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Habakkuk: A Wrestler With God

By Walter J. Chantry
September 2009 | Review by Stephen Emmott

Synopsis

Like many other characters in Scripture, the prophet Habakkuk word for 'embrace' and conveys the idea of a wrestler in an embrace with his opponent. As Walter Chantry shows in this absorbing book, Habakkuk lived out his name by wrestling with God in prayer in the midst of a national and international situation resembling our own in many respects. As we read his prophecy, we hear Habakkuk pray, then listen as the Almighty responds. The divine response at first seems overwhelming. Yet at its centre is a glorious revelation of the very heart of the gospel. In this brief exposition, previously published in the Banner of Truth magazine, Chantry draws out themes that are timely, challenging, but ultimately full of comfort.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • ISBN: 978-0851519951
  • Pages: 111
  • Price: £5.49
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Book Review

This is a great little book about a great little book! Only 100 pages long, it is commentary, devotion and sermon beautifully weaved together.

Walter Chantry points out that Habakkuk’s times were, in many respects, similar to our own, characterised by ‘troubles in national affairs and fear of international developments’! Just as, in Habakkuk’s days, Judah faced the terrifying might of Babylon, so: ‘Nations to our east are gathering strength. These nations have false gods; they are brutal, ambitious, and increasing in military power. Such nations have served as rods of the Almighty to be used on the backs of his wayward people.’

The author takes us through the prayers of Habakkuk and shows how God’s answers transformed him from being a man full of complaints into a man full of confidence. Though the book is brief, it contains plenty of background material. So this short extract from Habakkuk’s prayer diary, as Chantry calls it, is set clearly in context and not divorced from the historical events of his day.

It is in the third and last chapter of Habakkuk and the last of his recorded prayers that the prophet’s new-found confidence is to be seen. The answers God has given to Habakkuk’s first two prayers are now ‘worked into the heart and words of Habakkuk’. Chantry’s explanation and application of the third chapter of Habakkuk is most helpful and encouraging, showing how we can and ought to cope in ‘times of extreme crisis’.

This book would be just the thing for any Christian who is losing confidence, because of the rise of false religion and the shortcomings of western Christianity.

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