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Intoxication - Habakkuk 2:4-5

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THESIS: Are You Intoxicated?  The intoxication of arrogance can lead to destruction.



1. “Super Bowl Sunday”- a day that will soon arrive in which a lot of the world will be tuned in watch the “Big Game”

A. The Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals are running for the spot to get in this years super bowl.

B. The team that wins will be entitled “World Champions.”

2. Throughout the past months, many of the players from these teams have had the chance to speak their minds to the press.

A. Many sometimes share stories, or dreams they have had.

B. Sometimes they speak out boldly, saying that “they will win the Super Bowl.

C. Some of these players are so confident and arrogant in the way they act, it is as though they have been intoxicated with it!

3. How many of us have ever became so confident, so arrogant and bold in something that we become intoxicated with it?

4. Intoxication is often used or referred to someone who has had to much to drink, but we do not have to fill our bellies with alcohol to become intoxicated!

A. We can be consumed or intoxicated with money and power.

B. We can be consumed or intoxicated with pride and jealousy.

C. We can be consumed or intoxicated with worldly lusts and desires.

5. There are those who have been intoxicated with sins in the world, but as for the Christian we must remain pure and sober!

A. The world fills their hearts and minds with pleasures and desires.

B. The world relies solely on the here and now, and what they can touch and see.

C. The Christian fills their hearts and minds with pure and righteous things.

D. The Christian relies solely on their faithful obedience to God.

6. In Habakkuk 2:4-6, we read of the things that intoxicated the Babylonians; the very things that would eventually lead to their destruction.

7. If we, like the Babylonians, allow ourselves to be influenced and intoxicated by the things of the world, we too will fall!




A. In looking at this passage, we first see the intoxication of ARROGANCE!

1. “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him“; (v.4a) and then “Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man,”(v.5a)

2. Like all wicked people the Chaldean’s were “lifted up”

A. To be “lifted up” means to have a spirit of pride, haughtiness, and arrogance that feel’s no need for God and that holds contempt for the things of God.

B. Deuteronomy 8:17-18

3. Like the Children of Israel in the time of the Wilderness Wanderings, the Chaldean’s had become intoxicated with arrogance!

4. The Soul of the Chaldean is haughty, full of pride!

5. They were not intoxicated with wine, but rather with the wind of arrogance.

A. Wine is described as “a mocker” (Proverbs 20:1) that kings sorrow, contention, and at last bits like a serpent, eventually taking away the reason (Proverbs 23:29-35)

B. As alcohol distorts one’s mind, arrogance also distorts the mindset and abilities of man.

C. The Caldean’s were intoxicated with power and conquest, just like an alcoholic is consumed with alcohol; we can see through this that one can be consumed or intoxicated with arrogance (Isaiah 29:9; 51:21)

6. We need to always remember the intoxication of arrogance will lead to destruction!

A. It did for the Edomites (Obadiah’s prophecy)

B. Id did for the Assyrians (Nahum 1:1-ff)

C. It eventually did for these Babylonians (Daniel’s prophecy)

D. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”

E. Arrogance is the sin behind all sin (1 Timothy 3:6) “not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.”

B. We also see from this passage the intoxication of APPETITE.

1. Do you ever have days that you cannot stop eating because you can never get full?

A. You eat, munch and nibble all day, but cannot get full.

B. You continue to much and eat away until fully satisfied!

2. Notice what the second part of verse 5 says concerning the appetite of the Babylonians, “and he does not stay at home, because he enlarges his desire as hell, and he is like death, and cannot be satisfies, he gathers to himself all nations and heaps up for himself all peoples.”

A. “Sheol” is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word “Hades” which is the abode of the dead.

B. It is never bull but always seems eager to receive more and more people.

C. Babylon is like this.

D. Just as death is never satisfied, so Babylon is never satisfied, they are always looking for more victims!

3. Every world conqueror, from Alexander to Hitler has learned to late that he cannot take over the world and successfully control it.

4. The lusts of power, as any other lusts, can bring forth death!

A. James 1:15 “ Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.”

B. If we all fill our appetites with the pleasures and desires of this life, we will never be full and satisfied!

1. Think of those who try to fill their appetite with money.

2. Some want power, in jobs, marriages, etc.

3. Others seek worldly lusts and desires!

C. Babylon had become intoxicated with both arrogance and appetite, and would so be destroyed! If we have this attitude, we too will be destroyed!

D. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is over the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:16-17)



A. See the contrast between those on the one hand who are “lifted up,” who have the pride in themselves, and those on the other hand whose trust is in God!

B. “but the just shall live by his faith”

1. The “just are those that trust in God; not themselves!

2. They are those that are upright because of their trust in God

3. They represent those that endure because they believe (Hebrews 10: 32-39)

C. God shows Habakkuk what the righteous must do to be saved:

1. Faithful obedience is required

2. A sober-minded person is one that is faithful and obedient to God’s word!

D. Many think that when the specifics of God’s law changed there was a change in the principles by which God judges men.

E. This can easily be demonstrated:

1. No one was ever justified without faith.

2. Obedience to the previous laws would have been meaningless without faith (Isaiah 7:9; Psalm 78:22)

3. Justification by faith in Christ Jesus also requires obedience (Romans 1:5; 16:26; Hebrews 5:9; - baptism is essential because it is an act of faith. Mark 16:16)

F. The illustration here in Habakkuk, we can not save ourselves! We must trust God in Faithful obedience (Ephesians 2:8-9) “ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works lest anyone should boast.

G. The sober-minded Christian recognizes that they must live by faith because they are convinced that god along can save!

1. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

2. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)

H. The righteous are not intoxicated by arrogance and appetite, they need to remain sober and concerned only in pleasing God!

1. They are humble, not arrogant (Philippians 2:5-12)

2. They fill themselves with the fruits of the spirit, not the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:22-25)

3. They continue on, never giving up (1 Peter 4:19)

4. Christians need to live a sober and righteous life

A. Romans 12:3

B. 1 Thessalonians 5:6

C. 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8



A. Habakkuk 2:4-5 teaches us that one can either live thier life intoxicated with the arrogance and appetite of the world, or one can live a sober life looking to God with faithful obedience.

B. The unrighteous are arrogant and have an appetite that can not be filled!

C. The righteous are:

1. Sober minded

2. Humble in Spirit

3. Satisfied because they trust and have obedience in God!

D. Are you intoxicated, or are you sober?


-- AJ McPherson, January 2009 (studying at the West Virginia School of Preaching)


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