Issue Number: 413
In Hab. 3:6, the prophet foresaw “the ancient hills” collapsing. Verse 7 names them:
7 I saw the tents of Cushan under distress, the tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.
These two are, no doubt, representative of a longer list of collapsing nations. Cushan is derived from Cush, “black,” and Midian means “strife, contention.” Perhaps Midian may represent the Mideast, as their territory was in the northwest part of Arabia.
Cush was in two locations, originally in Arabia, next to the land of Midian.
Issue Number: 412
The third chapter of Habakkuk is the prophet’s prayer for national deliverance. Some scholars have questioned its authorship, partly because it differs from the previous two chapters, and partly because it is omitted in the Qumran Commentary that was discovered in 1947 near the Dead Sea. (The Habakkuk Commentary was one of the 7 original scrolls found in 1947.)
If the third chapter was not written by Habakkuk himself, then the text itself is incorrect in ascribing it to the prophet. The fact that the chapter is om
Issue Number: 411
In Habakkuk 2:12, 13 we read,
12 Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with violence. 13 Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts that peoples toil for fire, and nations grow weary for nothing?
It was common practice in those days, when dedicating a new house, to sacrifice one’s firstborn son and bury him within its walls. Cities too were always dedicated to the gods of the land with sacrifices, often human sacrifices.
The years of labor going into the construction of a city are wasted in
Issue Number: 410
In Habakkuk 2:4, the prophet sets forth the principle of New Covenant faith.
4 Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him. But the righteous will live by his faith.
Though he never uses the term New Covenant, his description roots it in the promise of God to men, rather than the promise of men to God. In fact, among the Old Testament writers, only Jeremiah calls it a “New Covenant” (Jer. 31:31). All others just refer to it as a “covenant.”
Habakkuk shows a contrast between “the proud one” wit
Issue Number: 409
In Habakkuk 1:1-11, the prophet raises old questions about God’s justice.
The prophet has the boldness to ask the tough questions from a position of faith. He is therefore not a doubter, nor even an honest doubter. He boldly raises the questions that trouble most people, but he is also willing to wait for God’s answers. It does not shake his faith when the answers are delayed, because his faith has been “tested by fire” (1 Pet. 1:7) in the purgatory of time.
How could a just God raise up ungodly nations to judge
Issue Number: 408
Habakkuk was a prophet who is dated traditionally about 625 B.C. If that is correct, he was a witness to Josiah’s Great Passover (623 B.C.) that was held on the 16th Jubilee from Israel’s Jordan crossing. The story is told in 2 Chron. 35.
He was also a contemporary of Jeremiah. No doubt they knew each other. Jeremiah was a priest and moved in priestly circles. Little is known about Habakkuk, except what he says about himself. Later Jewish traditions were too fanciful to take seriously, and it is clear that even th
Issue Number: 407
In order to understand the promise of God, we have to know the meaning of grace.
The Greek word in the New Testament is charis, which has a numeric value of 911. Our emergency telephone number in America is 911, so one might say that a 911 call is a call for grace.
On a prophetic level, this is what occurred on September 11, 2001, which we write as 9/11. It was America’s emergency call for grace.
The Hebrew word in the Old Testament is khane (or hen), which is defined as “grace, gracious, favor, acceptance.” It
Issue Number: 406
Israel’s was God’s Kingdom in the beginning. It was a Kingdom built upon the marriage of God and man, which, if it had been successful, would have produced the sons of God. Moses was the minister officiating at the wedding at the foot of Mount Sinai.
We know, however, that this first Kingdom did not survive, nor did the marriage survive. Yet at the end of that era, the Son of God was born of a woman who in turn had been born under the law (Gal. 4:4).
The first Kingdom wedding was performed under the conditions of
Issue Number: 405
When Jacob divided the birthright among his sons in Genesis 49, he gave each son/tribe a specific calling. Only when the tribes were in unity could the provisions of the birthright be fulfilled as a whole.
There were three main divisions. The priesthood was given to Levi; the scepter was given to Judah; and the main portion—that of sonship—was given to Joseph. The latter two were mentioned specifically in 1 Chron. 5:1, 2,
1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but
Issue Number: 404
The territory now called The Ukraine was once part of the Khazar (or Chazar) Kingdom. This kingdom was largely unknown to the general population until Arthur Koestler wrote about its history in his 1976 book, The Thirteenth Tribe.
Koestler was a Jewish novelist and historian who was fascinated by his own ancestry as a Khazarian.
In The Thirteenth Tribe (1976) Koestler advanced a theory that Ashkenazi Jews are descended, not from the Israelites of
Issue Number: 403
The first prayer in history is pictured in Gen. 1:1, 2,
1 In the beginning God alef-tav created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth became formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep [ocean], and the Spirit of God was moving [rawkaf, “move, brood, flutter” (vibrate)] over the surface of the waters.
The “alef-tav” in the Hebrew text is not translated at all in most English versions, yet it speaks of God who is “the beginning and the end” (Rev. 1:8; 22:13)
Issue Number: 402
My wilderness journey began in December 1981. After 40 years of wilderness living, I have crossed my own “Jordan” and am about to enter a new phase of ministry.
The pattern was set by the Israelites under Moses long ago. There have been other 40-year cycles throughout history—some being concentrated into just 40 days, such as the time allotted to Nineveh to repent (Jonah 3:4) and Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1, 2). Others have been longer, such as 400 years (Gen. 15:13).
The church itself was give