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Habakkuk was lamenting, wondering how long God would allow violence to surround the righteous. God’s answer astounded him — He was raising up a far more violent nation.

So Habakkuk lamented again and then went to his watchtower to “see what he will say to me.”

D. A. Carson, a mentor to Tim Keller and a founder of The Gospel Coalition, believes Habakkuk’s prophecy (which was fulfilled decades later) may very well be what we call a telescopic prophecy, where there is a near prophecy and a far prophecy, pointing to the end times and the coming of Christ.


I will be sharing some of Carson’s New Testament references that parallel Habakkuk and point to the 2nd coming of Christ as this study progresses.

Of course we do not know the day or the hour when Christ will come. Many believers felt that the holocaust that led to World War II meant we were in the end times. But that wasn’t the end, though I believe a birth pang pointing to the end. In that terrible time there was a remnant who “walked by faith and not by fear.” Corrie ten Boom was one. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was another. The best biography I’ve ever read is this one:


The presence of Christ was so real to Bonhoeffer, filling his heart with an inextinguishable joy. One guard reports watching him just before he was hung. (Can you tell I’m trying to entice you to read the book this summer?)

In the 1930’s the writing was on the wall that Bonhoeffer’s beloved country of Germany was going mad. How could so many Germans, including pastors, line up behind Hitler?

The enemy had used fear to distort their thinking.

Fear is the opposite of faith, and only faith can overcome fear, faith that God is real, sovereign, and good.


To prepare for this week’s short but pregnant passage, I want to show how Bonhoeffer sought the Lord for I see a parallel with his ancestor, Habakkuk, who waited on God and then walked by faith.



This is the man who gave us, in his thirties, “The Cost of Discipleship.” His face was set like flint to do God’s will. In Dallas Willard’s Hearing God, Willard writes:

I fear many people seek to hear God soley as a device for obtaining their own safety, comfort, and sense of being righteous.  …God will simply not cooperate.

How often do we pray to be delivered out of our circumstances? While it is not wrong to pray for healing or blessings, God has a deeper purpose for our lives of which we must always be aware.



He prayed, he pondered Scripture, he sought counsel. He began to move based on those three things.

He  saw how the German church was caving, and endeavored to persuade the leadership of the church to take a stand against Hitler. When they told him they were “waiting on the Lord,” he wrote: “To delay or fail to make decisions may be more sinful that to make wrong decisions out of faith and love.”


Bonhoeffer then was led to begin a seminary in Germany to teach the Word of God to young men and to revive the existing pastors who were being deceived by Hitler’s “German church” which distorted the Scriptures to justify the persecution of Jews. Jews were now being identified on their passports and with yellow badges.


In 1939 Bonhoeffer was called into the German draft. He knew he could not do it for “I would have to do violence to my Christian conscience.” He was able to be released by taking a position in America as a pastor to German refugees. He met with the friends and leaders in Germany to keep the seminary going underground before he left. Then he took a ship to America with a heavy heart for his homeland — he wanted to return as soon as possible. He thought it would be in a year, but he heard from God in 26 days and returned, though he knew it might mean his life.

It was a momentous decision.

He could not do anything less for he had heard from God.


These are some entries from Bonhoeffer’s journal during those 26 days. The first, I believe, shows how God was guiding his heart through His Spirit as Bonhoeffer cried out to God day and night for guidance.

June 15, 1939

I do not understand why I am here. (America) I have now been almost two weeks without knowing what is going on there. (Germany) It is hard to bear. Tonight the parlor conversation was about if it is possible to get a good musical education in New York…The inactivity, or rather activity in unimportant things, is quite intolerable when one thinks of the brethren and how how precious time is. …I am in utter despair.

His time in the word seemed to confirm what the Spirit was telling his heart. The Word and the Spirit always agree.


Saturday, June 18, 1939

It is almost unbearable… Today God’s Word says, “I am coming soon.” (Rev 3:11) There is not time to lose and here I am wasting days, perhaps weeks. In any case, it seems like that at the moment. My whole life is over there. (Germany)

Sunday, June 19, 1939

He went to a huge church (RIverside) near his hotel, longing to hear from God, but it was a tepid sermon based not on Scripture but on the philosopher William James. Bonhoeffer left, distraught, to return to his room and the Word. His habit was to begin with the psalms, praying them. He was quickened by:

Depart from me you evil ones, so that I may obey God’s commands.

Psalm 119:115

Still others fell on good ground, and produced a crop, some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown.

Matthew 13:8

It comforts me that Bonhoeffer was continually questioning his motives for decisions, making him unsure. He was being pressured by the Americans to stay, because they felt they needed him, and also felt he would be in danger if he went. He was such a godly man, yet often unsure. He writes:

At the end of the day I can only ask God to give a merciful judgement on today and all its decisions.

June 26th, 1939

Today I read by chance in 2 Timothy 4: “Do thy diligence to come before winter,” Paul’s petition to Timothy. “Come before winter” — otherwise it might be too late. This has been in my mind all day.

Bonhoeffer left New York for Europe on July 7th, 1939.

God would use him mightily to bring pastors to their senses, to rescue Jews, and to write books his two years in prison before Hitler had him hung.

Again, in 2016, our world seems to be going mad. We are no longer “slouching toward Gomorrah,” as Robert Bork put it twenty years ago, but rather, “racing toward Gomorrah.”

Slouching toward Gomorrah51ZQq-E2rtL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Another holocaust is happening. 7,000 Christians in the Middle East were martyred last year, yet that news is buried. Are we in the end times? I don’t know, but the world is spiraling down and we must walk by faith and not by fear.


1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Monday – Wednesday Bible Study

Prepare your heart with this:

Audrey Assad wrote this after watching the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded on a beach.


 2.  As a review of Habakkuk 1:

         A. Why was Habakkuk so shocked to hear that God was raising up the 

           Chaldeans to discipline Israel? (Use the text to answer)

          B.  Challenge question: My friend Twila and I had an intriguing discussion about

             verse 1:12 for some translations (such as the new NIV) say “You shall not

             die” and others say “We shall not die.” Remembering that poetry in couplets

             repeats thoughts, what do you think and why?

3.   Read Habakkuk 2:1-2

A. Where is Habakkuk going and what is he going to do?

B. Keller makes the point to get alone — as a watchtower would do. Do you have a habitual quiet place and time?

C.  What phrases in verse 1 show active waiting? Expectancy?

D.  What is the first thing that God tells him to do when the vision comes, and how is he to articulate it? Why do you think this is an important command?

E.  For those of you who teach, or who are mothers, or who disciple others — what helps you to be clear — and how do you know if you have been understood?


Often prophets have a near and far vision, and that may be the case with Habakkuk.


D. A. Carson writes: Originally this prophecy of Habakkuk pointed to the coming of the Chaldeans to destroy Israel. But this Old Testament text might be considered to have a double fulfillment, originally fulfilled in Habakkuk’s era but pointing to the ultimate fulfillment at the second coming of Christ.

3.  According to verse 3, what does God tell him about the vision? Find all you can.

4. Do you see any similarities to Luke 12:35-48?



4. JUDGMENT IS COMING. It will deal with the unrighteous and reward the righteous. What is the contrast that is made between the two in verse 4?

       5. How are you “walking by faith” in these times? And if indeed, if we are at the precipice of difficult end-times, how will you walk by faith?

      6.  Read Habakkuk 2:1-4 slowly.

A. Reflect: What quickens you and why?

B. Respond: How could you pray what you learn into your heart?

C. Rest and be with God. Experience His presence.

Thursday-Friday Sermon:

Waiting and Living by Faith

7. Listen and share your notes.


8. What is your take-a-way and why?

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  1. 4. JUDGMENT IS COMING. It will deal with the unrighteous and reward the righteous. What is the contrast that is made between the two in verse 4?
    The unrighteous are prideful and self-serving; the righteous are loyal and faithful.
    5. How are you “walking by faith” in these times? And if indeed, if we are at the precipice of difficult end-times, how will you walk by faith?
    There are so many things to worry about and become undone over (e.g., terrorism and brutality, human trafficking, my children’s future, the upcoming presidential election, human slavery, abuse), and honestly sometimes I do fall into wondering (i.e., why God?) and worrying.  When “walking by faith,” I come to the end of myself and to the realization of Who is really in control and in charge, Who is victorious, Who is Who…God.  I rest in knowing that my mind cannot comprehend all the ways and means of God; some things will look just plain wrong (e.g., Babylonians disciplining Judah, Joseph being sold, Jesus’ crucifixion), but in my struggle I pray…I pray for the Lord to rest my mind in His provision, to help me to see where He is at work, and provide strength of body, mind, and spirit to His followers (me included…:) ).  Being in a community of believers  physically at church or online provides strength and fortitude.  When I sing worship songs, I am reminded of the Lord’s dominion and His unfathomable love, justice, and mercy. I remember, God is good and I am loved.

  2. 3.  According to verse 3, what does God tell him about the vision? Find all you can.
    (1)  The time of the revelation is already set (appointed).  
    (2) It speaks of the end. 
    (3)  It will not prove false. 
    (4) It will surely come and will not delay.   So wait for it!
    4. Do you see any similarities to Luke 12:35-48?
    Yes, Christ’s second coming will happen at the appointed time.  No one knows when that will be.   True servants are to be watching and standing ready.   
    4. JUDGMENT IS COMING. It will deal with the unrighteous and reward the righteous. What is the contrast that is made between the two in verse 4?
    The unrighteous are focused on themselves and their desires, while the righteous are focused on the Lord and are faithfully waiting upon the Lord.  
     5. How are you “walking by faith” in these times? And if indeed, if we are at the precipice of difficult end-times, how will you walk by faith?
    Being in prayer and in the Word.   Remaining connected to a community of faith believers.  However, I think it is easy to be distracted by the pleasures of the world.   I want to be careful not to miss opportunities to give testimony or witness, and not to shrink away from being counted as one of the faithful, even if my physical well-being is in jeopardy by standing up.     We see these things happening in other parts of the world.  It could come here in a heartbeat!
     6.  Read Habakkuk 2:1-4 slowly.
    A. Reflect: What quickens you and why?
    “The righteous shall live by faith” is repeated by Paul in at least a couple of places (Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11).     That statement is what it all comes down to – living by faith – not giving up or despairing – putting all our trust in the Lord.   It can be said so simply, but is not always so easy to do, even when we want to do so.  
    B. Respond: How could you pray what you learn into your heart?
    Dear Lord, Tonight I wait for you.  I release all of my worldly cares and totally trust in yourlove and mercy.   I wait to see what you will do in my life!   Help me to be faithful through it all.   Amen.  

    1. Deanna – your prayer moved me deeply and I am praying it along with you tonight.  Thank you.  I’m copying it into my journal as another lovely, powerful bedtime prayer.  🙂  

    2. Deanna,
      Thank you for posting this prayer.  Amen.

    3. Amen to your prayer, Deanna.
      Yes, I hope also that I might be a witness. “It could happen here in a heartbeat”…so true.

  3. 3.  According to verse 3, what does God tell him about the vision? Find all you can.
    He tells us it will come at a certain time. We should wait and be patient. He says it will come quickly at the end. He says it won’t lie.
    4. Do you see any similarities to Luke 12:35-48?
    yes, Jesus is telling people to always be prepared. He says you never know when judgement day is finally upon us and we should be ready to go on that day; keep our lamps burning.

  4. 3. Read Habakkuk 2:1-2
    A. Where is Habakkuk going, and what is he going to do?
    He is going to stand watch on the ramparts (of the city?) – it sounds like a high place from which he can see all that is around him. He is waiting for the Lord to answer him.
    B. Keller makes the point to get alone – as a watchtower would do. Do you have a habitual quiet place and time?
    I do this study on our computer in the den, usually early in the morning when I can be alone. Or, I like to be in the family room sitting where I can look out the window at the woods behind our house. Mornings are best for me to read Scripture or other books, because if I try to get into a book in the evening I have trouble staying awake.
    C. What phrase in verse 1 shows active waiting? Expectancy?
    “I will look to see what He will say to me….”
    D. What is the first thing that God tells him to do when the vision comes, and how is he to articulate it? Why do you think this is an important command?
    God tells Habakkuk to write down the revelation on tablets so that a herald (messenger) can “run with it”. This reminded me of Moses and the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments. I think it’s important because so often when someone tells us something, and then we repeat it to another person, and they repeat it, and so on, the message gets changed a little each time. If it is written down, there will be no distorting of the message.

  5. 3D.  What is the first thing that God tells him to do when the vision comes, and how is he to articulate it?  Why do you think this is an important comand?
    He is to write it, and write it plainly.  The written word is uniquely powerful – of course, particularly and awesomely when it is the Word of God.  But the simple answer is plainly given to us in the verse:  “so that he may run who reads it.”  Hmm……run to spread the warning?  run from judgement?  (running from judgement is certainly futile…).  Run empowered by the very Word that he carries as he runs?  That intrigues me and I can’t help but picture one running here with the warning….and also the hope!  As in Romans 10:15….”how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”.  Isn’t that the Gospel?  The merciful, merciful warning of God of certain judgement to come, the call to repentance and the HOPE in Jesus Christ and His work of redemption on the cross!  

    1. Jackie love your pondering here. I was listening tonight to Psalm 119 and thought of what you wrote here today when I heard “I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart” Psalm 119:32 I want Him to enlarge my heart:)

      1. oh yes, Liz!  THAT kind of enlarged heart is good medicine for the soul!  🙂  

  6. Late getting here to post though I have been reading the study. I honestly feel for myself this has been a favorite thus far. I cannot tell you how much it is speaking to me. Just listened to the song and so touched.  All of the quotes stood out and I will be getting the biography. “Salvation is free but discipleship will cost you your life” his journal entry of the struggle hearing the conversations about such unimportant things. This struck me even deeper to think Lord how often do we bring prayers to You along these lines??? 
    I feel the Holy Spirit blowing fresh wind in my heart. Lord I want to be on the Watchtower waiting expecting pondering Your Word, getting Your counsel and to act when I should be acting, to speak when I should be speaking. Help me weed the unimportant stuff out of my day. Break my heart for what breaks Yours, lead me to the important things and help me to let the other things go. I want my sole desire to be You and the thought of my own life can be let go of. You are all I need. Let my every breath love You. In Jesus Name. Amen.

  7. 3.  According to verse 3, what does God tell him about the vision?  Find all you can.
    At first I felt like I was going cross eyed reading this verse….then I began to think how lovely and poetic it read….and then I thought “whatever does this mean???”……and the first thing that came to mind was 2 Peter, chapter 3.  What a fire and brimstone read THAT is!!  But overlaid with God’s amazing, lavish GRACE!!!  Verses 8&9 of that chapter say:  “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish,but that all should reach repentance.”  If D.A. Carson (and most other scholars!) is correct in that this prophecy of Habakkuk is also reaching ahead to the second coming of Christ, it would be further amplified by Peter’s words – in which the second coming of Christ was clearly the subject.  Even if the context is strictly the Chaldian invasion followed by judgement on the Chaldeans, that would “seem slow” to Habakkuk!  God tells Habakkuk that there is an “appointed time”, that the vision “will not lie” and “it will surely come; it will not delay.”  That is, it will not delay when one considers that there is an appointed time for that judgement!  

    1. Jackie – thank you for that passage! The thought popped into my mind as I read your comments – how good we wait when we know the date, even though it be way far off, the certainty of it settles our hearts. But to NOT know, oh dear, we become all a-muddle…. Perhaps because we loose certainty. The 2 Peter passage you shared gives us that certainty. “It” is on the calendar, it’s just a calendar we cannot gaze at. 

      1. Jill,  if this was on Facebook,  I would put a great big “Like” on your above remarks!   Yes, it is the uncertainty that gets us down!   We actually enjoy receiving “Save-a-Dates”  months in advance.

      2. Jill, it’s like waiting for a baby to be born. I always thought if I just knew the date and how many hours the labor would take and some other key details then the waiting wouldn’t be so hard and worrisome. 

  8. 4.  Do you see any similarities to Luke 12:35-48?
    I see many!  But primarily I do believe that both passages underscore this quote from your introduction, Dee:  “I want to show how Bonhoeffer sought the Lord for I see a parallel with his ancestor, Habakkuk, who waited on God and then walked by faith.”  Your punchy photo of the red chairs…..highlighting “waiting vs. active waiting”……Jesus in the Luke passage is most definitely speaking of ACTIVE WAITING….and giving us a terrible warning about our malaise.  🙁  

  9. With this a thought just came I cannot go around  with an attitude to others that what they care about does not matter. Oh Lord I need You here, I need You in everything!!!!  I just so know my personality at times when the Lord is speaking something personally to me. Temper me Lord.

  10. 3. According to verse 3, what does God tell him about the vision? Find all you can.
    It has a specific time.
    It will come.
    It is waiting and yet hastening at the same time.
    It will come without delay. This means that whatever else happens is not a delay of the vision but rather other things falling into place and playing out to make ready for the vision or set the stage for the vision, they are necessary, otherwise they would be delays…
    4. Do you see any similarities to Luke 12:35-48? Yes, there is a sense of both imminence and waiting, just like in Habkkuk. The Master WILL come do not think that He is being delayed but rather that the time is appointed and you must wait awake, not sleeping or beating his servants.

  11. 3.  According to verse 3, what does God tell him about the vision? Find all you can.
    Ooohhh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this verse, though I likely am applying it out of context.

    The vision will take place at it’s appointed time; it “speaks of the end” (NIV); it might seem slow to come & Habakkuk was to wait; yet it wouldn’t be delayed.
    The contrast between slow to come and not delayed is interesting.  What seems slow to us isn’t delayed in God’s timing.  

    Wondering if this also means (???): when “the end” does come, it’s going to happen really fast.I like this verse in an outta-context-kinda-way because it fits the way my life has worked:  I wait and wait and wait in a miserable situation, plodding along trying to do the right thing, with hints that a good change will take place, and then all of a sudden everything changes so fast that I can hardly keep up.  I think I recently started the “changing so fast I can hardly keep up” phase and am excited about it.

    4. Do you see any similarities to Luke 12:35-48?  Oh my, YES!  And this passage adds insight into the faithfulness involved in waiting.

    1. Renee–I relate to this, “all of a sudden everything changes so fast that I can hardly keep up.”
       and this  makes me smile for you: “I think I recently started the “changing so fast I can hardly keep up” phase and am excited about it.” 🙂

      1. Lizzy, 😀

      1. We will be SOOO in awe of Jesus, worshipping and relieved and happy to see Him that we won’t be thinking about how hard the waiting has been.  Remembering/knowing what is at the end of the wait provides hope and a reason to seek Him and wait.  Such a good question that reminds me of WHY.

  12. 4. JUDGMENT IS COMING. It will deal with the unrighteous and reward the righteous. What is the contrast that is made between the two in verse 4?
    The unrighteous are arrogant and have unrighteous (probably self-centered?) desires; the righteous are faithful.

           5. How are you “walking by faith” in these times?  I do seek the Lord, and it seems like a lot of waiting, one step at a time.  But even though I seek Him daily, I am not as disciplined/intentional as I could be.
    And if indeed, if we are at the precipice of difficult end-times, how will you walk by faith?  I’d like to develop better habits.  I don’t want to run away from difficulties.  AND, some of what I do now:  I look at how   God is working in the world — the may ways in which he is drawing people to Himself.

    I’ve been thinking about something related this week, wondering if I am complacent or what is wrong with me. I’ve heard scary stories about the end times my whole life; and I don’t know if that has made me numb.  I’m not particularly fearful about the election (I’m annoyed/angry though); I’m also not nervous about traveling overseas.  My biggest fear is that I will get too tired — and thinking about flying over water kinda creeps me out.  Part of the reason for my lack of fear is that I have friends and acquaintances that live in/travel in different parts of the world — and some have the same fears about the violence in the U.S. I see their photos on FB weekly.  And I’ve also been told I was a little too brave about hailing a cab in a dangerous area of another country where I didn’t speak the language.  

    On Sunday, we had missionaries from an eastern European country in church.  They had photos of their life, many similar to our life here, but also told about refugees from a Middle Eastern country who were temporarily in their area.  One woman had been carrying some writing about Jesus with her for 3 months, waiting until she met someone who could answer her questions.  I also have read news about people in ISIS receiving visions from God.  So, one way I may be able to stay encouraged in the future is to pay attention to where God is working — and get on board as he opens doors.  I don’t know yet when or where but likely not right here.  Recently, I’ve thought (again) that I’d like to learn another language but wasn’t sure which one.  So…not sure about the specifics of the future, but right now I am starting to downsize so that I can be more portable — and MOVE!

  13. I just read this and it sobered, but encouraged me–thought it was fitting here:
    “In the whole land, declares the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, sand one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” –Zechariah 13:9
    “But if God brings us into the trial he will be with us in the trial, and at length bring us out, more refined. We shall lose nothing but dross”-Richards Sibbes, Bruised Reed

    1. Had to respond, Lizzy. Zechariah and Sibbes, yes, this is the word of the Lord. Sobering truth! Lord, I have so much dross to be removed!

  14. Reading in Psalms I found “Your testimonies are my delight they are my counselors” Psalm 119:24

  15. 4. JUDGMENT IS COMING. It will deal with the unrighteous and reward the righteous. What is the contrast that is made between the two in verse 4?
    The unrighteous are on a path for themselves only. The righteous live by their faithfulness and will be rewarded because of this faith.
      5. How are you “walking by faith” in these times? And if indeed, if we are at the precipice of difficult end-times, how will you walk by faith?
    Faith is hard at times; you can’t see it or touch it. I have to infuse my life every minute or I forget….I’m SO human 🙁  I have scripture on my walls (2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight), I listen to Christian music each day, I participate in this bible study every day, go to church, dance for Him, and I talk to God all the time. I will continue these practices even in the hardest of times. It’s all I really have to hold on.

    1. Laura–I so relate to this “I have to infuse my life every minute or I forget”. You’ve got great disciplines in place–you made me think of this from Isaiah 26:3: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you”

      1. Amen to what Lizzy said.  It involves saturation!

    2. Laura – Amen to Lizzy’s words to you…..keep on infusing your life moment by moment with CHRIST!!!  You totally inspire me.  

  16. 4. JUDGEMENT IS COMING. It will deal with the unrighteousness and reward the righteous. What is the contrast that is made between the two in verse 4? The verse seems to imply that the unrighteous are arrogant (thinking they are good on their own…puffed up) but the righteous rely on faith … Assuming this faith is in God and the Savior promised.
    5. How are you “walking by faith” in these times? And if indeed, if we are at the precise of difficult end-times, how will you walk by faith? Walking by faith and waiting. Can you truly wait? As in just do nothing? No. We have learned time and time again that you must replace your actions… Put off, Put on… Therefore you must put something ON. Even if you think you are “doing nothing” you are always doing something! I have had to have a lot of dental work in the last year (long story) which is fairly inconsequential except that I have a jaw condition that makes keeping my mouth open extremely painful. I will be laid out with pain the first couple of days and then have to take pain medication and watch how much I talk, etc. for up to a week or more afterwards. My dentist has worked with me to try and minimize this and find a way to still do the work without excruciating pain. The solution was to put a bite block in my mouth, forcing my mouth open, and for me to actively relax those muscles and let the bite block do its job. This takes concentration and effort to make sure those muscle are not engaged in order to not be injured. This is active waiting! The better I am able to breathe and relax those muscles the less pain I have afterward. The more I forget and clench and fight the work done (subconsciously) the more pain I have afterwards.
    Sometimes walking by faith is actively breathing your fears and worries out and re-handing the situation to God, again and again, relax in His hand, His plan and not try to force details and situations. Continually preaching the truth to your soul, not in an effort to chase away the icky anxious feeling that all will go wrong, but to force your gaze on what is good: Him. Sometimes we interpret the feeling of uncertainty in “when” as uncertainty in God’s ability….
    How will I walk by faith in end times? I now truly believe that I would die for His name….my concern lies in what will I do when asked to go against the laws of the land for what God says is right (like Bonhoeffer). Will I be brave enough? Will He give me clear vision? Will He protect my children? Will I pretend to be naive? I pray not but it is one reason I want to memorize more…for the day that I will need to pull on His Word more than ever!

    1. Jill, I may msg you through FB to find out more about that bite block (TMJ problems here, but MUCH better than in the past)

    2. JIll – I was just stupified by the way you were able to draw out so much from your dental advantures!!!  How my heart sings to see you seeing Him in the mundane, in the details.  Through your example you kicked my brain into gear and so MUCH came to me from my own mundane life!  I think of hearing my daughter say, one way or another, that when riding (horses) you are NEVER just coasting.  You are ALWAYS engaged, riding, training.  You are either moving forward or moving backward.  Her words have come to me time and again in a myriad of “situations” in my daily life!  Your example dovetails beautifully with that!  I’m not explaining it well, but don’t want to make this a page long entry!  🙂  Bottom line, I was blessed and I connected so to your story.  (I also managed a dental/holistic health office “back in the day”….and I mean LONG ago, pre-conversion days….in Lexington, KY….so I even had emotional warmth for the dental piece!!).

  17. 6.  Read Habakkuk 2:1-4 slowly.  A. Reflect: What quickens you and why?
    aaahhhh, v. 4 is not the verse I wanted to quicken me; I even tried another version to try to get quickened by another verse!! 🙁     Vs 4:  The type of person who drives me the most nuts (!) is someone who is “puffed up,” has power/resources and either lies or in other ways tries to squash any disagreement.  It often seems that these are the ones who move up and continue to do more damage. “Puffed up” doesn’t bother me as much in those who are honest and do good work.  Re: the dishonest, powerful puffed up, I SO want to fix/make things right.  By now, I know that won’t work, whether it happens at work, in politics, or even in church.  “The righteous shall live by faith/faithfulness” reminds me that my responsibility is to be faithful, to trust, to let God work — to bring about what He desires in His time.  It’s not (necessarily) that I am to completely shut up or to avoid acting in the face of evil, but to do so when/how He leads.  I think He is protecting my by telling me not to take on the world in my own strength.
    Over time, I have seen a pattern in many organizations that you really can’t fight city hall.  I used to believe that if people heard/saw what is right, things would change.  However, observing some situations at work has taught me that in the short term, power often trumps right, at least in the public eye (I do think some hands are slapped behind the scenes).  And yet, a few people who are most familiar with the process continue to calmly point out right/wrong. Unlike others who feel as if they have lost altogether when administrative decisions against them are consistent, even if clearly wrong, those who are most familiar KNOW they won’t win (in the short term) but continue to stand up for what is right anyway.  I don’t completely agree with the reasons, but observing the process has helped me recognize that I am not responsible for “fixing” — I am responsible for being faithful, often to those who are being beat up.
    B. Respond: How could you pray what you learn into your heart?  1) I can pray this into my heart by focusing on Him in worship so that I have a much deeper understanding that He is in control and His timing is perfect.  2) and then “station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me.”
    Something else I will pray about: I know that some of these situations have been stressful enough to adversely impact my health — and recognizing God’s control does decrease my stress/improve health. On the flip side, I suspect I may have been duped by some Christian fitness/health trends (in attitude if not behavior 😉 ) and that there needs to be a balance (probably wrong word) between stewardship (another wrong word?) of health and willing to sacrifice my health for the sake of the Kingdom. We would be in a real mess if Jesus had put his own health first.

    (Too much thinking. Time for some active waiting of a different kind)

    1. Renee – we have no one like you here – what a gift you continually are to our learning curve! After a few years here, I feel like I could “pick out” a lot of the sisters responses here without names….but I KNOW that I could nail your responses every time!!!!  You make me laugh….and work hard at times …..and I LOVE it!  I dig much deeper into Scripture because you are here sister.  Thank you.  

    2. . We would be in a real mess if Jesus had put his own health first.

      Totally profound, Renee.  I think I may remember this one.  

  18. 2 B.  Challenge question: My friend Twila and I had an intriguing discussion about verse 1:12 for some translations (such as the new NIV) say “You shall not die” and others say “We shall not die.” Remembering that poetry in couplet repeats thoughts, what do you think and why?
    This is challenging. My first thought with the word WE..was the trinity..then after looking at it some more I am thinking of how Habakkuk was suffering and he was desperate to be reassured that God is sovereign and in control and maybe WE is referring to Habakkuk and his people eternally-in the future God has them and so does He now.  He is everlasting so even if God doesn’t fix it and they die they will live-for they are His. I am sure I am totally mistaken here-but wonderful question!

    1. Rebecca – I went the same direction as you on this question, so of course I don’t think you are mistaken at all!!  HA!!!  I did seem to keep coming back to our UNION with Christ….these days I am finding that such a key lens through which to view so much of Scripture, of life.  And I do agree that this is a wonderful question!  Very recently, a conversation with Wanda reminded me of why I eventually plugged in to the blog here a few years ago…..the fellowship seemed SO real, to be sure, but the DRAW, the HUNGER was for Christ, for the Word.  And  the Spirit gifted questions that Dee seemed to ask week after week fueled my soul hunger so deeply!!  Rebecca,  it is WONDERFUL to see you here today….and to know that your surgery is in the rear view mirror!  May God continue to be greatly praised in the midst of the storyline He has drawn you into….and He WILL be!  Amen.  

      1. Jackie-THANK YOU! I agree..so glad it is in the rear view mirror now. 🙂 My life has changed though..I have a few discs that could pop so I can’t lift anything heavy, stoop for very long, etc.. so no more vacuuming, cleaning floors etc. 

        1. oh sweetie, that is hard upon hard.  🙁     Except I’m thinking that God will fill what has been shelved with some GOOD things!  I know He will.  🙂  None of this in your life is without purpose…….

        2. Oh Rebecca, was wondering 🙁     I like your use of the phrase “has changed” (vs has to change, etc).  Be careful!  Continuing to pray for you; even the thought of discs popping is painful.  

  19. 3.   Read Habakkuk 2:1-2
    A. Where is Habakkuk going and what is he going to do?
    He is stationing himself on the watchtower ready for what God will say to Him. He is actively waiting.
    B. Keller makes the point to get alone — as a watchtower would do. Do you have a habitual quiet place and time?
    Yes…4-4:30 a.m. when no one is awake yet. If I sleep in and get up at 5:30-6 a.m. when everyone else is awake, the time I set aside for God is greatly affected by noise and interruptions.
    C.  What phrases in verse 1 show active waiting? Expectancy?
    He is expecting God to speak to Him and is trying to think ahead based on what he sees and then thinking about his answer to God.
    D.  What is the first thing that God tells him to do when the vision comes, and how is he to articulate it? Why do you think this is an important command?
    God asked him to write it on tablets plainly for all to understand. (This reminds me of Moses.) That they may run who see it-they will know it is from God. His Word is powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword and it will pierce their hearts and their fear will be their god. 
    E.  For those of you who teach, or who are mothers, or who disciple others — what helps you to be clear — and how do you know if you have been understood?
    I rephrase it so they can understand. I  also draw diagrams sometimes for further understanding. Then I ask questions to find out if they understood. If they ask questions I know they are pondering and that is good.

  20. Takeaway:     This is cheating because my takeaway isn’t totally coming from the lesson.  I began this lesson in earnest and I sure WANTED to do the whole lesson but life got turned completely upside down when my daughter went into  the hospital on Wednesday. She will be there about a week and I have spent much of each day driving there and being there.   Harsh reality hits hard during weeks like this.   And years of memories flood back too.    
    I did think a lot about judgement one day and started to answer the questions here, but was abruptly interrupted by an chance to get an unexpected ride to the hospital.   So I deleted the in progress comment.    Judgement is hard to think on.  Because some I love the most do not follow God.   This week has brought our mortality and the harsh reality of chronic and life threatening illness back into focus for me.    I have learned over the years, that the only way I can keep moving on, is to trust the heart of God.  I have to lean into His tender mercies.   I have to trust that He will also extend mercy to those I love.  For that is what mercy is:  Undeserved favor.    I am not attempting a doctrinal statement here. Just finding comfort where I can.  I do believe His mercy is wide.  
    I’ve been reading Henri Nouwen while I’ve been sitting in the hospital.    “Prayer is only considered a weakness if the God of our prayers is created in our own image.”  (paraphrase) I am clinging to that God who is so far beyond anything I can ask or think.  
    It looks like we have several more hospital days ahead.  I will likely not be able to jump back in here till a few days into the week.   God bless you all.

    1. Wanda – I feel like I’m walking hand in hand with you here.  Yesterday, after my friends and I had prayed for your girl a most stirring conversation ensued much like what you have shared here.  One of my dear friends lost her brother VERY suddenly just a couple of months ago…..and his eternal destiny absolutely haunts her……and of course you know well my own heart with my own family members.  Just joining you in prayerful solidarity…….love you sister.

    2. Wanda Praying for whatever the hospital situation is for your daughter. I too understand about the thoughts of judgement. Trusting in Him!

    6.  Read Habakkuk 2:1-4 slowly. 
    A. Reflect: What quickens you and why?
    verse three….His answer will come eventually. We must wait With patience.
    “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
    ‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    B. Respond: How could you pray what you learn into your heart? 
    Oh Lord thank You for giving me the patience to wait for Your answer(s) no matter how long they take to come. Help me know they will come. You love me and want me to prosper as much as I can in this fallen world. When life seems so wrong help me remember Your promise to us; Your love for me…Your death, for me. Amen.
    C. Rest and be with God. Experience His presence.

  22. I have listened to Keller’s sermon, and have loved it!   I think I like it even better than last week’s.   I took notes, but still have to transcribe them.   Hope to do that in the next few hours.   

  23. Notes on Keller’s sermon Waiting and Living by Faith       
    So long I am having to post it in sections.   
    Habakkuk 2:1-4
    These don’t even come close to being “cliff” notes!    I left out alot — even though this is long.   I just hope they may be of help to those who aren’t able to listen for themselves.    
    When a society experiences good times with things getting better and better, it begins to feel peace and prosperity are the rule of the world, and the right of all sensible folk.  But the Bible in the Book of Habakkuk, the Book of Job, and many other places says that is just not true.  Looking at our times now it would be naive and presumptive to say “Oh evils times have started, but it would also be naive and presumptuous to say evil times have not.  It doesn’t matter.  If you come to grips with parts of the Bible like Habakkuk, Job, Psalms, then you are prepared. These places say “Don’t count on good times, but even in disaster and evil, God is working, and there are ways for you to face it. 
    Habakkuk Chapter 1 – raises his complaint and God answers him saying “I’m going to raise up the Babylonians against Judah – it is going to get worse.” Habakkuk cries out to God again, and God answers him again in Chapter 2.  But there is this interlude in Chapter 2, verses 1-4.   In this interlude, Habakkuk waits.   It is what the Bible calls “waiting on the Lord.”  
    There are five aspects or ways to wait on the Lord that we see in this text.   We are to wait on the Lord patiently, perspectively, obediently, God-centrically, and joyfully.   
    1.  Waiting on God patiently.    Habakkuk is very confused and upset.  He is looking for answers.   God says “I’m going to give you some answers.  I’m going to send you a revelation, but it might linger.  It may take time.   Wait for it!   The basic Hebrew word for wait means “be patient.”   Don’t give up. Don’t despair.  Don’t chafe and agitate.   When you are in the midst of difficulties, instead of giving up and blowing up – be patient.  People say they wish they had patience – like it is a germ you catch or you do’t.
        Patience comes from a deliberate act of humility.   In James 4: “Now listen you who say today or tomorrow we will go to this city or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money, but you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  Instead you ought to say “If it is the Lord’s will, we will do this or that.”   Our feelings of anger and despair when things don’t go our way are caused by our assumption of our own omniscience – but we do not know!    Be humble .This is one way to be patient. 
      Another way patience comes is through a savvy vote for your own personal growth.  When disappointments happen, we don’t just say “What an opportunity for me to become the kind of person I have always wanted to be, my loved ones always wanted me to be, and God wants me to be.”   Meeting disappointments with patience turns us into something neat, great and good.   (Quoted James 1 and Romans 5:3)   When bad things happen to you and you meet it with patience, it turns you into a person of character.   Pressure can turn a lump of coal into a diamond.   
    Keller tells of a scene from a battle movie.  A wounded soldier has shrapnel and bullets in him. The surgeon has only local anesthetic, so the patient is going to be awake during the surgery.  Soldier is told me must lie perfectly still no matter what happens.  “If you lie absolutely still, then you will be better off.  If you flail around, it will be almost worse than if we hadn’t done the surgery at all.”   When bad circumstances hit, you can either flail around and become a more bitter person, or you can be patient and turn into someone who is actually in the end more peaceful – a person of greater character and greater endurance.   Trouble will either cause you to have a far better prayer life than you have ever had before or a far worse prayer life than you have ever had before.   Keller says he doesn’t know of anybody with a great prayer life who didn’t find that prayer life under pressure.   
    Perhaps the key verse in the book of Job is Job 23:10.  Job says “God knows what He is doing with me,”   which is another way of saying “I don’t.”  Job says “And when he has tested me, I will come for as pure gold.”   Therefore, waiting on the Lord means not giving up, not chafing, not freaking out, being patient under your circumstances, even though you are confused, by a deliberate act of humility, and a savvy vote for your own personal and spiritual growth. 
    2. Waiting perspectively.      Habakkuk says he is going to station himself on the ramparts (means tower).   Why do cities build a tower?  So they can see what is coming.   You can see weather coming that you can’t see on the ground, so you can be prepared.  You can see enemies coming that on the ground you couldn’t see until it is too late.  For example, if the enemy is at your gate, down on the ground you say “Oh my what am I going to do?”   But if you are up in the tower, you can see that there are reinforcements coming 20 times the number of people at the gate.    You must not just look at your problem.  You’ve got to put it in the bigger perspective of everything the Bible tells you.   
    In Romans 8, Paul says “I reckon that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared to the glory which will be revealed in us.”    Paul had a lot of suffering and persecution, but he says “I put it in perspective.  My sufferings look really big until I compare them to the glory that will be revealed.  He is going to the tower.  He is looking at the big picture.  Suddenly his sufferings look small.    Paul is meditating on the glory that is coming until it penetrates him, and he looks at his suffering and he can handle it.    So patience comes from acts of deliberate humility, and waiting on the Lord comes from acts of deliberate perspective.   

    1. Thanks Deanna! i was hoping you’d do this. I was walking and listening to the sermon on my earphones last week and didn’t take notes. This helps. Now, can someone tell me how to take the bold off? I’ve tried clicking it, but nothing happens. im definitely technologically challenged. 

    3.  Waiting obediently.     Habakkuk uses the image of a century in the tower.   “I will stand at my watch.”   If you are in the military, you know that it doesn’t matter if you feel bad, or if you are sleepy, or if you are bored – YOU MAY NOT LEAVE YOUR POST!    The whole city might be lost.  You can’t say I’ve been up here day after day and there have never been any enemies; I’m going to knock off early.    What this means is simple:   You may be weary. You may feel God is absent.  You may be getting absolutely nothing out of your Christian walk at all.   You may b e incredibly confused with what is going on.  You may be experiencing disciple after discipline.  You may be getting none of your prayers answered.    You can’t leave your post!  You have to obey him.  Even if you don’t feel like it, you still do your duty.   
    What very often happens when God seems absent, during evil times , disappointments, and difficulties, one of the things we do is we just stop doing a lot of things that we usually do.   We stop coming to worship. We stop private prayer.  We stop reading our Bibles.  We stop small group experiences.  You are filled with self-pity.   Can’t you just hear the century at his court martial saying, :I wasn’t getting anything out of it, so I left.”   And the judge saying, “Oh well, that’s alright.  Case dismissed!”     NO!!     Not at all.   
    John Newton (great pastor and hymn writer) said someone wrote him saying, “I am getting nothing out of praying.”  Newton said “I can atell you that you will get nothing out of not praying.”    He says, if you get nothing from trying every day to go to the throne of grace, I can absolutely assure you that you will get nothing by staying away.   
    Waiting on the Lord obediently does not just mean doing the things you should do; it means not trying to do some things you shouldn’t.   In times when you are weary, disappointed, empty, don’t know why God is not answering your prayer, it is easy to do things just to make you feel good.   So you do things with sex, money, food, etc.  You do things to make yourself feel good.   You feel high for a minute, and a minute afterward you feel even worse.  That is leaving your post. 
    Keller used the example of Jane Eyre.   She was an orphan, plain, nobody liked her.   She grows up and nobody really cares for her.  She is just so lonely.  She wants so much to be loved. Then she meets this handsomE man, Mr. Rochester.  He loves her and she loves him.  Then she find out he is married.  He has a mentally ill wife, but she is still alive.   He says, “Just come and live with me.:” And her moral principles are “Hey, marriage is for better or for worse.  You have an obligation to stay faithful to your wife, and I can’t come and live with you.”  She has such an internal struggle.  The dialogue that goes on between her and Mr. Rochester and between the different parts of her own heart is just remarkable.   This is a remarkable example of waiting on the Lord and not leaving your post.    Keller spends a lot of time on this story, and I can’t do that here.   At the end,   Jane says, “If at my individual convenience, I might break laws, what would be their worth?   Forgone determinations are all I have at this hour to stand by.   Thereupon I plant my foot.”    She didn’t leave her post.   
    4. Waiting God-centrically.       You are not waiting on the Lord’s answers, even though you are, but primarily you are not waiting for the Lord’s answer, you are not waiting for the Lord’s reward.   You are not waiting on the Lord’s things, because you are willing to go to the tower and stand at your watch no matter what.    Habakkuk has often been called “a little book of Job.”  In the book of Job, Satan says to God “Job looks like he’s your servant, but he is not your servant.   He looks like he is waiting on you, but he is actually waiting on your things.   He looks like he loves you for yourself, but he actually only loves you for the things he’s getting (family, money, fame, success).   Satan says he is going to take them all away, and that then Job will curse God.
    Keller says Satan is basically right about us.   Basically when you first start to connect to God, you are doing it to get something.   That’s okay, but it better not stay there – it is hypocrisy.  If we were treated like that in one of our relationships – if someone used us just for the good connections we could provide, and when we no longer could provide those, if the friend dropped us like a stone, we would feel betrayed.    Keller said he has talked to people as a pastor who have said “I used to go to church, and I prayed for things, and God never gave me anything, so I am out of there!”    If anyone treated them the sasme way, they would be furious.    Waiting on the Lord means to love Him for who He is in himself, and being faithful to Him even when you’re getting nothing out of it at all.  
    It is only in times of trouble that you have an opportunity to turn your self-interested, exploitative relationship with God into real love.  Whenever darkness descends on you, whenever bad things happen to you, you get disappointed and you are really upset with how everything is going in your life, God is asking you a question:    Now we will find out whether you got into this relationship with me to serve me or to get me to serve you.       If you learn to be faithful to Him even though you are getting nothing out of it at all, when the darkness lifts, you will find that the pressure has turned your heart, that lump of coal, into a diamond.  
    5. Waiting on the Lord joyfully.   Instead of looking at your circumstances and being affected by them, be affected by what God has done for you to save you in Jesus Christ.    Jesus Christ in Luke 12 is telling a parable about a master who goes away on a trip, and he leaves his servants behind.   Some of the servants are obedient and faithful because they are susre He is coming back.  Others are disobedient and unfaithful because they don’t think He is coming back.    It is Jesus way of saying “I want my followers to wait for me.  I want them to wait on me.  I want them to live patiently, obediently because they are waiting for me. 
    In Luke 12:37, Jesus completes the parable like this: “It will be good for those servants that the Lord finds waiting when He returns.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He will dress Himself to serve them.   He will have them recline at the table, and He will wait on them Himself.    Jesus Christ is saying, “I am going to focus all of my powers on inflicting all the joy, all the honor, all the fulfillment and happiness that I possibly can on you.     We know that Jesus is going to gird and serve us on a future day, because He did it in the past.    Because on the night before he passed.  He girded up his loins and he washed the feet of his disciples.   They were so shocked.   What Jesus was saying was “I’m going to the cross.  I am going to die.  I am going to wait on you by going to the cross and dying for your sins.   
    If you see Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Universe willing to lay aside all of his celestial being and joy and come down and wait on you by going to the cross, and not giving up even in the Garden of Gethsemane, even on the cross, even under the wrath of God–  Why can’t you wait for Him now?    

    1. THANK YOU, Deanna!  Your notes are helpful even for those who were able to listen 😉

      1. Amen to that!  I hope to read through them and i will print them too for when I do decide to listen.  I did buy all the sermons. 🙂 

    2. Deanna, I didn’t purchase the sermons and I really appreciate your thorough notes and the time you spend posting them here! Thank you!!!

  25. 6. Read Habakkuk 2:1-4 slowly.
    A. Reflect. What quickens you and why?
    The first verse. I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts. This gives me a mental picture of standing on a high enough spot to see everything for miles around me. To me, it means to get rid of my tunnel vision, which is focused on me and my problems, and instead, start seeing everything and everyone around me. Then, Deanna’s notes also helped me to see that this means getting the right perspective, even during suffering; seeing my problems in the bigger picture presented in the Scriptures.
    And, “I will look to see what he will say to me”. This, to me, is an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence and His readiness to help me. When I am faced with a trial, or a sinful temptation, I need to turn my head, so to speak, and look at Him and see what He will tell me. He is available to me as my Counselor, my Advocate.
    B. Respond: How could you pray what you learn into your heart?
    Lord, please help me, in my heart and in my spirit, to stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts. Enlarge my heart, my vision, my thoughts, and my spirit to make them bigger and able to take in a big vision. Forgive me for so much of the time being self-focused and consumed with my own problems so that I do not see the needs of others. Holy Spirit, please let me hear your voice and be sensitive and aware of You in my life. Turn the eyes of my heart and mind to look at You and to listen.

    1. Susan, your prayer in B is beautiful, it really spoke to me this morning. I love how you pointed out seeing beyond our own ‘tunnel vision’–that is really profound! I had not seen that. I’ve bought the sermon but haven’t listened yet…planning to today, with the blessing of Deanna’s notes accompanying me : )

  26. Ok, I’m finally finishing last week’s study. it was so rich with many takeaways. Thank you, Dee, for preparing it for us! 
    My biggest takeaway though is this: I have to be prepared for God to move! I just can’t wait, but I need to be readying myself for the certain event when He does do something new in my life. 
    I just had a big one here I can tell you about. I have been praying about adoption for years. My husband and I are getting older (in our 50’s now), so I really wasn’t sure if we would even be allowed to adopt. But, it has taken a while for my husband to agree we should at least be open to it. We have five bio kids and life has been full. Our youngest is 14 and all others are married or in college so it’s feeling like we can breathe again. 
    Anyway, lately my prayers had been that God would just make it so plain to us that there’d be no doubt we should do it. so, at church a month ago, I was talking to a young mom and learned she was fostering an 8 year old boy and she was telling me how crazy life is for her right now. She has no idea of my desire to adopt but she goes on to describe to me the type of family the agency is seeking for permanent placement for this child. Basically, she described my family. So, I really started praying for this child, that he would be placed and if it be with us, I was willing. 
    Well, I’d love to tell you that we have begun the process, but here’s where the active waiting application comes in. All I was doing was praying. I didn’t prepare for God to move. And while I was praying, another family was preparing (thankfully!). I just found out that the child is being placed with another family which is very similar to us but they actually took the class that one needs to take before adopting and went through the application process. Duh! I know what I’m saying must sound so dumb to anyone who has ever adopted before but I really thought that after learning about this child, I could waltz into the agency and just sign up. im actually considering deleting this comment because I feel so stupid.
    But, I’m not going to delete because I know God was teaching me a lesson and perhaps it will encourage you. So, my husband has been out of town for a week and he and I haven’t had much time to talk. He returns tonight so I’m committed to discussing with him the idea that we need to ‘live by faith’ and actively wait for God to bring another child to our attention again. If we really want to do this, we need to prepare And pray. 

    1. Jean–SO glad you didn’t “delete” your comments! As an adoptive mom myself, NONE of what you have said sounds “dumb”! It is a learning process, every step–and the truth is that some things that don’t seem they should be so complicated, with so many steps–just are. But there is of course wisdom in the preparation and learning. I will pray for you and your husband as you pursue this road–I LOVE your heart.