“Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” Isa 13:6
“A day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wastefulness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers (the strong and well entrenched governments).” Zeph 1:15-16
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the Lord (The Day of his Vengeance, The Great Time of Trouble) is coming, For it is at hand: A day of darkness (ignorance) and gloominess (foreboding), A day of clouds (trouble, calamity) and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds (troubles), spread over the mountains (the nations, the people).
Behold, A people come, great and strong (a mighty army, unparalleled in all history, the Lord’s great army, the unrestrained anarchist masses of mankind), the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations.” (Joel 2:1, 2)
“Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one (His Great Army), which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, He will bring it across the land with His hand.” Isa 28:2
“They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons (instruments) of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.” Isa 13:5
“Look among the nations and watch—
be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
which you would not believe, though it were told you.”
The unusual “work” that God “will work” is that He will rise up His Great Army to do a destructive work on Christendom. This evil class will be allowed not merely to providentially exist but to have sufficient freedom to do their evil work of destruction.
“And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executes his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:11).
The Prophet Habakkuk had a dual role. Sometimes he expressed himself as the Great Company will see matters, but at other times he expressed himself as a seer, as a prophet. When he prophesied, he also took the role as if he were living at that future time.
“Behold, you despisers (scoffers of God’s true plans and purposes), marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one was to declare it unto you.” (Hab 1:5; Acts 13:41)
“If you did not see some evidences you would consider impending events impossibilities”. Such will be the astonishment of many of the Lord’s professed followers, when they witness the destruction of present order of things, not only of governments but likewise the great institutions of error, the church nominal with all its various branches both Catholic and Protestant alike raised to the ground, utterly destroyed.
‘How could this be?’ they will exclaim, ‘Were these not the Lord’s institutions?’ Some will be heard saying, ‘Surely our church was faithful’, evidently not, else they would not have met the same fate as the rest of them. Great Babylon will fall and rise no more.
Even now this “strange work” to be performed (Isa 28:21), is being declared, and how is it being received by the professed followers of the Lord, why with disdain and disbelief, just as the Lord said it would be.
“For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans,
A bitter and hasty nation
Which marches through the breadth of the earth,
To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.”
In the type the destruction by the Chaldeans from the north was a pending situation. Verses 6–11 give insight into the characteristics of the enemy. The antitypical “Chaldeans” were described by the Pastor as communists, anarchists, nihilists, and socialists, discontents; that is, the Chaldeans constitute the Lord’s Great Army.
The Latin nihil means “nothing,” and nihilists do not believe in any kind of government. They want to remain without any government so that they can exploit the weak, kill or be killed; only the strong survive. Anarchists simply want to tear down the current system but have no idea what precisely to put in its place, they have no real plans of their own; they simply want something to replace what exist now. They are dissatisfied and want to get rid of the current government and start fresh. There are also many socialists around the world who are discontented with present conditions.
Verse 6 describes the Lord’s Great Army as a “bitter and hasty [fierce and reckless] people,” a very cruel people (possessing no moral or religious restraint).
“A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns; the land is like the Garden of Eden before them; behind them, a burning devastation—complete desolation. Surely nothing shall escape them.” (Joel 2:3)
They will devour as they go along. They will “March through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs (that is to say they will riot and pillage, loot, kill and destroy all which is before them).”
The thought implied by their marching through the breath of the earth implies that this is to be a worldwide condition.
“They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law unto themselves (i.e. anarchist) and promote (or render) their own (sense of) honor (justice).” NIV
“They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like.” (New Living Translation)
“They come from a far country, from the end of heaven— The Lord and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land.” Isa 13:5
“Their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves”; that is, they will not be curbed by any religious restraint or sentiment. When the nominal system is destroyed, there will be nothing left to curb mankind’s appetites, only their own personal inclinations. ALL religions will be destroyed including Islam, governments as well. There will be no coordinated thinking, each individual doing as he pleases. Every man’s hand turned against his neighbor, thus total anarchy.
“Evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.” Jer 25:32
“Their horses also are swifter than leopards,
And more fierce than evening wolves.
Their chargers charge ahead;
Their cavalry comes from afar;
They fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.”
Their horses (their doctrines, teachings) in this case their rants and denunciations of all authority and order spread swiftly across the land giving them the power to influence those of likeminded character (their cavalry), these then flood their ranks from both far and wide. Their chargers (the horsemen or leaders, i.e. the instigators who promote these teachings) charge ahead, leading the pack. They fly like eagles which hasten to eat, to devour, to plunder, loot and destroy.
Without armies or police forces lawlessness and violence will prevail, neither will there be any religious restraint, as the churches will have all but been destroyed, religion will be gone. This “army” composed of discontents, of marauding terrorist bands, lawless bands will be fiercer than the evening wolves, which hunt in packs at night, i.e. mobs and gangs will run ramped.
“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march everyone on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.” Joel 2:10, 4,5,7,3
“Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is captured (joined unto them) will fall by the sword. Their children also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.” Isa 13:15, 16
“And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Jer 25:33
Continued with next post.
Excerpts taken from “The Book of Habakkuk” Brother Frank Shallieu