Hab 1:1-3. He says "how long shall I cry for help". This sounds a lot like Isaiah who asked a similar question over 100 years earlier, Isa 6:11. Habakkuk is writing around 612-605BC as the Babylonians are on the rise. Sin is rampart in the Lord's people in Judah/Jerusalem. Habakkuk wants an answer. Ever felt like that? The thing is, we don't always appreciate the answer the Lord gives. We follow Habakkuk as he comes to grips with this reality.

2.Habakkuk says the law is paralysed – Hab 1:3. The Word of God is having no effect. The wicked drown out the righteous. It is bad enough when this happens in society, but what about when it happens among God's people, judgement is always just around the corner. This was the situation for those living in Judah at the time of writing. The Babylonians were coming. This ancient land has long been in the grip of war. We know up until a few years ago the city of Mosul was under the grip of ISIS extremists. Israel is also constantly under threat from those who would see the nation destroyed. We know the Lord still has many promises to be fulfilled concerning Israel. Pray for the continued peace of Jerusalem.

3.Look at the Lord's answer to Habakkuk in, Hab 1:5-11. Doesn't sound very comforting. But what do you do with a stubborn, arrogant people who refuse to listen to God's voice? You use another means to get their attention as we heard on Sunday with respect to the Apostle Paul's conversion. In this case it was the Babylonians. It is a little like 'fighting fire with fire'. The still small voice wasn't working with these people.

4.Hab 1:10 refers to how the ancient Babylonians used to fight – by taking a city they would simply build a siege works as they would "pile up earth and take it". This is how they took Jerusalem by building walls, platforms and towers that were higher than Jerusalem's walls so they could shoot arrows into the city.

5.Look at Habakkuk's complaint to the Lord's answer, Hab 1:12-17. He is basically saying, why punish sinners with people who are worse sinners. Why would you raise up the Babylonians to punish Israel when they are full of arrogant pride in a measure that far exceeds any pride found in Israel. It is because He loves Israel. This of course is the struggle. Punishment is never enjoyable, but often painful. Habakkuk is simply coming to terms with the Lord's purposes in it all. What has the Lord used in your life to kill off something that needed to die in you?

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Prayer Points

1.Please pray for 5 young people in their 20's who heard the gospel on Sunday morning. They were given the gospel. Please continue to pray for Harry, Bec, Joe, Mary and Anthony.

2.Pray that the rain forecast this week will send healing and relief to the areas affected by the bushfires have so far burned more than 12 million acres, they have killed at least 27 people, 20 from NSW alone 2000 homes have been destroyed. Please consider supporting CBC's Malacoota bushfire appeal. You may give now directed in the announcements.

3.Pray for continued follow up rain across Australia – especially NSW and Vic.

4.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.

5.Young girl (5 yo) Amelia lost her fight for life with a congenital heart disorder. Daisy is her mother. Please pray for Daisy who is hurting and does not know the Lord. Phil Weston has more details.

6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

7.Sunday's message on Acts 26 "Paul's testimony and ours" by Jay.

8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

9.Church finances to meet our expenses.

10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

11.Some aren't well Tessa Torrington and John Ward. Pray for relief and healing.

Praise Points.

1.Quite a few no people on Sunday – pray as they settle into CBC. Please continue to welcome them and get to know them as you can.

2.Rain falling in drought affected areas of Qld, NSW and Vic today and forecast for the rest of this week.

3.Recharge youth planning night this Friday – pray for Jay, leaders, youth and their parents/carers.

4.Safe return of those travelling from holidays.

5.Praise God for what He will do as we begin and plan for ministry this year at CBC.

6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

Announcements

1.Willey group - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.

2.Axiom services start on 2nd of February

3.Bushfire appeal – no target has been set but CBC will be raising money towards fireys and bush fire victims. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"

4.Picnic at Kholo Gardens – 12pm at Kholo Gardens after church – 26th Jan – Australia Day. Bring a cook, cold meats, salads. There are BBQ's there but they are notoriously slow to heat up. Best to bring food ready to eat.

5.All Kids@Church and Recharge parents will be on a roster to teach their children and attend throughout the year. Rosters will be finalized this week. See Helen to get the email for when you are rostered on.

6.Recharge youth starts at 7pm, Fri 31st Jan for all High Schoolers.

7.Kids@church – for all primary aged children starts 10am Sunday 2nd Feb.

January's catechism question...

Question. 8. What is the second petition?

Answer. "Your kingdom come."

Bible Reference – Matt.6:10; Luke 11:2.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

If God says it will happen, it happens
Paul finally goes to Rome