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Another book in the Bible that you won’t find in the Message
of William Branham is the book of Habakkuk.
While most in the Message, the following of William Branham, have been
trained to believe that God only sends one prophet to the land for each “age,”
and that the prophet sent was the “restoration” for the age, the prophecy of Habakkuk
tells a much different story.
The Curse of the Law was upon Israel, God’s promise to
scatter the people if they did not uphold the Law. The Jews had been invaded, overtaken, and
separated from each other. During this
exile, from 597BC to 520BC, both Ezekiel and Daniel were prophesying while in
captivity in Babylon. From the reign of
Nebuchadnezzar to the time of Darius, Daniel’s writings proclaimed the
generations to come before the Cornerstone, which was Christ. Ezekiel chapter one begins with the statement
“as I was among the exiles by the Chebar
canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” The Chebar was a river in Chaldea whose banks
held many of the Jews in captivity, and the canal is believed to be the royal
canal of Nebuchadnezzar. Jerusalem was
captured in 587 BC , after an eighteen-month siege. Thousands of Jews were deported to Babylon
and Solomon's Temple was demolished to rubble.
But while Daniel and Ezekiel were in Babylon, Zephaniah,
Jeremiah, and Habakuk were prophesying in Judea. God was dealing with His people, punishing
them for their failure to uphold the Law, but had not left them. God was still dealing with them, still
speaking to them, and was very vocal through His prophets in both Judea and
In the first few verses of the first chapter, Habakkuk pleads
with God to have mercy upon His children:
O Lord, how
long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do
you idly look at wrong? Destruction and
violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never
goes forth. For the wicked surround the
righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
But God knows all things.
He knows the beginning and the end, because He IS the beginning and the
end. God knew that the children of
Israel were being punished for failure to uphold the Law, and for abandoning
the Old Covenant, but God knew that He was going to send His only Son, Jesus
Christ, as the Kinsman Redeemer. Listen
to God’s first answer to Habakkuk’s plea:
“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.”
While the prophet Daniel was prophesying of the generations
of Babylon that comprised the great idol of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, He was
telling Habakkuk the same thing: “I am
raising up your adversaries so that I can do a mighty work in your midst.”
God told Habakkuk:
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.
But Habakkuk did not understand.
Chaldea was a marshy land located in south eastern
Mesopotamia, settled by Semetic tribes that were descended from Noah’s son, Shem. Babylonia was often referred to as Chaldea
from the period of the Neo Babylonian Empire onwards, although only the few
kings of the empire were actually Chaldeans.
The last ruler was Assyrian.
The Chaldean dynasty was rising in great power in Babylon,
and Nebuchadnezzar was on a mission to conquer and control. By 572 Nebuchadnezzar was in full control of
Mesopotamia, Aramea (Syria), Phonecia, Israel, Judah, Philistia, Samarra,
Jordan, northern Arabia and parts of Asia Minor. To Habakkuk, this would seem less like the
will of God and more like defeat.
Are you not
from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O Lord, you
have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for
reproof. You who are of purer eyes than
to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and
remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
But God was still in control. God was not overlooking their circumstances,
although He did make a promise to punish the children of Israel if they did not
keep the Old Covenant. But God also made
covenants with Abraham and Noah that could not be broken. Abraham’s seed would be as countless as the
stars in the heaven, and the sign of the Covenant was given to remind us that
He would no longer wipe mankind from the face of the earth.
Listen to God’s second response to Habakkuk:
And the Lord
answered me: “Write the vision; make it
plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
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.
In Chapter two, God assured Habakkuk that He was a God of
justice, and that the rise of Babylon against Jerusalem would not go
unnoticed. Babylon was drunken with the
cup of idolatry, and had forced Israel to drink from that same cup. God pronounced several woes on Babylon,
curses for plundering the nations and spreading false gods. These new cities being raised by Babylon were
founded on idolatry, and were destined to fall.
Cyrus the great would later rise to power, bringing the
wrath of ancient Persia against the Babylonians. The conquered Babylonian Empire would be
absorbed into the Persian Empire, and the name "Chaldean" as an
ethnic group would be lost forever through mixture of ethnicity. But God’s work through Babylon would not be
in vain – the influence of Babylon would continue to spread.
As the Persians began to assimilate the Chaldeans into their
society, they quickly leaned that these people were masters of reading and
writing, and especially versed in all forms of incantation, in sorcery,
witchcraft, and the magical arts. In
fact, the name “Chaldean” quickly began to change from a term that described
ethnicity into a word that meant “astrologist.”
They were masters at using the Zodiac in combination with numerologies
to perform the magic arts.
The word “Chaldean” is used in the book of Daniel with this
In the second
year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was
troubled, and his sleep left him. Then
the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the
Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams.
Babylon’s influence through the busy port city of Tyre, the
focal point of Ezekiel’s prophecy, would bring a mixture of false gods into the
new world as ships of trade carried news of idolatry into their
destinations. Many of the Greek and
Roman gods descended from the gods of Tyre, and the gods of Tyre were
influenced by Babylon. When Ezekiel
prophesied to the King of Tyre, God connected the idolatry of Tyre to the
Serpent from the Garden of Eden.
You were in
Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius,
topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;
and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you
were created they were prepared.
God promised the serpent that the seed of the woman would
crush his head after he bruised her heel – and Christ was the enmity between
“I will put
enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Habakkuk is a book describing the need for a Redeemer. It is a book describing the fallen condition
of Israel, her punishment for idolatry, and yet is a perfect example of God’s
faithfulness to us. He will never leave
us or forsake us.
It is a prophecy describing the coming Day of the Lord that
is described in Malachi 4, and ties it perfectly to the scripture from Genesis
3:15. Christ, the enmity, God’s only
Son, was coming to crush the head. God
was raising up Babylon, but He was doing it so that he could raise the head of
the serpent to crush it forever. As
Habakkuk rejoices in Habakkuk 3, he says this:
You went out
for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed. You crushed the head of the house of the
wicked, laying him bare from thigh to
God was sending His Son to crush the serpent, and burn its
roots with a fire that would stop it’s growth.
No longer would the serpent be slithering through hidden places to
spread new roots – Christ would crush its head by suffering and dying on the
cross. Satan would be defeated, once
Malachi says that when this happens, it will consume them
that are evil, but that same fire that destroys the wicked will burn with
healing to those who serve the Lord:
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like
an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that
is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave
them neither root nor branch. But for
you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its
Habakkuk is a very powerful book of prophecy. It ties the current fallen state of Israel
with the serpent from the book of Genesis, and ends by tying it to the last
chapter of the prophecy of Malachi describing the return of Christ.
Listen to the end of the book of Habakkuk, chapter 3,
remembering the prophecy of Malachi describing the fire that will leave neither
root nor branch of the idolatrous nations that persecuted Israel under the
Curse of the Law, and listen as the song Habakkuk writes walks you through the
Old Testament, from the days of Genesis to the coming of Christ:
O Lord, I have
heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the
midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from
covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. His brightness was like the light; rays
flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. Before him went pestilence, and plague
followed at his heels. He stood and
measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains
were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low.
His were the everlasting ways.
I saw the tents
of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord? Was your anger against the rivers, or your
indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of
salvation? You stripped the sheath from
your bow, calling for many arrows. You
split the earth with rivers. The
mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth
its voice; it lifted its hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their place at
the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear. You marched through the earth in fury; you
threshed the nations in anger. You went
out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed.
You crushed the
head of the house of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck. You pierced with his own arrows the heads of
his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter me, rejoicing as if to
devour the poor in secret. You trampled
the sea with your horses, the surging of mighty waters. I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver
at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of
trouble to come upon people who invade us.
Though the fig
tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive
fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there
be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in
the God of my salvation. God, the Lord,
is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high