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Habakkuk Part 2 – Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

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Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

Key Verses:  Hab 1:12 – 2:1

In part 1, Habakkuk complains to the Lord why he was having to live in an environment with evil and inequity.  This complaint is our complaint and applies primarily inwardly in the kingdom of God within us, but also outwardly in a world that lies in darkness which is waxing worse and worse (2Ti 3:13) as the time of the Lord’s outward second coming draws nearer.  The Lord answered Habakkuk’s “complaint” and made it clear that it was the Lord who was causing and sending forth the evil and inequity for His purposes.

Hab 1:5  Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Hab 1:6  For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs.

That answer was a confirming witness to what is found scores of other places in the Bible but which the carnal mind and orthodox Christianity vehemently rejects to this day.

Lam 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

Amo 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

The Word of God is clear that the Lord is in orchestrating everything in existence and that includes even causing evil and causing us to err from His commandments (Isa 63:17).

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Knowing the truth but unable to perform, is the torment we all must endure (Rev 14:10) by first being overcome by the beast before we are given to flip the script as Christ rises in our day of judgment.  It will take time for us to mature in our ability to bear the trials and die daily with the Lord, losing our old way of life to find the new one in Christ.  Flipping the script is our patience.

Rev 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Now Habakkuk’s questions the Lord’s promise of salvation and why this evil seemingly runs unchallenged and ensnares all men in its nets.

Hab 1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. 

Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? 

Hab 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 

Hab 1:15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore, they rejoice and are glad. 

Hab 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 

Hab 1:17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations? 

The essence of Habakkuk’s complaint, which is also our complaint in our immaturity; is why doesn’t the Lord just get it over with?  Why is this requiring a lengthy process of us seeing and enduring evil within ourselves and without?  The Scriptures tell us of the Lord’s character and what He hates; yet these very things are what comprises the evil experience we are now faced with living.  This time is needed to humble us so we can then be exalted and put into service.

1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Ecc 1:13 CLV I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens, it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

All of God’s people (His Elect), Habakkuk in type and shadow, ask these same four questions as we are maturing and being taught to eat the strong meat (trials and suffering) of the Word.  Our first question shows a mindset that does not understand the Lord’s plan for remaking all things.

Hab 1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. 

New spiritual life comes only through death (Joh 12:24, Mat 16:25).  The cost of saving our life is losing our life and that is a cost none of us is willing to pay which requires all men to be dragged to the real Jesus Christ (Joh 6:44).  Habakkuk does not want to suffer. Whose flesh does?  We see a better way that would have the Lord quickly disposing of these heathen nations that are causing all this evil.  Drinking this cup of wrath and enduring this time of tribulation is designed to build our faith and have us trust ONLY in the Lord.  We will come to know that only the Lord is pulling us through and that salvation is His Promise and work and is none of ourselves.

Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

The crux of this question is we don’t want to suffer and bear the affliction of carrying a cross and dying daily.  We do not see the need for our own further judgment and heavy trials even as we turn grace into lasciviousness.  We like Job, will be feeling righteous about ourselves and our knowledge and the good works we do; not knowing our taking any credit is the epitome of self-righteousness and makes them filthy rags to the Lord (Isa 64:6).  That’s why we must die.

Job 27:5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.
Job 27:6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

We do not easily see ourselves as the antichrist and the chief of sinners, which is what we must come to see before we run to the mountains that are The Christ (Mat 24:15-16).  Such is the purpose of the devouring army sent to God’s own people.  We, like Job, see the wickedness out there but are not able to see it looking in the mirror.  A day comes when we will see it.

Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

Luk 21:20  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

The Lord hates the man of the flesh and has ordained a time for every man where He would raise up the old man in order to show his power by the resulting destruction of that old man.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

We all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ in the times appointed.  We first think we have suffered enough and have no need of any more judgment.  We are so readily pointing out sin and evil in others not inspecting or examining our own walk primarily.

Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Like Habakkuk, we are learning an essential lesson of the process of being saved.  The Lord raises up evil from within our own spiritual house, to bring the occasion for judgment and the pouring out of the grace that chastens and ultimately saves us from our sins.

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Psa 34:19 Many are the [“ra” – evils] afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

The Lord’s purpose was to bring life through death as each lump of clay goes through a transformation by the process of judgment (Rom 9:21).

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

We experience both the vanity of being marred and by destruction (judgment) of our flesh we are delivered into the heavenly realm in Christ.  It is this hope of what is to come that is saving us (Rom 8:24).

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

When the wicked bear rule which is the situation Habakkuk and we find ourselves in when ensnared in bondage (captured by the Chaldean), we mourn.

Pro 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Here is Habakkuk’s second question to the Lord regarding the prosperity of the wicked.

Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? 

Habakkuk questions show he still holds to a very Babylonish and carnal view of the Lord.  The Lord of the immature is the Lord who only is responsible for the good but not the bad and certainly not the evil.  God’s box of “all things” continually gets wider and deeper the more we abide in this fire within the house of God upon whom judgment is now fallen. Habakkuk’s box is now a small box that comes from an immature mindset.  The box and our understanding of the Lord will expand as we learn to engage in the warfare with our enemies.  This is how all men come to know the Lord and develop His mind.

Eze 7:4  And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Eze 7:5  Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.

Eze 7:6  An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come.

We ask like Job and then move on to understand the mature response of the Psalmist.

Job 21:7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?

Psa 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

There is a lot more warfare to be fought and overcoming to do than we imagine at first.  Like Habakkuk and Job, we do not understand the lesson David learned when confronted by a prophet of the Lord for our sins against the Israel of God and The Christ (Bathsheba).  As Nathan tells David, “we are the man of sin” (2Sam 12:7, 2The 2:4), thinking we are already righteous while still serving self and worshipping the beast.  It takes the enemies the Lord raises up (the sword of the Lord – Psa 17:13) to come devour us for us to see our need for further correction and learning.

Isa 26:10 Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

Isa 26:11 LORD, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see and be ashamed For their envy of people; Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.

Until we begin to see the need for chastening, we naturally seek to wrest judgment away and mourn over the triumph of the wicked.

Psa 94:3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

Psa 94:4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

Job saw the sovereignty of the Lord a lot quicker than he saw his own wickedness not knowing he was nothing more than beast (Rev 13:11) in need of destruction.

Job 10:7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.

Job 10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.

As we learn the futility of our own strength and come to see that apart from the Lord we can do nothing, then we begin to stand in faith and learn patience trusting in the precious promises.  It is through this experience of evil, within and without, that we learn the truth and begin to judge righteously and no longer know any man after the flesh (2Co 5:16).

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 

The Lord’s process requires men to learn good and evil (Heb 5:13) by experience.  It is our sense of self-righteousness and immaturity that causes us to condemn and falsely accuse our maker of being evil.  Elihu, a type for the Elect of God, corrects Job’s misguided and carnal accusations against the Lord.

Job 34:12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.

Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.

Job 34:22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

Habakkuk is learning what we all are learning as we abide.  That being all flesh and blood is corrupt and any righteousness we claim as our own is self-righteousness.  Without the Lord doing the work, there are none righteous.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

We are learning faith by the trial of our faith (1Pe 1:7) as we patiently wait for the Lord to deliver on His promise and cut off the wicked within ourselves and without.

Pro 2:22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Pro 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

The Lord sends the wicked nations as His army to cut off the transgressors in His people.

Joe 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

We cannot see the good in the Lord putting us in captivity in our immaturity.  The Lord has promises to destroy the destroyers with the brightness of His coming yet the evil sent to us is being used to sharpen and shape us into a true man of faith.  Habakkuk’s then questions why the Lord has the entire world chasing after false gods and exercising seeming vanity in seeking the treasures and riches of the flesh.

Hab 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 

Hab 1:15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore, they rejoice and are glad. 

Hab 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 

The sea symbolizes the flesh of mankind and its strong lusts and desires.  The fish that live in the sea are likened to the creeping things of the earth.  Both are carnal men who have the mind of their father, the devil who eats dust for food (Gen 3:14).

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The Lord has made all mankind a beast (Ecc 3:18) who naturally do what beasts do that have no ruler over them.  The mantra of modern day Satanism “do what thou whilst” is what we all follow until our mind is being converted by the process of judgment and the many trials that brings us into (causes) obedience (Eze 36:27).

Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

These heathen armies that represent the world and its wicked ways, within and without, easily capture all carnally minded men in their traps and nets.  Such capture was ordained from the beginning, an integral part of our walk and learning the true grace of God.

2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Job and all of God’s people are being caught by the net as it brings leaning on our own carnal understanding to an end.

Job 19:6  Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.

Job 19:7  Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.

Job 19:9  He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.

Job 19:10  He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.

We all get hooked by carnal logic which keeps the beast alive and the man of sin sitting on God’s throne.  This is how we are first overcome when the Chaldeans overrun Jerusalem and the heathen world within and without ourselves rejoices albeit temporarily.

Rev 11:7  And when they [God’s two witnesses, the  Elect] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Rev 11:10  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

When the Lord comes, He brings fiery trials and we begin to live through the seven vials of wrath that is necessary to enter into the Temple (Rev 15:8).  Then we begin to enter into Christ and gaining dominion over the seas and all things that live in the sea (flesh and carnal mindedness), comes to us little by little as we mature.  This overcoming and putting our enemies under our feet is seen in John’s vision of the sea of glass.

Rev 15:1  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Rev 15:2  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

It is on the fifth day (chastening grace through faith) that dominion is being granted over the fish of the sea and fowls of the air as we move onto maturity.  But we, until we are shown the need for evil and experiencing disobedience, ask is not there a simpler way?

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

The Lord is remaking us, His Christ into His own image and we will be given dominion over all His works including the sea and all the beasts of the field.

Psa 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

Psa 8:7  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

Psa 8:8  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

This is the end goal; the will of God being made manifest (1The 4:3). Sin shall not have dominion over us and we, as the Lord’s kings and priests, are being given dominion now in down payment form (Rev 1:6).  Our experience in the Kingdom of God and living by every word requires we first go into Babylonian captivity and be snared in a virtual prison.  But the end will come and freedom is assured if we wait for the fullness of the Gentiles within us to come (Rom 11:25).

Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 

Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

The last question of Habakkuk completes his second complaint, all centered around the length of time it is taking the Lord to come rescue and save His people.

Hab 1:17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations? 

Coming to our wits end and the complete destruction of the man of sin takes many tribulations and much inner torment while we abide in the Body of Christ (the holy angels).

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

These trials of our faith are most precious to the Lord.  They are needed to remove all confidence in our flesh (Phi 3:3) because we are still and always will be beasts of nature while in these clay vessels (Rev 17:8).

Ecc 3:18  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

The Lord is going to answer Habakkuk’s questions as we continue in this study.  The Lord answers our questions by bringing it back to our faith and believing on Him.

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

 Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

We cannot live by faith until the confidence in the flesh is circumcised from our heart.  That only comes by thru this “falling down and chastening process”.  We will begin there Lord willing next week, but let’s end on a positive note from our immature yet growing in the faith prophet named Habakkuk.

Hab 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 

Notice Habakkuk’s commitment to wait and watch for the Lord to give him answers and reproof.  Trials are what mature us, not knowledge.  Habakkuk through his experience of evil is maturing as we also will in our day of judgment.  Telling the Lord, we will be faithful is easier said than done.  Those chosen of the Lord, ALL must fall down our seven times (Pro 24:16) to be taught true righteousness (Isa 26:9) when the wicked man within us is judged.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

While we say we have such faith, James reminds us that faith will need to be proven with works. That is true maturity rather than the mere possession of knowledge (Jas 2:17).  Like Peter and all the disciples, we express our unwavering allegiance to the Lord yet deny Him (Mat 26:35) until we are proven in His furnace of affliction (Isa 48:10).  But we are learning more each day what Peter later teaches us and are now rejoicing rather than complaining like Habakkuk as we progress and grow in the faith.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Sincere comments are welcome and always encouraged.  You can also email us directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Sincere comments and questions are encouraged!