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Any Complaints? Blame God! God’s Message for Today – Habakkuk the Prophet Speaks

By Martin Goldsmith
May 2009 | Review by Roger March

Synopsis

An interesting look at the prophet Habakkuk and how his message is still relevant for us today. When our lives don't go according to plan, we are often quick to blame God. The prophet Habakkuk also blamed God when it seemed like everything had gone wrong in his society, and was amazed by God's answer. Martin Goldsmith guides us through the book of Habakkuk and allows this Old Testament prophet to speak into our lives, and into the issues of contemporary society.

  • Publisher: Authentic Media
  • ISBN: 978-1850788126
  • Pages: 160
  • Price: £8.89
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Book Review

This book deserves a better title! The negative words on the cover fail to convey the positive encouragement of the pages that follow. I found this little volume easy to understand, informative, relevant and stimulating. It moved me to worship the Lord.

Like Habakkuk in his day, I am mystified by what is going on in the world today and cry out, ‘How long … but you do not listen?’ and, ‘Why do you tolerate wrong?’ Like Habakkuk, I need God’s Word to straighten out my thinking and bring me into a state of contented submission to his higher wisdom.

The whole text of the prophecy is explored in the seven chapters of the book and extended treatment is given to some of the ‘golden verses’. Habakkuk 2:14, that wonderful portrayal of gospel success, has a chapter to itself. Some of the significant Hebrew words used by the prophet are helpfully explained and there are moving and reassuring descriptions of the character of God taken from Habakkuk’s prayers. God’s power, both in coming judgement and in future salvation, is clearly taught.

This is essentially a revision and exposition of the author’s commentary on Habakkuk published in 1982. Sadly, since then, Mr Goldsmith has come to adopt the new perspective on the doctrine of justification. This is evident from his comments on Romans 1:17 in connection with Habakkuk 2:4.

At this point also, he carelessly misrepresents the Reformers by saying that they understood Romans 3 to mean ‘that people can be considered righteous as a result of their faith’. Surely they teach that people are justified by Christ’s atoning sacrifice? These are blemishes on an otherwise useful book.

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