In Wrath Remember Mercy

By David J. Stewart | March 2014

Habakkuk 3:2, “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”

       This is a precious truth tucked away in the Old Testament. The prophet Habakkuk was very frustrated. Like the messed up spiritual condition of the United States today, Habakkuk saw all the woeful wickedness of his day and wondered why God was tolerating it . . .

Habakkuk 1:1-4, “The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.”

America has deteriorated spiritually into a shameful hellhole. Perversion abounds everywhere. Adultery, murder and dishonesty are the norm. Our society today in 2014 is a cesspool of iniquity. I heard yesterday that 17 of the states have already legalized homosexual unions. This trend will continue until the U.S. Supreme Court federalizes homosexual marriages. At the time of Roe vs. Wade in 1972, a shameful 37 states had already legalized abortion. The only thing that has spared our nation the wrath of God is the remnant of faithful churches in the Bible belt, and scattered around the country, who have not bowed their knee to Baal. The state of California has become a dungheap of false prophets, homosexuality, new age, occultism, perversion and every form of wickedness imaginable. No wonder their economy is failing and unemployment is over 30% in many areas. As goes California, so goes the nation.

Many Christians (like Habakkuk) are asking God, “How much longer will You tolerate this evil?” The Lord responded to Habakkuk's cries, but it was far worse than Habakkuk had wanted. God said that he would raise up Babylon to overthrow Jerusalem, who would come in violence and carry Israel away into captivity . . .

Habakkuk 1:5-9, “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.”

Perhaps no other passage of Scripture expresses how angry God is over sin than Revelation chapter 9.

Revelation 9:10,18-19, “And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months...By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.”

Most people today are too busy eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage as Jesus warned in Matthew 24:37-38 to take heed of the warnings in the book of Revelation.

One of the most horrifying chapters in the Bible is found in Revelation 9, teaching about the scorpion-like creatures, but much worse, which will ascend out of the bottomless pit.

The Bible says that these deadly creatures will sting men and cause excruciating pain for 5-months. God is going to pour out His wrath upon the wickedness of mankind during the 7-year Tribulation, especially toward the end. People will seek death and not be able to find it. Horror will cover the earth.

Revelation 9:18 tells us that these creatures will kill one-third part of men; which would mean about 2,300,000,000 people if the Lord returned this moment. Literally, billions of people will be attacked by these aggressive creatures from Hell, stung, and tormented for 5-months, and then they will die and go to Hell forever. No doubt many people will be stung multiple times. Just look at the piercing tail in the above picture. This is how angry God is about sin today!!!

After hearing the horrifying things that God was going to do to punish Israel, Habakkuk pleads in Habakkuk 3:2 with God... “IN WRATH REMEMBER MERCY.” It was God's mercy that brought the Jews back to their homeland after 70-years in captivity for not keeping the Sabbath. The Lord is plenteous in mercy and greatly to be praised for His loving-kindness toward mankind.

No one who will one day be cast into the Lake of Fire will be able to blame God. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared unto all mankind (Titus 2:11). God's mercy and grace are freely available to all humanity. If you go to Hell in eternity, it will only be because you rejected the free grace of God. Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins. We owed a massive debt of sin, which we could not pay, but Christ made our payment. God sent His only begotten Son, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross for you and me. Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” What a wonderful Savior!!!

Notice the beautiful truth in Hebrews 12:2 that I just quoted to you... LOOKING UNTO JESUS THE AUTHOR AN FINISHER OF OUR FAITH!!! Jesus is the exclusive Author of our faith (salvation), and He will finish what He has begun in us (sanctification). We are saved immediately by faith in Jesus as the Christ, but sanctification is a lifelong process.

We all deserve to burn in the tormentuous fires of Hell forever and ever because of our sins. Yet, God in His wondrous unconditional love has made a way of escape, giving up His very own biological Son, His ONLY biological Son for us. Jesus was born into the world by a miraculous virgin birth. He lived a sinless life, perfect in every way. The Lord was despised for His goodness, mocked for His love, rejected for being the Christ, beaten and spit upon by hateful men, and nailed mercilessly to a cross for our sins. Who am I that a King should bleed and die? Who are you that the Son of God should lay down His life?

Yet, Christ loved us in spite of all our wickedness and still went to the cross. Jesus could have dropped that cross and went back to Heaven, letting us all go to Hell to pay for our own sins. Christ died for THE UNGODLY, like you and me . . .

Romans 5:6-10, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Thank God for His mercy even though we deserve His wrath! This is only made possible by the BLOOD OF JESUS, as you just read in Romans 5:9. We are justified by the precious blood of Jesus, which He sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12,22-24; 12:24). Jesus is precious!!!

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