Learning from Habbakuk

     Who was Habbakuk? Wasn't he the prophet who dared to ask God: "How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?  Or cry out to you, 'Violence', but you do not save?" [Hab.1:2]. Even though Habbakuk's complaint was in Hebrew poetry, was that the way to speak to God, accusingly? Surely God rebuked him?

     Actually, no. Amazingly, God answered Habbakuk's complaint, and more amazingly, God answered Habbakuk's poetry with poetry!  God is a poet!
     But let's look at Habbakuk's complaint a gain. What does "How long, O LORD, must I call for help" imply? Doesn't it imply that Habbakuk had been calling for help for a long time? Many people call out to God for help, but give up when the response they expect does not come within a few days, or weeks. Habbakuk's persistence is a lesson for us. Habbakuk was confident God would answer. It was just a matter of time, and Habbakuk was not going to give up.
     Habbakuk prayed with passion. He called [not asked] for help. He cried out aloud in pointing out violence [v.2], injustice and wrong-doing, destruction, strife and conflict [v.3]. Is there passion in our prayers? Do we feel righteous anger and revulsion against such unholy things? If not, let's make a new start today, to raise our level of passion and our feelings.
     Habbakuk spoke to God from his heart, with honesty. He even poured out his innermost disappointments at God's apparent inaction.  Should we not pray the same way? Should we not go for deeper prayer that draws from the wells of disappointment, sorrow, worries, anxieties and fears in our hearts, and pour these out at God's feet?
     Habbakuk talked of the violence, injustice, destruction, strife and conflicts around him. Don't we have all these around us today?  Nothing has changed, has it? If anything, things may have become worse, with so much terrorism, violent crime, and racial or religious violence. Habbakuk called out to God about these things. Shouldn't we?
     "The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted," Habbakuk complained. But hasn't this been so all through history? Could the angels find even ten righteous persons in Sodom [Genesis 18:32]? Even the great prophet Elijah felt as if he was the only prophet left after King Ahab's people had killed other prophets [1 Kings 19:10]. The wicked have always outnumbered the righteous. Should we expect it to be otherwise in our time and in our country?  Should it stop us from railing against injustice, as Habbakuk did?
     Habbakuk's accusation against God was that He was apparently not doing anything about all the wicked things going on. Are we likewise complaining to God about the wicked acts being done by terrorist and other groups today, and expecting action by God? 
      Habbakuk could speak in such an intimate way to God because he had an intimate relationship with God. How intimate is your relationship with God? How hard are you working to build up the relationship?
Habbakuk had asked why God had made him look at [Hebrew root word ra'ah] injustice and look at [root nabat] wrongdoing [in my opinion the NIV translation of v.3 is not quite right]. When God replied, He began with "Look at [root word ra'ah] the nations and look [root nabat] and be utterly amazed". God threw Habbakuk's words back at him. Who said God doesn't have a sense of humour? God had a plan and Habbakuk would just had to keep on looking, and be amazed.
     For God was "raising up the Babylonians", that "ruthless and impetuous… feared and dreaded people" to punish the people of Israel and other countries. These people were committing acts of violence and wickedness and they would be punished with acts of even greater violence and wickedness. 
     How could God raise up such a horrid people to punish those more righteous than them? But God had already judged them. At the end of His reply God called them "guilty men, whose own strength is their god" [v.11]. As guilty men, they would in turn be punished. Is there any parallel in the world today?

  • Chapel on Wednesday, Jan 29th , will be taken by our overseas students. Come and get to know who they are, hear their testimonies and their songs, etc.
  • Chapel on Wednesday, Feb 5th, will be taken by our local students, who will likewise share what the Lord places on their hearts.

God willing, we hope these two chapels will prepare us for some team building.

SPECIAL REPORT

Postgraduate Diploma in Christian Studies  
(Dip CS)


Richard Hui Jor Yeong (cum laude)
Lai Pak Wah (magna cum laude)
Leong Kwok Hoong (cum laude)
Leow Atomic Chuan Tse (summa cum laude)
Liew Cheng San (summa cum laude)
Timothy Lim Teck Ngern
Ng Kai Seng
Wong Lea Choung
Matthew Yap Kian Hua

In absentia:
David Tan Kim Hong (magna cum laude)

Master in Christian Studies  (MCS)
Kim Jong Kuk
Hosea Lai Chin Kok (cum laude)

Master of Divinity  (M Div)
Wilfred Leow Hui Ann (magna cum laude)

*cum laude  "with praise"
  magna cum laude 
"with high praise"
summa cum laude 
"with highest praise"

PRIZES:
Dean's Prize (Dip CS)
(in memory of the late Mr Charles Phan Chauw Fatt)
This prize was awarded jointly to Mr Liew Cheng San &
Dr Leow Atomic Chuan Tse.           
Dean's Prize (MCS)
(in memory of the late Mr Charles Phan Chauw Fatt)
This prize was awarded to Hosea Lai Chin Kok.
Dean's Prize (M Div)   
(given by Mount Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church)
This prize was awarded to Wilfred Leow Hui Ann.
Greek Prize
(in memory of the late Rev Quek Khee Swee)
This prize was awarded to Liew Cheng San.
Old Testament Prize
(in memory of the late Elder Lee Tsu Hwai)
This prize was awarded to Wilfred Leow Hui Ann.
New Testament Prize   
(in memory of the late Dr Benjamin Chew)
This prize was awarded to Timothy Lim Teck Ngern.
Applied Theology Prize     
(in memory of the late Elder Ng Ngian Kwang)
This prize was awarded to Liew Cheng San.
Christian Education Prize
(in memory of the late Mdm Goh Eng Ngin)
This prize was awarded to Hosea Lai Chin Kok.
Field Education Prize               
(in memory of the late Pastor Harry Hughes)
This prize was awarded to Kim Jong Kuk.
Missions and Evangelism Prize
(in memory of the late Mr Yeo Yeow Teck)
This prize was awarded to David Tan Kim Hong.

(This Special Report will be continued in the next issue of BTW)

  1. Rev Ng Seng Chuan will be preaching at Ang Mo Kio Presbyterian Church this Sunday, Jan 26, at 9.00 am.  Topic: Parable of the Ten Maidens (Matt. 25:1-13)
  2. Please note that NT Foundations I (NT 101) will commence on Monday, Jan 27, 7-9pm.
  3. Change of Commencement Date: Counselling: Self-Awareness (CO101) will commence on Feb 19 instead of Jan 29. Time: 7-10pm
  4. All Greek students (BG111, BG 211, BG 214) may request for the dates of their tutorials for Semester 1 from the Admin Office.

God's Richest Blessings To Our Birthday Stars!


Dn John Chew  20/1
Ms Penelope Goh  20/1
Mr Peh Kok Hwa  21/1
Dr David Tan  21/1
Ms Pearl Chee  21/1
Ms Cheryl Chan  21/1
Mr Lam Wai Kay  22/1

Mrs S.M. Peck  22/1
Mdm Eve Chan  22/1
Mr Kim Hak Soo  23/1
Ms Lim Ing Sin  23/1
Mr Ng Zhi-Wen  25/1
Ms Han Huan Mei  26/1
Dr Tee Kim Leong  26/1
s!


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This page is updated on 24 Jan 2003 by Leong Kok Weng
    © Jan 2003