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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
Habakkuk 2

 

 

Verse 3

DISCOURSE: 1222

OUR DUTY IN REFERENCE TO THE PROMISES

Habakkuk 2:3. The vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come; it will not tarry.

AS there is no one so secure, but he may fall, so there is no one in so low and afflicted a condition, but God may have mercy in reserve for him. It has pleased God on many occasions to suffer his people to be reduced to the very last extremity before he interposed for them, in order that his interposition for them might be more visible, and might produce in their minds livelier sensations of joy and gratitude. The prophet, having foretold the total destruction of his country by the Chaldean armies, was greatly grieved at the prospect of such extensive and dreadful calamities. He looked therefore to God, to know whether there were any alleviating circumstances which might console the people in their troubles; and he was favoured with a vision of their future deliverance from Babylon; and was ordered to write it down in terms so plain, that the most inattentive or superficial observer could not but understand them: but as the promise had respect to a distant period of time, he was told to bid them wait for its accomplishment, in a full assurance that they should not ultimately be disappointed.

But we must not confine the promise to this subject: for in the Epistle to the Hebrews this promise is quoted in a general manner, as applicable to all the distresses with which the Lord’s people are tried [Note: Hebrews 10:37.]. The Lord himself stands engaged for their support and deliverance; and he enjoins them to wait his appointed time, in a certain expectation that he will in due season fulfil his word.

We propose then to shew,

I. The certainty of the promises—

There is a time fixed in the Divine counsels for the accomplishment of every promise—

[The promises of God often have respect to a very distant period: yet that period is fixed; nor can it be either accelerated or delayed. The time for Christ’s incarnation, though not revealed from the beginning, was appointed of God from eternity. Thousands of years rolled on before the period arrived; but at the time when, according to Daniel’s prophecy, the Messiah’s advent was generally expected, he came [Note: Daniel 9:25-26. Luke 2:38.]. The time for detaining Abraham’s descendants was fixed, even to a single day: and the accuracy with which the promise was fulfilled, is noted by the historian as a circumstance worthy of most attentive observation; “It came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the self-same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord [Note: Exodus 12:40-42.].” The same remark also extends to every blessing which God has determined to confer upon his people: nor can they use a better plea on behalf of themselves or of the Church at large, than that which the Psalmist urges, “Arise, and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come [Note: Psalms 102:13.].”]

When that period is arrived, the promise, how improbable soever it may appear, shall be fulfilled—

[Nothing could be more unlikely, according to human apprehensions, than the deliverance foretold in the text: yet at the appointed time the Chaldeans were subdued by the Medes and Persians, and the Jews were liberated by the very man who had been foretold by name long before he had any existence in the world. The promise made to Abraham and Sarah was delayed, till the accomplishment of it, according to the course of nature, seemed impossible: yet it was not suffered to fall to the ground; in due time it received its completion, and gave a demonstration, that God was true to his word. Thus when God delays to give peace to the contrite, and victory to those who are conflicting with sin, we must not imagine that he has forgotten to be gracious, but that the time for the performance of his promise is not fully come. He has said, that “he will give his people the blessing of peace [Note: Psalms 29:11.],” and that “sin shall not have dominion over them [Note: Romans 6:14.];” and he will “not suffer one jot or tittle of his word to fail.” “His counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure [Note: Isaiah 46:10.]”]

Being assured then of the stability of his promises, let us consider,

II. Our duty with respect to them—

As “we know not the times or seasons which the Father has reserved in his own power,” it becomes us to wait,

1. In humility—

[We can claim nothing at the hands of God. If he were to deal with us as he did with the fallen angels, we should have no more than our desert. The most distant hope of obtaining mercy is a marvellous favour conferred upon us. We should therefore lie low before him, as conscious of our utter unworthiness. We should implore mercy, only for the sake of that adorable Saviour who died for us. And we should cheerfully leave to God the time, the manner, the degree, in which he will shew mercy towards us.]

2. In faith—

[We must “not stagger at any of the promises [Note: Romans 4:20.]” on account of the greatness of them, or of our own unworthiness. We should remember who it is that promises; how sovereign HE is in the distribution of his favours, and how mighty to fulfil his word. It is true, a promise of pardon to such guilty wretches, and of everlasting happiness to those who deserved nothing but misery, appears great and incredible: but he has given us his only dear Son; and will he not with him also freely give us all things? Let us not then be requiring signs to confirm our faith [Note: Judges 6:36-40.], but believe that it shall be even as God has said unto us [Note: Acts 27:25.]]

3. In patience—

[If God should defer granting our requests till the latest moment of our lives, we should wait contentedly upon him: his blessing, if given at the expiration of a thousand years, would amply repay us for all our solicitude and suspense. Let us consider how long he has called, and we have refused to answer; and shall we be impatient if he delay to answer us? We exercise patience in hopes of obtaining in due season the fruits of the earth [Note: James 5:7-8.]: let us do the same in hopes of that grace which shall supply all our wants, and satisfy all our desires [Note: Hebrews 10:36.].]

Infer—

1. How attentive should we be to the promises which God has made us!

[There is not a situation in which we can be, wherein we have not many promises suited to our necessities. Should we not then treasure them up in our minds? Should we not plead them at a throne of grace? Should they not be to us “a light shining in a dark place?” Let us study the word of God with an especial view to the promises; for it is by them that we are to be “made partakers of a divine nature [Note: 2 Peter 1:4.],” and by them to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit [Note: 2 Corinthians 7:1.].”]

2. How ashamed should we be of ever yielding to unbelief!

[The office of faith is, to give to things invisible and future a present and visible existence. It was by faith that Abraham was assured that Isaac, after he should have been slain and reduced to ashes, would be restored to life; yea, he was as much assured of it, as if he had seen the very transaction pass before his eyes. This honoured God as a God of truth. But unbelief dishonours him in the highest degree: it says, in fact, that “the vision will lie.” But what ground have we for such a suspicion? When did God falsify any one of his promises [Note: Joshua 23:14.]? To guard against our unbelief, he has confirmed his promise with an oath [Note: Hebrews 6:17-18.]: and shall we still question his veracity? O blush, ye unbelieving people, who are doubting whether he will receive you to mercy, or supply all your need! Trust in him with unshaken affiance; and you shall find Him “faithful who hath promised.”]

3. How awful is the state of those, who, instead of being interested in the promises, are obnoxious to the threatenings!

[Every word of God is equally true, and equally certain of accomplishment. The threatening that the whole world should be destroyed by a deluge, was executed, notwithstanding the scoffs of unbelievers: and every thing which he has spoken against sin and sinners shall be fulfilled in due season [Note: 2 Peter 3:3-4; 2 Peter 3:8-9.]. His vengeance is delayed in mercy; but it shall surely come at last [Note: 2 Timothy 2:12-13.]. Let the impenitent and unbelieving consider this, and “flee for refuge to the hope set before them.”]


Verse 4

DISCOURSE: 1223

FAITH AND UNBELIEF CONTRASTED

Habakkuk 2:4. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

THE sense of these words is not very obvious. In truth, the sense of them, as standing in the context, and as quoted in the New Testament, is so different, that we need examine them with great care, in order to find their true and full import. Their literal meaning, I apprehend, is to this effect. The prophet had foretold the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. The Jews would not believe that the predicted events could ever take place [Note: Habakkuk 1:5-6.]. They therefore contended with the prophet; and he, wearied with their perverseness, spread his case before the Lord, and implored direction from him: “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved [Note: ver. 1].” The Lord answers him, and commands him to write it in large and legible characters, for the instruction of the whole nation, that the predicted events should take place in their appointed season; and that those who, through pride and hypocrisy, rejected the Divine testimony, should perish; whereas those who, with simplicity of mind, believed it, should be saved.

Had we no further insight given us into these words in the New Testament, we should rest in that exposition of them, and conceive that we had given nearly the full meaning of them. But the captivity in Babylon was a forerunner of a yet more terrible bondage which they would suffer, through their contempt of that great Prophet who should come into the world. Through their pride and hypocrisy, they would reject him, even the Lord Jesus Christ, and would perish in their unbelief [Note: Compare Habakkuk 1:5. with Acts 13:41.]: but those who should believe in Christ, and place their hopes entirely on him, should be saved by him with an everlasting salvation.

Now, if an uninspired man had put this construction upon the passage, we should consider the interpretation as forced. But when an inspired Apostle, not once or twice only, but repeatedly, quotes this passage in this very sense; and not in an incidental way only, as it were by accommodation, but in a way of solid argumentation; we cannot doubt but that, in putting this construction upon the words, we express the mind of the Holy Ghost. St. Paul shews from these words, that the way of salvation is simply by faith in Christ: “Therein,” that is, in the Gospel, “is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith [Note: Romans 1:17.].” Again, in another epistle, he takes occasion from these words to shew, that salvation is by faith alone, without the deeds of the law: “That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall live by faith [Note: Galatians 3:11.].” In another epistle, he quotes the whole passage, to shew that, as our entrance into the way of salvation is by faith, so must also our continuance in it be: “Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul [Note: Hebrews 10:36-39. The 37th and 38th verses are quoted from Habakkuk, exactly according to the translation of them in the Septuagint.].”

I conceive that the large and comprehensive view of this passage is that which we ought to take; and that it will properly give occasion for me to mark,

I. The evil of unbelief—

It was in reference to those who rejected his testimony, and who, by rejecting it, would perish, that the prophet said, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him.” Here he marks the evil of unbelief in its nature, as the fruit of pride and hypocrisy; and in its tendency, as leading to destruction.

Let us notice, then, the evil of it,

1. In its nature—

[Persons would fain have it thought, that their unbelief arises from want of evidence: but in whomsoever it is found, provided he have had the means of information fully set before him, we hesitate not to affirm that it is the offspring of pride and hypocrisy. Men will not submit their wisdom to the wisdom of God; and, instead of receiving humbly what he has revealed, they will presumptuously sit in judgment upon him, and teach him, what he shall reveal, and in what manner he shall reveal it. They like not to be told that they are such guilty and helpless creatures as they really are. They like not to have all grounds of self-confidence taken from them; and to be necessitated to found their hopes altogether on another, even though that other be the Son of God himself. They like not that measure of self-denial and of devotedness to God, which the Scriptures require of them. Hence they endeavour to explain away the force of Scripture, if not to set aside its authority altogether. They do not examine it with the candour which they would exercise in the investigation of any other subject: they have a bias within them, arising from their prejudices and their passions: they wish to find occasion against the Scriptures, or an interpretation which shall enable them to evade their force. They do not set themselves diligently to conform to the word of God, as far as they believe it true: so that their whole conduct shews that “their soul is not upright in them.” This habit of mind does not prevail in all to the same extent; but in every unbeliever is it found: and it is at the root of unbelief, wherever that baneful evil exists.]

2. In its tendency—

[It operated to the ruin of those who would not listen to the warnings of the prophets respecting the judgments that would be inflicted on them by their Chaldean invaders. And a similar consequence ensued to those who rejected the Saviour of the world. And what other effect can ever be produced by it? Were not the Apostles commanded to declare, through all the world, “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned?” Nor does this consequence result from any arbitrary appointment of God: it is, and must be so, in the very nature of things. “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son: he that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.” Now, if this life be in the Lord Jesus Christ, how can we receive it, if we believe not on him? We put it away from us: we do in fact say, ‘I will not have life: if God will not save me in any other way, I will not be saved at all.’ This is what our blessed Lord himself complained of: “Ye will not come unto me, that ye may have life.” It is to no purpose to dispute against this. We cannot alter the Divine appointment. A Saviour is given us: a free offer of salvation through Him is sent us: not a creature in the universe is excepted: not any one who comes to God through Him shall be cast out. But, if this Saviour be rejected, “there is no other sacrifice for sin;” no other foundation on which we can build;” “no other name whereby we can be saved.” We ought to be fully aware of this: for if we persist in our unbelief, “there remains for us nothing but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and of fiery indignation to consume us.”]

Let us now view, in contrast with this,

II. The transcendent excellence of faith—

Faith is highly commended in the Scriptures of truth. And well it may be; for,

1. It is associated with candour—

[“The just,” is he who weighs with candour whatever is brought before him, and embraces truth wherever he can find it. This disposition of mind is called, in Scripture, “an honest and good heart:” and wherever that is, the seed of the Gospel which is sown on it will grow up, and bring forth its appointed fruit. The believer will not reject this or that declaration, saying, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” nor will he complain of “any commandment, that it is grievous.” He will sit at the feet of Jesus, and hear his word: and, if he meet with any thing which strikes him as new, he will “search the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things be so:” and when any thing exceeds his comprehension, he will go to God in prayer, and implore the gift of his Holy Spirit to “open the eyes of his understanding,” and to “guide him into all truth.” In this way, his doubts are cleared; his difficulties are removed; his perception of truth is quickened: his submission to it increased; and his faith, which at first was only as a grain of mustard-seed, becomes a large tree, under the shadow of which he can safely repose, and by the fruits of which he is nourished unto life eternal. In a word, his faith unites him to the Lord, “in whom he finds both righteousness and strength.” Thus, from his integrity of heart, he is enabled to discern what a jaundiced mind would reject: and, from a readiness to obey the truth, he is put into possession of all those blessings which a proud, unbelieving hypocrite can never attain.]

2. It issues in salvation—

[“The just shall live by his faith.” At the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the believers availed themselves of a favourable moment, and fled to Pella, and escaped; whilst the whole unbelieving nation endured the righteous vengeance of an offended God. And who are they that shall be saved in the last day? Believers; and they alone. They will be then acknowledged by their God: they shall stand at the light hand of their Judge: they shall be exalted to thrones of glory: they shall live before him for ever and ever. To this the whole sacred volume bears witness. Not an exception to this truth shall ever be found: however God may suffer his people to be sifted, “not the least grain shall fall to the earth.” “It is not the will of our Father, that one of his little ones should perish.” No, verily, “they shall never perish, but shall have eternal life.”]

Suffer ye now, Brethren, a word of exhortation—

1. Be candid—

[Be aware of the bias that is upon your own minds. You cannot but be sensible that there is in all of us a love of this present evil world, and a distaste for heavenly employments. You cannot but have seen it, both in your hearts and lives, from the very first moment that you began to act. You know that you have, by nature, no delight in communion with God, nor any realizing views of things invisible and eternal. You know that your affections are naturally set on the things of time and sense, and that you look to them with an intensity of interest which you do not feel in the concerns of your souls. How all this must operate on your minds, in relation to the Gospel, is obvious. That, as you well know, calls you to a renunciation of all earthly vanities, a mortification of all corrupt appetites, and a pursuit of holiness as your supreme good. Be sensible of this, when you either hear or read the blessed word of God: and beg of him to “put truth in your inward parts;” and, by the mighty power of his Spirit, to cast down all your lofty and carnal imaginations, and to bring into captivity every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.”]

2. Be in earnest—

[It is not a mere speculation which I would impress upon your minds. No: it is the very truth of God; yea, “it is your very life.” Your rejecting of the truth will “not make void the faith of God.” It will stand, whether you reject it or not: and the final judgment will assuredly be in conformity with it. Do not then trifle. Remember how much you have at stake. Lose no time. Hear the threatenings of God, and tremble at them: and listen to the promises of God with lively gratitude and humble confidence. Bear in mind the issue of things with respect to the Jewish people: has not every word of God been fulfilled to them? You shall surely, ere long, see the same in reference to yourselves. If you proudly despise the word of God, or hypocritically pretend a submission to it which you do not yield, nothing remains for you but the stroke of God’s avenging rod. But if you will believe in Christ, and give yourselves up to him, you shall surely experience all the riches of his grace, and finally inherit all the fulness of his glory.]


Verse 20

DISCOURSE: 1224

GOD GREATLY TO BE FEARED

Habakkuk 2:20. The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

TO any one who beholds the works of creation, one would suppose that there could not exist a doubt respecting the being of a God: and to any one that contemplates an idol of his own formation, one would suppose it absolutely impossible that he should ascribe to it divine attributes, or worship it as his God. Yet experience shews, that God is thus overlooked, and that idols are almost universally substituted in his place. The very people of God themselves, to whom he had so often manifested himself in the most stupendous acts, were ever prone to renounce him, and to place their trust in idols of wood and stone. But a dreadful woe is denounced against all who so dishonour God, and debase their own souls; and the declaration of God to the whole universe is this, “The Lord is in his holy temple: let the whole earth keep silence before him.”

Let us here contemplate,

I. The majesty of Jehovah—

Viewing him in contrast with senseless idols, let us contemplate him,

1. As in the temple of the universe—

[He is there as the Creator of all, the Governor of all, the Judge of all. Idols are the work of men’s hands: but men themselves, together with every thing in the whole creation, are formed by God; who, by a single expression of his will, called them all into existence, and upholds them all by the word of his power. Behold the worlds and systems that are around us, every single star preserving its appointed course, and fulfilling the ends for which it was formed: who can behold them, and not acknowledge a God of infinite wisdom, and power, and grace? Or look at the smallest insect, that is scarcely visible to the naked eye, and can be distinctly seen only through the medium of a microscope; and say, whether the Deity be not as conspicuous in it, as in the universe itself? The whole of this is under his continual care. A poor senseless idol, so far from directing others, cannot even move itself, but is carried whithersoever the maker of it wills; and, instead of bearing others, is often itself, as the prophet well observes, “a burthen to the weary beast.” But Jehovah governeth all things, both in heaven and earth; insomuch that not a sparrow tails to the ground, or a hair from the head of any one of his saints, without his special permission. His very enemies, whilst they think to oppose him, do, in fact, accomplish his will: even the crucifixion of his only-begotten Son, though so horrible an impiety, did in reality fulfil his eternal counsels: nor was there any part of that awful event which was not predicted by God, and “by him determined before to be done.”

Nor is there so much as a transient thought in the mind of any man, but it is marked by him, and recorded in the book of his remembrance; and shall be brought forth at the day of judgment, as the ground of that sentence of condemnation or acquittal that shall be passed upon us. He appears, indeed, to be so far removed from us, that he cannot take cognizance of any thing that we do: but “all things are naked and open before him;” and “with him is no darkness at all; but the night and the day to him are both alike.” As for idols, they are unconscious of what is done even to themselves; and themselves are falling to decay, and may at any time be cast into the fire and be burnt. How unlike are they to Jehovah, who will assign to every one his proper doom; and himself exist for ever, the joy of his redeemed people, the terror of his prostrate enemies!]

2. As in the person of the Lord Jesus—

[It will be remembered by you all, that Jehovah dwelt, as it were visibly, first in the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple, in that bright cloud called the Shechinah, the symbol of the Divine presence. But yet more visibly, if I may so speak, did he dwell in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ: according as it is said, “The Word was with God, and was God, and was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us.” The expression here used has a direct reference to the tabernacle, which was a type of Christ’s humanity: He was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, as in a tabernacle [Note: John 1:1; John 1:14. ἐσκήνωσεν.]; and on that very account he is called the image of the invisible God [Note: Colossians 1:15]; that is, the person in whom the invisible God has condescended to make himself visible to mortal man. In this adorable Saviour “dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily [Note: Colossians 2:9.]:” and in him all the perfections of his Father shine forth, insomuch, that he is “the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person [Note: Hebrews 1:3.].” Behold, then, the incarnate Deity, sojourning on earth, to fulfil the counsels of eternal Wisdom, for the redemption of a ruined world. How contemptible are worthless idols in comparison of him! and how must every Dagon fall from its very base before him!]

Let us then contemplate,

II. Our duty towards him—

Well is it said, “Let the whole earth keep silence before him.” Truly, as surrounded by his majesty, and upheld by his power, and saved by his mercy, we must behold him,

1. With reverential awe—

[He is indeed “greatly to be feared, and to be had in reverence of all them that are round about him.” If the rocks trembled at his presence when he descended on Mount Sinai [Note: Judges 5:5.], much more must his intelligent creation, and still more the sinners of mankind. In heaven, all his hosts, whether of sinless angels or redeemed saints, fall prostrate before him: and on earth, his most favoured people have never beheld his glory, or heard his voice, but they have fallen on their face, as Abraham did, with the profoundest awe, and in deepest adoration [Note: Genesis 17:3.]. Even to a fellow-creature the most respectful reverence has been often shewn, and that, too, even by persons of the highest rank, through an admiration of his superior goodness and wisdom [Note: Job 29:9-10.]: what, then, must be due to the God of heaven, whether as riding on the heavens in his majesty, or walking on the earth in the multitude of his tender mercy?]

2. With meek submission—

[Many things, of course, occur, which we feel to be painful, and are unable to comprehend: for “our God doeth whatsoever pleaseth him;” “nor will he give account to us of any of his matters.” Nor should we for one moment rise against any of his dispensations. However dark or trying they may be, we should say, “It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.” In truth, his dispensations are frequently ordered for this very end, “to humble us, and to prove us,” as he proved Israel of old: and he says to us, “Be still, and know that I am God [Note: Psalms 46:10.].” This is our duty, whether we contemplate his majesty or his love; and in every event of life we must learn to say, Not my will, but thine be done.”]

3. With humble affiance—

[Great as is our God, he has engaged to interpose in behalf of his people, and to order every thing for their good. On him, therefore, we should rely with perfect confidence; not doubting but that he will accomplish for us that which, on the whole, shall be most for our good. The example of David, in this respect, is most worthy of imitation: “In the Lord put I my trust. How say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo. the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” What? “The Lord is in his holy temple: the Lord’s throne is in heaven [Note: Psalms 11:1-4.];” and, as long as he is there to succour me, “I fear not what men or devils can do against me.” In relation to every concern, temporal, spiritual, eternal, this must be our frame: and this our song, “If God be for me, who can be against me?”]

4. With unreserved obedience—

[No authority must be regarded in opposition to his; no disposition be harboured that is contrary to his will. Of the angels it is said, “They do his will, hearkening to the voice of his word.” Thus should we be listening with deep attention to the manifestations of his will: and, when once we have discovered it, we should fulfil it with our whole hearts. Nothing should deter us, nothing should impede us: we should strive to do his will, with the readiness and constancy that it is done in heaven.]

From this subject we may gather ample matter,

1. For reproof—

[It is truly surprising, that, with all our knowledge of God, we should be so regardless of him, as not to have him “in all, or any, of our thoughts.” It is not too strong to say of the generality of those who are called Christians, that they are “Atheists in the world [Note: Ephesians 2:12. The Greek.].” But what impiety is this! yea, and what folly too! If, indeed, we could withstand his power, there were some kind of excuse for us: but “will our hands be strong in the day that he shall deal with us? or can we thunder with a voice like his?” Alas! we must assuredly stand at his judgment-seat, and “receive from him according to what we have done in the body, whether it be good or evil.” I call you, then, to stand in awe of him, and to tremble at his presence: for, if you refuse to fear him now, oh! think what trembling will come upon you, when you shall be summoned to his bar, to receive your eternal doom. I pray you despise not this warning; but today, while it is called today, implore his mercy, lest he leave you to the hardness of your own hearts, and give you up to final impenitence.]

2. For encouragement—

[God is, indeed, in his holy temple, ready to hear the weeping suppliant, and mighty to save his repenting people. To the Jews of old, access was denied, yea, was denied even to the high priest himself, except on one day in the year, to the more immediate presence of their God: but for you the way into the holiest is made clear; so that you may come with boldness and confidence to the very throne of God, whenever a sense of your necessities, or of his mercies, inclines you to approach him. When your Redeemer died, the vail was rent in twain, in order to represent to you this delightful truth. In Christ, your God is reconciled unto you: in Christ, he is ever nigh unto you, and ever ready to impart unto you all the blessings of grace and glory. Nay: He will make even your own hearts his temple; and “will dwell in you,” and “manifest himself unto you.” To you, then, I will rather reverse the direction in the text, and say, “Keep not silence; but rather plead with him, and give him no rest, day or night [Note: Isaiah 62:6-7.],” till he grant you the desires of your heart. “Be not straitened in yourselves; for ye are not straitened in him.” “However wide you may open your mouth, he will fill it,” and will “give you exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think.” In reference to his dealings with you, indeed, you must keep the most reverential silence: for “his ways are in the great deep;” “nor are his thoughts” at all in unison “with ours.” But I again say, in reference to all your own necessities, you can never ask too much, nor ever expect too much. Only look to him as “your God;” and you shall surely find him “a God unto you.”]

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Habakkuk 2:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/habakkuk-2.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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