Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

06 October 2019

Pentecost 17 Sermon: Slow Haste

Preached on Habakkuk 1:1–4, 2:1–4
17th Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 22C
6 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Slow Haste.

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 Summary: Everywhere he turned, the prophet saw the bad guys winning and he wanted to know when the Lord was going to come down and set things right. When would He stop using pagan nations such as Assyria to visit His wrath on sinners? When would He check the evil perpetrated among His chosen people? When would righteousness be its own reward?

Instead, the Lord sent a vision promising that another pagan nation, the Chaldeans, would be His next instrument of judgment. They would destroy Assyria but would also reach out against Judah, which continued to sin against its God. There was nothing the Israelites could do to save themselves for none could make themselves right before the Lord.

However, the Lord promised that the “righteous shall live by his faith.”

This righteousness came only through trust in the Lord’s promises of His forgiveness and coming rescue. During the New Testament and beyond, it specifically and solely came to mean belief in Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for us. He was the One to bear the full brunt of the Father’s wrath at sin and sinners.

How long will it be? When will our troubles end and our enemies be vanquished? The Lord has His own timetable. Even as He warns of hastening judgment, He also promises to delay on behalf of those who will still be brought to saving faith by the power of His Holy Spirit. He urges us to be slow to judge but quick to mercy.

God says, “‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)” Now you are baptized. Now you are forgiven. Now you are righteous and living by faith.

Text: The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

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....

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

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.

“Behold, [the wicked man’s] soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Slow Haste.

NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media Player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 62; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:1-10

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