Singing in the Pain
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Singing in the Pain

Habakkuk 1:1–3:19  (ID: 3424)

As God’s mouthpiece, Habakkuk declared God’s word to Israel, who were in rebellion. Yet even he was not prepared for God to use a foreign nation to execute judgment on His people. While he questioned God’s purposes, the prophet also listened to God’s response: that the righteous will live by faith. As Alistair Begg explains, the Lord works salvation for His people through Christ, and one day the earth will be filled with His glory. In this we can greatly rejoice!

Series Containing This Sermon

Encore 2021

Selected Scriptures Series ID: 25917

Sermon Transcript: Print

We’re going to read this morning from the prophecy of Habakkuk and chapter 3. And there’s a heading to this: “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.”

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 Mount Paran.
His splendor 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 [neck] to [thigh].
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 [wait quietly] 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 places.

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

Thanks be to God for his Word.

Well, let’s just pause and ask for God’s help, using a familiar but old Anglican prayer:

Lord, what we know not, teach us; what we have not, give us; what we are not, make us. For your Son’s sake. Amen.

Well, in these particularly challenging days, I suppose it was only a matter of time before we looked at Habakkuk. Probably, like me, you will have turned at least to the closing verses of Habakkuk as you have been contemplating the difficulties and challenges that are before us.

Very few of you, I think—and I’m speaking now directly to our own congregation—very few of you will remember that we studied this book together in the month of November in 1983. Many of the congregation were not even born or around, so few will remember that. Some may actually recall that we went back to Habakkuk in June of 2008 and, interestingly, just weeks before Lehman Brothers, which was the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, just a matter of maybe eight or nine weeks before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. And here we are now, twelve years on, and that economic collapse arguably pales before the current global catastrophe. And certainly, every morning that we awaken, the vast majority of media is focused again and again on these things.

And perhaps like me, you’ve been finding yourself saying, “I need to make sure that I’m reading my Bible so that when I listen to this, I have a sense of framework whereby I can understand and apply these things.” I do read the newspapers, as you know, and like you, I pay attention to them in some measure. This last week, The Times of London reported the results of a survey that they had conducted, or someone had conducted, with two thousand British adults. And they were assessing the reaction to life under quarantine and tying it to personality traits that these individuals were most associated with. And they broke it down into five categories. They said that certain people, in responding to the circumstances, might be defined clearly as pragmatic realists (in fact, that was the largest number in the British population, some 31 percent); secondly, nervous dependents; thirdly, resentful pessimists; fourthly, deluded optimists; and fifthly, skeptical troublemakers.[1]

Now, as I read that—and I didn’t read it out to my wife, because I was frightened that she might identify me as one of the five, and not the one that I wanted to be—but I found myself saying, “I wonder, really, where I fit in terms of such a designation.” And then I said to myself, “I wonder where Habakkuk would fit in one of these categories.”

But the fact is that all that we know of Habakkuk is contained in these three chapters. None of the other prophets actually make mention of him. And the exact time of his writing is also something that we cannot speak to with any degree of dogmatism. The only indication that we have of the timing is when in 1:6 he mentions how God was raising up the Chaldeans. And I think it’s quite obvious, though, that in the writing of this prophecy, in these three chapters, he writes as one who has been exercising the office of a teacher. He has been exercising his prophetic ministry. And he’s been doing so in a context of moral declension and spiritual declension on the part of God’s people. They have, if you like, given indication of the fact of their obstinate rebellion, of what Calvin refers to as an “irremediable wickedness.”[2] And it seems to be that it is in response to that that he delivers this oracle. You will notice, “The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw,”[3] that’s how it all begins.

Now, what I want to do this morning is not try and fit him into one of the five categories, but simply acknowledge that he, like each of us, is essentially a work in progress. And so, I’m going to take a high-level flight over the whole three chapters, giving something of an outline by way of a sketch, and assigning to each of us the responsibility of homework on our own. I thought that we might view him first of all questioning and complaining; and then, secondly, listening and thinking; and then, thirdly, praying and singing. The temptation is to go immediately to the praying and the singing, but the praying and the singing is set within the context of what precedes it.

Questioning and Complaining

And so, first of all, here we find him questioning and complaining.

Now, depending on the version of the Bible that you’re using—perhaps some with a King James Version, which was what I was brought up on—it may read for you, instead of “the oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw,” “the burden” that Habakkuk the prophet saw, or, if you like, “the problem as God gave Habakkuk to see it,” so that what he delivers here is a burden that has been laid upon him. The prophetic role, not only in Habakkuk’s life but in the prophets right across our Scriptures, is essentially to declare God’s perspective, his judgment, the ultimate victory of his purposes, and in a world that disregards him.  

We must remember that when we turn, for example, to this, that this is also covered when Paul writes to Timothy and he says to him, “All Scripture [was] breathed out by God.”[4] So what we’re looking at here is the Word of God. It has been breathed out by God. We’ve spoken in the past of the dual authorship of Scripture: it has been breathed out by God; it has been spoken by Habakkuk.

And clearly he does not fit certainly the last category. We do not find him as a skeptical troublemaker. If you will read this on your own, perhaps later in the day, perhaps you will agree with me that Habakkuk comes across as a man obviously of spiritual character, a man who has a genuine concern and love for his people, and a man who has an all-consuming zeal for the glory of God.  And when he describes the fact, at the beginning of the second chapter, that he is keeping watch, the fact is, he’s keeping watch in more ways than one.

Now, we’re looking at this under the heading of “complaining and questioning,” and this we find ourselves dealing with in chapter 1. I say again to you, I’m only going to highlight this. I’m not trying to expound the whole three chapters.

“[How long,] O Lord,” verse 2, “how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?” His concern is such that appears to be past the point of recovery.

Why do you make me see iniquity,
 … why do you idly look at [the] wrong?
Destruction … violence are before me;
 strife and contention arise.

In other words, things are not looking good at all. And then, in verse 4, he basically sees the world as being upside down. It is in a state of real turmoil. It is, if you like, out of control:

  The law is paralyzed,
 and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
 so justice goes forth perverted.

Now, we can let it just simply settle in our minds, and we understand exactly what’s being said. And that is where he begins. Here are the first of his questions, or the beginning of his complaints. He’s going to come back to it in verse 12 when he says, “Are you not the everlasting God, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. You are the one who has ordained them as a judgment. This I don’t understand either,”[5] he says.

Now, the same one who voices the question is the one who voices the answer. And in verse 5 you will notice that now he is the mouthpiece of God’s answer. God has spoken to him. He has listened to him, and now he speaks to him. “Look among the nations,” he says, “and see; wonder and be astounded.” “You’re not gonna hardly believe this” is what he says to him. “For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if [I] told [you].”

God gives his righteousness as a free gift of grace. It is not something that we can earn either by our good living or by our religious and good works.

And then it becomes clear that what God is going to do is he’s going to use an unholy people in order to chastise his holy people. He’s going to execute his judgment by “raising up” a “bitter and [a] hasty nation.”[6] Habakkuk knew something had to be done, he knew that it would be God who must do it, but he wasn’t prepared for the way in which God’s plan would be worked out. Let me just repeat that: Habakkuk knew that something must be done, he knew that God must be the author of what was to be done, but he wasn’t prepared for the way in which God’s plan was to be worked out.  Well, we’ve referenced that, haven’t we, in the hymn that we have just sung? That was the great mystery for Cowper in that hymn: “I know that you’re a good God, I know that you’re a sovereign God, but I don’t understand this.”[7] That’s really the spirit with which Habakkuk comes to this. God is going to use an unholy instrument to achieve his purpose.

Now, as you read this through on your own—and I’m confident that you will—you realize that it leads inevitably to the fact that Habakkuk is going to have to think this out. And you will notice that he says this at the beginning of chapter 2: “I’m going to have to think about this and listen to God. I’m going to take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower.”[8]

Well, just exactly what this means, I’m not sure. Certainly there are times when it is good for us to get up to a high place and look out over the panorama and ponder things. We know also that [Solomon] speaks of how “the name of the Lord is a strong tower, and the righteous run into it and are safe.”[9] In Psalm 18, in verses 28 and following, we read these words:

For it is you [O God] who light my lamp;
 the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
 and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
 the word of the Lord proves true;
 he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

So, if you like, when along with Habakkuk we look on the circumstances of life and it becomes the occasion of questioning and complaint, the Word of God, if you like, is the ladder up which we climb. The Word of God ultimately is the source into which we look, because it is the Scriptures alone that provide the answer for all of the complaints and all of the reproofs—the complaints and reproofs that come to us from outside, when our friends and neighbors say, “Well, if you have such a wonderful God that you serve, can you please explain to me why things are as they are?” Or from the reproofs that emerge from inside our own questioning hearts.

Listening and Thinking

So Habakkuk is questioning and he’s complaining. But then we find him also listening and thinking, and particularly in chapter 2. And one of the interesting things about Habakkuk: although it is not an often-read book, it contains a number of very, very well-known statements. And so I thought, rather than range through the chapter, when we listen and we think, let’s just notice three things to listen to and to think about.

First of all, in 2:4: “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” Now, what is happening there is that the contrast is being established between those who believe, if you like, that they can handle life and death on their own—such an individual is puffed up. His soul is puffed up. This person regards the idea of bowing down before God as simply ridiculous, as unnecessary, and, frankly, unhelpful, and he’s prepared to scorn those who do—the “arrogant man who is never at rest.”[10] You can read it all there in the chapter. The righteous, by way of contrast, have a different guiding principle. Instead, then, of looking to ourselves to navigate our way out of our predicament, “the righteous shall live by his faith”—in other words, by believing what God says simply and solely because God said it. “You save a humble people,” says the psalmist, “but the haughty eyes you bring down.”[11]

Now, if you know your Bible at all, you will know that, interestingly, this verse is picked up again in the New Testament on a number of occasions, in Hebrews and in Galatians and in Romans.[12] And Paul, in speaking of what it means to know God and to be in a relationship with God, reaches back into this statement here in Habakkuk, making it clear that God gives his righteousness as a free gift of grace, that it is not something that we can earn either by our good living or by our religious and good works. 

As a cross-reference, you could go to the story that we have of the Pharisee and the publican. You remember the individual who beat his breast and said, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!” and the Pharisee who said, “I thank you that I’m not like these other people. I am fine. I’m okay. I do this. I don’t do that. I do the next thing.” Essentially, his soul was puffed up. And when Jesus told the story, he said, “And it was this man, the man who beat his breast, who went to his home justified.”[13] No, in the midst of all these troubles and trials, Habakkuk affirms this immense principle: “The righteous shall live by his faith.”

And then, in 2:14, he encourages himself and he encourages the reader by making it clear that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” It’s a quite remarkable statement, isn’t it, given the predicament, given the rebellion on the part of the people, given the ensuing case for judgment and chaos that is to follow? And in the middle of all of that, he makes this great statement: “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of … the Lord.” God will display his glory in executing his judgment. As we sang this morning, he’s perfect in his justice and his wisdom.

And so, beyond even the initial demonstration of that in the seventh century BC, we’re reminded here again of the ultimate triumph of God. “If it seems slow,” then we should “wait for it,” he says back in verse 3. When we go forward into the New Testament, Paul again makes this clear: “Every knee will bow, and every tongue confess.”[14] When the writer John describes the circumstances in the book of Revelation, he speaks in terms of every tribe and every nation and every people and every language.[15]

You see how this creates a radical insight that runs straight through all that is going on around? And people say, “Well, you know, our preoccupation with this and with that, and these are the great things. We must listen to science. We must listen to the educators. We must listen to the geniuses.” Every morning that I awaken, somebody says, “And the experts have said, and the experts have said”—and of course we pay attention to the experts. We’re in great need of their insights. But do you as a believer this morning actually understand that whatever those circumstances may be, it is of immense significance that the right standing of a man or a woman before God is by grace through faith in Jesus[16]—that the righteous will live by faith?

And do we understand, and do we believe, and do we long for the fulfillment of this promise: that “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord” will “cover the sea”? Why else pray for the nation of Paraguay? Why pray for the extension of the gospel? Why ask that our lives in these days may commend the gospel? Well, because God has not only ordained what the end will be, but he has ordained the means whereby the end will be achieved, so that while all of our friends are saying the same things—“Well, I hope it will stop soon. Well, I’m sure there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” and so on. And we join them in these things. But actually, we’re cut from a different cloth. We’re saying, “Yes, but did you know that the righteous will live by faith? Do you know that one day the earth will be filled with the glory of God?” Think about it! Think about that.

And think about this, verse 20: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Think about this: the temple of God, the place of his meeting, the ark of the covenant in the wilderness wanderings, the gathering of the people, the shining of his light, the covering of the cloud, the progress of the people, the establishing of his temple, and so on. And so Habakkuk, in order to get some kind of perspective on what is going on, anchors himself. “I have my questions, and I have my complaints,” he says, “but I am listening to what God says, and I’m thinking about what God says.”

Now, there, my friends, is the problem for some of us: the absence of thinking. Thinking! Being transformed by the renewing of our minds.[17] Words. Constant noise. The babble of the pundits, the professors, the politicians. And as you look towards the end of chapter 2, you see the wonderful contrast with the idols that cannot speak and with proud men and women who don’t listen. I guess the fact is, if we will not listen to God, then we will have to go to the idols who can’t speak:

What profit is an idol
 when its maker has shaped it,
 a metal image, a teacher of lies?
… Its maker trusts in his own creation
 when he makes speechless idols!
Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, [Wakey!];
 to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 … There[’s] no breath [in it] at all ….
But the Lord is in his holy temple;
 let all the earth keep silence before him.[18]

You fast-forward again into the New Testament, and on that amazing encounter recorded by Matthew, chapter 17, when on what we refer to as the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus is there. And you remember the voice that sounds out from heaven: “This is my beloved Son …; listen to him.”[19] “Listen to him.” The great question, of course, is, when these days of difficulty are upon us, who is trustworthy? Who is reliable? To whom shall we listen? Whose dictates and directives are the best to follow, and so on? It’s a call to silence. “Let all the earth keep silence before him.” “Be quiet!” “Be still, and know that I am God.”[20]

You see, here we are at this point in the twenty-first century, and we are suffering from big views of ourselves and small views of God.  The puffed-up picture earlier in the prophecy is too apt a description of too many of us. The submission of heart comes from an awareness of, if you like, who God really is. “O worship the King all glorious above, O gratefully sing his power and his love.” You remember that great hymn by Robert Grant? “O tell of his might, O sing of his grace.” “Our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days, he’s privileged in splendor; he’s girded with praise.” And who are we? Well, we’re the “frail children of dust, and feeble as frail.” And then says the hymn writer, “In you do we trust, nor find you to fail.”[21]

Praying and Singing

So, from questioning and complaining to listening and thinking, and finally, to praying and singing.

You see, it’s first of all silence that then gives way to the song. It is thinking that gives way to the expression of our emotions—that we understand the place of emotion. We’re not real fans of emotionalism, which somehow or another diverts from the rationale of things. No, there is a reverence here. This “prayer of Habakkuk the prophet,” to be joined in by the choir—it’s not telling us that this is his prayer, as if somehow or another it’s his prayer and nobody else’s prayer, but it is identifying that this was the prayer of Habakkuk who is the prophet. And this prayer, then, would be prayed by the people of God.

Fascinatingly, as I was reading this during the week, I discovered that portions of chapter 2 and 3 were found in 1947 amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls, making it clear that throughout all of the generations, people have gone back to these things to remind themselves that the righteous live by faith, that the earth will be filled with the glory of God, that we should keep silence before Almighty God.

Here we are at this point in the twenty-first century, and we are suffering from big views of ourselves and small views of God.

And what you have in chapter 3, then, is a sort of historical panorama. You perhaps picked up on the elements of the story of the transition out of Egypt, and how the Egyptians were covered up, and the heads of the warriors were swallowed up. “You trampled the sea,” verse 15, “with your horses” and “the surging of mighty waters.” And so his understanding of a sovereign God causes him to tremble, and his lips to quiver, and rottenness to his bones, and his legs to tremble beneath him. And he says, “Now, what I’m going to have to do is I’m going to have to wait quietly for the day of trouble to come upon the people who invade us.” Well, actually, the King James Version doesn’t translate it in that way. It says, “I am waiting for rest on the day of trouble.”[22] “I’m waiting for rest on the day of trouble.”

Now, as we draw this to a close, I want you to notice that the things he prays about are not necessarily the things that might immediately spring to mind for us even today, no matter how committed we conceive of ourselves to be. Notice: “I have heard the report,” verse 2, “of you, and your work, O Lord, I fear that; I’m in reverential awe of it.” And then notice what he says: “In the midst of the years revive it.” “Revive it.” “Here’s the great need,” he says: “for you to revive your work, your purposes among your people.” While all these terrible things are going on, his concern is that the work of God would be revived. Surely the people of God in these days must—whatever our perspective on the medical concerns and the economic concerns and the social concerns may be—surely part of our prayer must be the prayer of Habakkuk here: “Lord, revive your church, revive your work in the midst of these years”—while all these things are going on, pestilence and plague following at his heels.

The thing that has struck me this week—and perhaps you could identify with this—is that I have been confronted by the question, “What is it that is my greatest worry and my fear?” Well, surely I understand and to some degree share the concerns of our culture for the well-being of all the matters that are at hand. But I found myself saying, “How much of the Habakkuk perspective is part of my thinking? Am I actually as concerned as the prophet for the glory of God, for the fulfillment of his purposes, for the reviving of his work?” As the world appears to crumble around me, it is obvious that I’m not immune or exempt from the calamity. And some of us are called upon, and will be called upon, to come to death in unwanted circumstances. And we’re called upon, again, to listen and to think, and to be reminded of the fact that when Paul addresses similar concerns in Romans chapter 8, he says it is “in all these things”—“in all these things”—“we are more than conquerors.”[23] Not because we’re not involved in them, but because we’re in them. Says Calvin, all of our thoughts will err and wander and go astray until we are fully persuaded that God alone is sufficient for us.[24] There’s the question. There’s my question: “Is God alone sufficient for me?”

Christian faith is solidly based on facts, not on ideas. What is recounted here is the dealings of God throughout history. And all of these things and God’s deliverance of his people are foreshadowings of his ultimate deliverance in Jesus. Because it is in Jesus and in his cross that, in terms of verse 2, he remembers mercy in wrath—that through his life and his death and his resurrection, the believer is safely brought through death to life. And that is why, in the middle of all of these difficulties and uncertainties, we can then begin to say and to sing with Habakkuk, “Well, though it all goes wrong… ” And what he describes here is devastating for an agricultural, horticultural economy: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, no fruit on the vines”—in other words, if the economy should break; if we should live in the framework of an unproductive, barren landscape; if there should be significant loss of life—“if all of that,” says Habakkuk, “I’m still going to be found singing. Because the righteous shall live by faith.” Perhaps again, as a cross-reference, we go to Hebrews 11. We don’t have time to do it now. But remember: “What more shall I say of those who were tortured?” And it all goes on: “And they were still living by faith when they died.”[25]

Well, if you remember, there were five categories. And I said that Habakkuk didn’t fit any one of them. I think, upon reflection, I would say that Habakkuk was certainly not a deluded optimist, but he was a theological realist. A theological realist. And it’s interesting that he finishes, if you like, in song, as we’re about to finish in song in a moment.

Horatius Bonar, a Scottish servant of the church in an earlier generation, grew up singing the Psalms. He found that the children didn’t like many of the tunes. He began to write hymns. He loved children. Part of his love for children was on account of the fact that his wife lost five children in rapid succession. And in the Sunday school, he not only taught them the Bible, but he taught them to sing. And he taught them of the wonder of God’s dealings, even in the midst of sadness. And probably in one of his finest hymns, he wrote as follows:

Not what I am, O Lord, but what thou art!
That, that alone can be my soul’s true rest:
Thy love, not mine, bids fear and doubt depart,
And stills the tempest of my [tossing] breast.

Now, here we go. This is theological realism:

’Tis what I know of thee, my Lord and God,
That fills my soul with peace, my lips with song:
Thou art my health, my joy, my staff[, my] rod;
Leaning on thee, in weakness I am strong.[26]

In other words, he’s declaring with Habakkuk, “God is the strength of my life. The Lord is my salvation.” And interestingly, the prophecy finishes with a direction being given to the choirmaster: “Tune the strings.” And so, as our mini-choir tunes their strings, let’s pause for a moment in silence before God:

O gracious God, help us, then, to keep silence before you. Forgive our preoccupation with all of the talk and the rambling of the pundits and the professors and the politicians. We live in this real world. We are part and parcel of it; of course we are. But our chart and compass is not statistics. It’s not the best of human wisdom. It is the wisdom of God. We hear your voice from heaven: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Lord, grant that in listening we may find him to be our forgiveness, our righteousness, our hope, our justification, our adoption, our salvation. We pray in his name. Amen.

[1] Tom Ball, “Troublemaker or Realist: Coronavirus Lockdown Tribes,” The Times, April 18, 2020,

[2] John Calvin, Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets, vol. 4, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, trans. John Owen (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1848), xiii.

[3] Habakkuk 1:1 (ESV).

[4] 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV).

[5] Habakkuk 1:12–13 (paraphrased).

[6] Habakkuk 1:6 (ESV).

[7] William Cowper, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” (1773). Paraphrased.

[8] Habakkuk 2:1 (paraphrased).

[9] Proverbs 18:10 (paraphrased).

[10] Habakkuk 2:5 (ESV).

[11] Psalm 18:27 (ESV).

[12] See Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38.

[13] See Luke 18:9–14.

[14] Philippians 2:10–11 (paraphrased).

[15] See Revelation 7:9.

[16] See Ephesians 2:8.

[17] See Romans 12:2.

[18] Habakkuk 2:18–20 (ESV).

[19] Matthew 17:5 (ESV).

[20] Psalm 46:10 (ESV).

[21] Robert Grant, “O Worship the King” (1833). Lyrics lightly altered.

[22] Habakkuk 3:16 (paraphrased from the KJV).

[23] Romans 8:37 (ESV).

[24] Calvin, The Twelve Minor Prophets, 4:61.

[25] See Hebrews 11:32–40.

[26] Horatius Bonar, “Not What I Am, O Lord” (1861).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.