Be Utterly Astounded (Habakkuk 1:5-11, Acts 13:13-42, Psalm 5:1-12)

Neil Hunt, Sunday, 22 March 2020
Part of the Habakkuk series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Be utterly astounded
Habakkuk 1:5-11

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Habakkuk 1:5–11 (Listen)

  “Look among the nations, and see;
    wonder and be astounded.
  For I am doing a work in your days
    that you would not believe if told.
  For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
    that bitter and hasty nation,
  who march through the breadth of the earth,
    to seize dwellings not their own.
  They are dreaded and fearsome;
    their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
  Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    more fierce than the evening wolves;
    their horsemen press proudly on.
  Their horsemen come from afar;
    they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
  They all come for violence,
    all their faces forward.
    They gather captives like sand.
10   At kings they scoff,
    and at rulers they laugh.
  They laugh at every fortress,
    for they pile up earth and take it.
11   Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
    guilty men, whose own might is their god!”

(ESV)

Acts 13:13–42 (Listen)

13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:

“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23 Of this man's offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,

  “‘You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you.’

34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,

  “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,

  “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’

36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

41   “‘Look, you scoffers,
    be astounded and perish;
  for I am doing a work in your days,
    a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”

42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath.

(ESV)

Psalm 5 (Listen)

To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.

5:1   Give ear to my words, O LORD;
    consider my groaning.
  Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray.
  O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
  For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
  The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
  You destroy those who speak lies;
    the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
  But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
  I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.
  Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.
  For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
  their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
10   Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
  because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.
11   But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
  and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
12   For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

(ESV)