God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.(Habbakuk 3;4-7)
Habbakuk was troubled by the immorality of his own people, Judah. When he petitioned the LORD, God assured him that He too was concerned about Judah and was going to use the Babylonians to punish them. This provoked a second complaint by Habbakuk, ‘how could God use a people worse than Judah, the idolatrous Babylonians, to punish backslidden Judah?
God’s answer was a revelation, that there were only two kinds of people on the earth, those who are proud, and those who believe and are justified. The just will live, by faith in God. No matter what comes, those who truly fear God, and rely on Him will live.
But the proud,”the one whose heart is lifted up in himself” , will be denied by God everything they crave, and imagine that they can obtain by their own prowess.
Then Habbakuk is given a revelation of the ultimate settling of things, at the coming of the Lord in Glory, at the end of days.
We are told that “God came from Teman”, or literally “God is coming from Teman…”.
Where is Teman and why would God be coming from Teman? Teman was a district in the are now known as southern Jordan, but in Ancient times was called Edom. Edom was the area given to Jacob’s twin Esau, as his inheritance.
Esau , Isaac’s favored, eldest son, was Isaac’s choice for the blessing of Abraham, but he was not God’s choice, Jacob was. In spite of Isaac’s desire, Jacob received the blessing God had elected him to, but Esau always resented him for it, feeling he had been cheated out of it.
Esau went on to found a great people, the Edomites, but for the most part it was a people estranged from the God of the Bible. They embraced the paganism of the Canaanites, worshipped false gods, and became a fierce, perpetual enemy of Israel. David and Solomon subdued them but with the break-up of the Kingdom of Israel they shook off the yoke of tribute to Israel.
The Edomites have been participants in something called “the perpetual hatred” of Israel and the Jews. It has been nurtured since the days of Esau, and by his intermarriage with Ishmael’s family. it is the resentment of perceived disenfranchisement, the feeling of being cheated out of home, land, inheritance, etc by the evil Jews.
When the temple was destroyed, both in 589 Bc and in 70 AD, the Edomites gleefully cooperated with Israel’s destruction and enslavement, blocking routes of escape and pointing out hiding places, jeering the Jews as they were transported to the slave markets of the world.
The hatred is real, as this passage in Ezekiel proclaims in this prophecy against Edom,
Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end: Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee. Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth.(Ezekiel 35:5-7)
Amos also mentions it as a determining factor in the judgment upon them,
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:2But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.(Amos 1:11-12)
After being subdued by Seleucids, Egyptians, and eventually the Jewish Hasmoneans, many of the Edomites actually converted to Judaism . It was from an Edomite family that Rome appointed governors over Judea, the Herods. Though brutal and paranoid as a leader , Herod the great was so scrupulous about keeping Kosher that Ceasar is reported to have quipped that it was “safer to be Herod’s pig, than to be his son”, after Herod killed one of his children.
The Edomites would eventually seek to throw off the yoke of the Romans themselves and were subsequently crushed, bringing an end to their kingdom in 135 ad. But the descendents of Esau still inhabit the middle east, having intermingled with the Arabs, and as of the fifth century, having embraced Islam.
It is Islam which is the current nourisher of the “everlasting hatred” of Israel, a hatred unto blood lust as Ezekiel tells us. As I write this Edomites all around the middle east are celebrating with candies, gunfire, and gifts of food and drink, the ambush and killing of eight Israeli’s on a public bus.
Earlier this year the sickening spectacle of sweets, gifts and gunfire in the streets was performed again to honor the treacherous break in and murder of the Uri Fogel family in their own beds. Edom rejoiced at the news which included the slitting of an infant’s throat!
Arab Islam(Edom) is oblivious to the wrath that awaits them, they think this is their time to conquer! They misjudge the timidity of the west, and the decadence we have allowed to rot our societies. But God still says “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you(Israel)!
In Habbakuk’s vision as well as in Isaiah’s God comes back to Edom first, then proceeds on to deliver the beleaguered remnant in the ravished Jerusalem. Those who are in Judea, have had to flee their homes, they have had to run for their lives, into the wilderness of what is now called Jordan, they are forced to live in tents as in the days of the Exodus.
The Muslim world see’s this as their opportunity to finally wipe the Jews out , so they converge on the besieged people in the wilderness, believing that now finally is the time of vengeance, the time when Edom’s hatred will finally be expressed, as the Hadiths of Islam proclaim of the last day,
“The last day cannot come until the jews are hunted down and slaughtered. If a Jew hides behind a rock or a tree, even the rocks and trees will cry out, ‘there is a Jew hiding here,come kill him O Muslim!”
That is why God comes to Teman, to execute vengeance on Edom, and to deliver his people…
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.(Ezekiel 25:12-13)
Perhaps the most frightening picture of the coming of the Lord is in Isaiah 63, where he too says that God comes to us from Edom….
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.(Isaiah 63:1-4)
Pray for the Arab Muslim people, they have no idea the wrath that is stored up for them, we must love them and seek to reach them with the message of Love and of warning. Anyone can be saved, Jesus died for all of us! May God have mercy on them and turn them unto Him!