Thursday, February 25, 2010

Habakkuk, Abraham, Noah, and Lot

Habakkuk is a prophet like Abraham, talking with God about the destruction of the wicked and the righteous. Habakkuk is particularly concerned that God "do right" with regard to those who are righteous.

Running through chapter 2 is a theme of drunkenness (2:5, 15-16). This "drunkenness" appears to be summary of the kind of mindless wickedness, oppression, idolatry, and violence that Judah has become drunk with.

And this drunkenness has been encouraged by neighbors, who do this specifically in order to look at their neighbor's "nakedness" (Hab. 2:15). Thus, there is a Noah-Ham dynamic at work in Habakkuk's complaint. But this is also echoed in the Lot story when his daughters get him drunk in order to perpetuate their family line through their father, uncovering his nakedness.

But this comes in the midst of five "woes" (2:6, 9, 12, 15, 19). And the "woes" are fulfilled in Habakkuk's final prayer, which rejoices in Yahweh as the God of the Exodus, the God of Armies.

As with Noah and Lot and Israel in Egypt, there is always a remnant saved, the righteous are delivered, the wicked are defeated and put to shame. What's strange is the fact the "drunken-exposures" of Noah and Lot come on the far side of deliverance, after their respective exodus events (flood/fire & brimstone).

What is perhaps hopeful about Habakkuk is that the drunken-exposure of Israel will be exile itself, and so the new exodus-return will deliver precisely from that shame.

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