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Singing in the Pain (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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August 6, 2021 4:00 am

Singing in the Pain (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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August 6, 2021 4:00 am

When life isn’t going our way, we can question and complain, but that won’t guarantee any answers. So maybe it’s time to stop talking and start listening! Discover how silence can lead to a song on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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We want, but that doesn't mean you get the answer were looking for. So what we do them. Maybe it's time for us to stop talking and start listening today on Truth for Life Alastair big explains that our silence can give way to singing our study continues from yesterday in the book of Habakkuk chapter 3 when along with Habakkuk. We look on the circumstances of life and it becomes the occasion of questioning and complaint the word of God.

If you like is the ladder up which we claim the word of God ultimately is the source into which we look because it is the Scriptures alone that provide the answer for all of the complaints and all of the reproof's so how to cook is questioning and he's complaining. But then we find them also listening and thinking, and particularly in chapter 2, and one of the interesting things about Habakkuk, although it is not an often red book. It contains a number of very very well-known statements, so I thought rather than range through the chapter when we listen and we think let's just notice three things to listen to and to think about. First of all, in verse four of chapter 2 behold his soul is puffed up. It is not right within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith notes what is happening there is that the contrast is being established between those who believe if you like that they can handle life and death on their own. The righteous by way of contrast, have a different guiding principle instead then all looking to ourselves to navigate our way out of our predicament.

The righteous shall live by his faith. In other words, by believing what God says simply and solely because God said it, you save humble people, says the psalmist by the haughty eyes you bring down now if you know your Bible at all, you will know that. Interestingly, this verse is picked up again in the New Testament on a number of occasions in Hebrews and in Galatians and in Romans and Paul. In speaking of what it means to know God and to be in a relationship with God reaches back into this statement here in Habakkuk, making it clear that God gives his righteousness as a free gift of grace, that it is not something that we can turn either by our good living, or by our religious and good works as a cross reference. You can go to the story that we have of the Pharisee and and the publican. Remember the individual who beat his beat his breast and said, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner and the Pharisee who said I thank you that I'm not like these other people. I am fine.

I'm okay. I do this I don't do that. I do the next thing. Essentially, his soul was puffed up and when Jesus told the story, he said, and it was this man, the man who beat his breast, who went to his home justify know in the midst of all of these troubles and trials have a clue affirms this immense principal.

The righteous shall live by his faith, and then in verse 14 of the second chapter he encourages himself and encourages the reader by making it clear that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Remarkable statement is that given the predicament, given the rebellion on the part of the people given the ensuing case for judgments and and chaos that is to follow and in the middle of all of that makes this great statement. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord God will display his glory in executing his judgment as we sang this morning.

He's perfect in his justice and his wisdom, and so beyond even the initial demonstration of that in the seventh century BC. We are reminded here again of the ultimate triumph of God. If it seems slow, then we should wait for Eddie says back in verse three when we go forward into the New Testament. Paul again makes this clear.

Every knee will bow and every tongue confess when the writer John describes the circumstances in the book of Revelation he speaks in terms of every tribe and every nation and every people and every language you see how this creates a radical insight that runs straight through all that is going on around you will say were you in our preoccupation with this and with that these are the great things you must listen to science.

We must listen to the educators, we must listen to the geniuses every morning that I awaken somebody says of the expert subset and the experts of said and of course we pay attention to the experts where in great need of their insects, but do you as a believer this morning actually understand that whatever the circumstances may be.

It is of immense significance that the right standing of a man or woman before God is by grace through faith in Jesus, that the righteous will live by faith and do we understand and do we believe and we long for the fulfillment of this promise that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the sea. Why else. Pray for the nation of Paraguay. Why pray for the extension of the gospel.

Why ask that our life's in these days, may commend the gospel while because God is not only ordained what the end will be. But he is her day in the means whereby the end will be achieved, so that while all of our friends are saying the same things will I hope it will stop soon. While I'm sure there's light at the end of the tunnel and so want and we join them in these actually were cut from a different cloth receiving years but did you know that the righteous will live by faith.

Do you know that one day the earth will be filled with the glory of God. Think about think about that and think about this verse 20 the Lord is in his holy temple led all the earth. Keep silence before. Think about this, the temple of God, the place of his meeting, the ark of the covenant in the wilderness wanderings the gathering of the people that shining of his light.

The covering of the cloud the progress of the people, the establishing of his temple, and so on and and so have a good in in order to get some kind of perspective on what is going on anchors himself. I have my questions and I have my complaints, he says, but I'm listening to what God says and I'm thinking about what God says they are my friends, is the problem for some, the absence of thinking thinking being transformed by the renewing of our minds. Words constant noise, the battle of the pundits the professors the politicians and as you look towards the end of chapter 2. You see the wonderful contrast with the idols that cannot speak and with proud men and women who don't listen. I guess the fighters if we will not listen to God, then we will have to go to the idols, who can speak what profit is an idol when his maker initiated a mental image, a teacher of lies is maker trust in his own creation when he makes speechless idols wool to him who says to a wooden thing ;-) to a silent stone arise. Can this teach. There's no breath in it et al. box. The Lord is hidden his holy temple led all the earth. Keep silence before you fast-forward again into the New Testament and on that amazing encounter recorded by Matthew chapter 17 when on what we refer to as the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus is there and remember the voice that sounds out from heaven this is my beloved son, listen to him listen to him, the great question of course is when these days of difficulty are upon us.

Who is who is trustworthy who is reliable. To whom shall we listen, who said dictates and directives are the best to follow and so long as a call to silence.

Let all the air keep silence before be quiets piece still, and know that I am God. You see, here we are at this point in the 21st century and we are we are suffering from big views of ourselves and small views of God, the puffed up picture earlier in the letter in the in the prophecy is to wrap the description of too many of us the submission of heart comes from an awareness of if you like, who God really is.

O worship the King, all glorious above or gratefully saying his power and his love.

Remember that great him by Robert Grant, Novotel of his might sing of his grace our shield and defender, the ancient of days, he's privileged and splendor is girded with praise and who are we, what were the frail children of dust and feeblest frail than says the hymn writer and you do we trust nor fine you to fail. So from questioning and complaining to learning, thinking, or listening and thinking, and finally to praying and singing as a headset.

First of all silence that then gives way to the song.

It is thinking that gives way to the expression of our emotions that we understand the place of the motion were not real fans of emotionalism, which somehow or another divergence from the rationale of things know there is a reference here.

This prayer of Habakkuk the prophet to be joined in by the choir is not it's not it's telling is that this is his prayer as it as if somehow or not it's his prayer.

Nobody else's prayer, but it is identifying that this was the prayer of Habakkuk, Luke, who is the prophet on this prayer then would be prayed by the people of God fascinatingly, as I was reading this during the week I discovered that portions of chapter 2 and three were found in 1947 amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls, making it clear that throughout all of the generations. People of gone back to these things to remind themselves that the righteous live by faith that the earth will be filled with the glory of God that we should keep silence before Almighty God, and what you have in chapter 3, then his assertive historical panorama perhaps picked up on the elements of the story of the transition out of Egypt and how the Egyptians were covered up in the heads of the water warriors were were swallowed up, you trampled the sea verse 50 with your horses and the surgeon of mighty waters and so his understanding of a sovereign God causes him to tremble and his lips to quiver and rottenness to his bones and his legs to tremble beneath it and he says now what I'm going have to do is and will have to wait quietly for the day of trouble to come upon the people who invade us well actually the King James version doesn't translate it in that way, it says I am waiting for relaxed on the day of trouble and waited for rest on the day of trouble.

I was we draw this to a close, I want you to notice that the things he prays about are not necessarily the things that might immediately spring to mind arise even today, no matter how committed we we conceive of ourselves to be. Notice I have heard the report verse two of you and your work will Lord I fear that I am and where I'm in reverential awe, and then notice what he says in the midst of the years revive it, revive. Here's the great need. He says for you to revive your work, your purposes among your people. While all these terrible things are going on. His concern is that the work of God would be revive surely the people of God in these days, must whatever our perspective on the medical concerns in the economic concerns in the social concerns may be surely part of our prayer must be the prayer of Habakkuk here, Lord, revive your church, revive your work in the midst of these years. While all these things are going on pestilence and play following at his heels.

The thing that has struck me this week and perhaps you would could identify with this is that I've been confronted by the question, what is it that is my greatest worry and my fear will surely I understand, and to some degree share the concerns of our culture for the well-being of all the matters that are at hand. I found myself saying how much of the Habakkuk perspective is part of my thinking I my actually is concerned is the profit for the glory of God for the fulfillment of his purposes for the reviving of his work as the world appears to crumble around me.

It is obvious that I'm not immune or exempt from the calamity and some of us are called upon and will be called upon to come today if in unwanted circumstances and we are called upon again to listen and to think and to be reminded of the fact that when Paul addresses similar concerns in Romans chapter 8 he says it is in all these things. In all these things we are more than conquerors, not because were not involved in them, but because we are in, says Calvin.

All of our thoughts. Will Aaron wander and go astray until we are fully persuaded that God alone is sufficient for us. There's the question there's my question. Is God alone sufficient for me. Christian faith is solidly based on facts, not on ideas what is recounted here is the dealings of God throughout history and all of these things are on God's deliverance of his people or foreshadowing's of his ultimate deliverance in Jesus as it is in Jesus and in his cross that in terms of verse two he remembers mercy and Roth through his life and his death and his resurrection.

The believer is safely brought through death to life, and that is why in the middle of all of these difficulties and uncertainties. We can then begin to say and to sing with adequate well though it all goes wrong in what he describes here is devastating for an agricultural horticultural economy. Though the fig tree should blossom no food on the vines. In other words, if the economy should break if we should live in the framework of an unproductive barren landscape. If there should be significant loss of life.

If all of that says Abaco. I'm still going to be found singing because the righteous shall live by faith. Perhaps again is a cross reference regarding Hebrews 11, we don't have time to do it now, but remember what more shall I say of those who were tortured and all goes on and they were still living by faith when they die. Well, if you remember there were five categories and I said that Habakkuk didn't fit any one of them. I think, upon reflection, I would say that Habakkuk was certainly not a deluded optimist, but he was a theological realist theological realist and it's interesting that he finishes if you like, and so long as we are about to finish and song in a moment, Horatius Boerner, Scottish servant of the church in an earlier generation grew up singing the Psalms.

He found that the children didn't like many of the children she began to write ins. He loved children. Part of his love for children was an account of the fact that his wife lost five children in rapid succession, and in the Sunday school. He not only taught in the Bible, but he taught them to sing and he taught them of the wonder of God's dealings, even in the midst of sadness and probably in one of his finest hymns.

He wrote as follows. Not what I am will Lord but what thou art that that alone can be my soul's true rest that I love, not mine. It's fear and doubt depart and still is the tempest of my tossing breast here we go. This is theological realism. Just what I know of the my Lord and God that fills my soul with peace, my lips with song, thou art my health, my joy, my staff my raw leaning on the in weakness. I am strong. In other words, he's declaring with Habakkuk God is the strength of my life.

The Lord is my salvation. Alastair begs challenging us to embrace the reality that God alone is enough lives.

This is Truth for Life. Alastair will return in just a minute to close with prayer so please keep listening message today raises a question, are we fully persuaded that God alone is sufficient for us. Martin Luther once wrote your thoughts concerning God are true human.

Far too many of us have minimized our view of God. So how can we come to a greater understanding of who he is and what he's like, or book selection today explores the answers to those questions.

The book is called none else. 31 meditations on God's character and attributes. This is a one month devotional specifically written to focus our thoughts on God so we can grow in our knowledge and our love for him. The Bible tells us that we are to know that the Lord he is God. This devotional none else reminds us of the privilege we have to know him.

It introduces us to 26 attributes that reveal his nature and his character. What's most helpful about the book. None else is allows us to recognize the greatness of God as we spend time each day reflecting on him so request your copy of the book.

None else today, when you give a gift of any amount.

Click the image of the mobile app or visit our website Truth for If you'd rather mail your donation along with your request for the book. None else. Write to us the Truth for Life PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, Ohio.

ZIP Code is 44139.

Now here's Alastair to close today with prayer or gracious God help us then to keep silence before you forgive our preoccupation with all of the talk in the rambling of of the pundits and the professors and the politicians we live in this real world we are part and parcel of it. Of course we are.

But our chart encompass is not statistics is not the best of human wisdom is the wisdom of God. We hear your voice from heaven.

This is my beloved son, listen to are granted in listening, we may find him to be our forgiveness, our righteousness, our whole justification out adoption.

Our salvation we pray in his name on Bob Lapine. We hope you enjoy your weekend. Hope you're able to worship with your local church and then join us Monday as Alastair takes us to the book of Ecclesiastes world discovered the danger of being too clever for our own good Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life with learning is for

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