Prayer: Habakkuk compared to Honi

Ephesians 5:11 … Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them … -Eph5:11;1Tim5:20;2Tim4:2-4;Ti1:13-14

In Mark Batterson’s book The Circle Maker, Honi is compared to the prophet Habakkuk. Is this a valid biblical comparison?

From: The Circle Maker

Quote:
“I’m sure Honi the circle maker prayed in a lot of different ways at a lot of different times. He had a wide variety of prayer postures. But when he needed to pray through, he drew a circle and dropped to his knees. His inspiration for the prayer circle was Habakkuk. He simply did what the prophet Habakkuk had done:

“I will stand upon my watch, and station me within a circle.”

From The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson:
http://www.thecirclemaker.com/The_Circle_Maker_Sampler.pdf

Honi’s Prayer:

And God was nowhere to be heard. But there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. And even if people could no longer hear God, he believed that God could still hear them.

… Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain.

Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have mercy upon your children.

… The people rejoice over each drop, but Honi wasn’t satisfied with a sprinkle. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the celebration.

Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits and caverns.

… It rained so heavily … people fled .. to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle. Once more he refined his bold request.

Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of benevolence, benediction and grace.

Then … it began to rain in perfect moderation.

Prayer: Habakkuk compared to Honi

Let’s take a look at some key verses in Habakkuk 2.

1 I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart(watch tower), And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.

From NetBible Hab 2 – Habakkuk compares himself to a watchman stationed on the city wall who keeps his eyes open for approaching messengers or danger.

Habakkuk expects to hear from the Lord and is prepared to wait for the Lord’s answer, he also humbles himself for possible correction to his complaints in Hab 1. His complaints center on v4 on how justice seems to be perverted.

*Honi does not hear from the Lord or expect to hear the Lord’s directions, was he really a prophet of God? (Honi the Circle Maker – A Prophet of God?) -Honi also isn’t prepared to be corrected or to receive anything other than what he demanded – rain.

2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. 4 Behold the proud[06075], His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith. 5 Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man, And he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples.

The Lord’s answer to Habakkuk reveals the difference between the proud and those whose faith is in Him. Those who trust in the Lord are willing to submit and wait upon Him and His plan.

From NetBible Hab 2:1-5

  • proud[06075] = swell with pride
    *As for the proud, his desires are not right within him – the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion in contrast to the just/righteous(Isa 40:31)
  • faith[0530] = fidelity, steadfastness
    *the Lord is assuring Habakkuk that those who are truly innocent will be preserved through the coming oppression and judgment by their godly lifestyle, for God ultimately rewards this type of conduct. In contrast to these innocent people, those with impure desires (epitomized by the greedy Babylonians; see v. 5) will not be able to withstand God’s judgment (v. 4a).
  • *The proud are greedy and never satisfied always demanding more

*Habakkuk decides to trust and worship the Lord (Hab 3:16-19) even when circumstances do not appear favorable

*Honi appears to demand rain and isn’t satisfied until he gets exactly what he demands.

Habakkuk puts his complaints before the Lord and expects to hear an answer. He also prepares himself for correction. Habakkuk accepts the Lord’s answer and is prepared to trust in His plan even though circumstances are not the best. Honi does not follow this pattern. Honi appears to demand rain and isn’t satisfied until he gets exactly what he wants. Honi also does not hear from the Lord. Honi seems to look more like the proud than the faithful.

.

Faith(The Humble) contrasted to The Proud
Faith Proud Verse
righteous are preserved – they do not faint(Isa 40:31) – they live the proud with impure/greedy desires can’t withstand God’s judgement – they faint Hab 2:4
faithful are preserved the proud are judged by God and paid back in full Ps31:23
blessed is the one who makes the LORD his trust the proud fall away to lies or turn to false gods Ps40:4
the humble are given grace by God the proud are opposed by God Pro3:34;1Pe5:5;Ja4:6
the humble will be honored by God the proud will be humiliated by God Pro29:23
The humble stand firm in faith and endure the proud rebel(do not stand firm) and are devoured by the sword Isa7:9,1:19-20
The Lord’s blessing is on the faithful who trust in Him The Lord’s curse is on the proud who trust in mere human beings and whose heart turns away from the Lord Jer17:5-8

Related:
Honi the Circle Maker – A Prophet of God?
Prayer: Elijah compared to Honi
Quail: Answered Prayer

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2 Responses to “Prayer: Habakkuk compared to Honi”

  1. Tony Omerzu Says:

    I believe you are confusing boldness with pridefulness. I believe a person can remain humble in spirit while expressing themselves in a bold manner. The legend says they were in a drought. They were in desperation and Honi recognized with all humility that their only hope was God. Such is the case of the persistent widow in Jesus’ parable found in Luke 18. She was acting in boldness with all humility.

    • khollandsblog Says:

      Which prayer shows humility?
      Honi

      • Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have mercy upon your children. …
        … Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits and caverns.

      Habakkuk

      • Hab 2:1… I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart(watch tower), And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.

      Which seeks the Lord’s direction? Which expects to hear from the Lord? If one can’t hear the Lord’s voice can one really submit to the Lord’s direction?

      Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.Lk 11:28

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