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Journey through Habakkuk

Questions and Answers (1:1-2:5) – Part 4

Note: We encourage you to click the link above and read the section in Habakkuk this post will discuss prior to reading the post.

As we wrap up this section of Habakkuk, we have learned that the prophet had some hard questions for God and God had some even harder answers for Habakkuk. God’s answers raised some theological questions in Habakkuk’s mind so that he had difficulty reconciling God’s character with God’s plan. Now, today, we will find that God reassures Habakkuk.

God Gives Assurance to Habakkuk (2:2-5)

While it is not known how much time passes between 2:1 and 2:2, God does respond to Habakkuk and tells him to legibly write down His message that will become a witness to what God decrees. God has already told Habakkuk that the preceding events will take place during Habakkuk’s lifetime. But in 2:3, God says the things He will reveal next may not be fulfilled right away, (Babylon will not fall to the Persians until 538 B.C. and may not have been in Habakkuk’s lifetime) so Habakkuk is to wait patiently and that what is to come will not arrive late.

Habakkuk is to be Patient and Trust God’s Timing

Part of Habakkuk’s complaint is that God has been silent and has not noticed the social injustices that were happening. Therefore, 2:3 may serve as an answer to Habakkuk’s complaint because the problem did not lie with God, but with Habakkuk’s lack of patience. [1] God is going to give the prophet a vision of what will occur in the future, but those events will happen in God’s timing–not Habakkuk’s, so Habakkuk will have to be patient. However, while he waited, he was to live a life of faithfulness[2]

The Wicked vs. Righteous

In verse 4, God gives a contrast of the one who is not upright and the person of integrity. The [3] They were arrogant with inflated egos and had no regard for humanity. They lacked integrity and were known as crooked people. However, their pride would eventually lead to their demise. James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (HCSB).

The Righteous live by faith

In contrast, the righteous will live by faith.

The righteous person is the one who lives up to the standards of a particular relationship demands. In terms of the righteous person’s relationship with God, he or she must live according to the stipulations of the covenant. To put it in a nutshell, one’s relationship with God demands loyalty (love) to him, and one’s relationship with one’s fellow human beings demands the kind of behaviour that will be to the benefit of others and/or to society at large, which boils down to love for one’s neighbour.”[4]

[5] Because the wicked trust in their own power, they would die. The righteous, on the other hand, place their trust in God and find life. One can easily see the doctrine of salvation in this verse. However, Habakkuk may have had a dual purpose in that he wanted to reassure the faithful people in his day that God would spare their lives with the Babylonian army arrived.

Babylonians are Drunk on the Wine of God’s Wrath

Verse 5 serves as a contrast to the one who lives by faith and describes the Babylonians who are drunk on their own greed, pride, and arrogance. Barker writes in the New American Commentary, “Like death and the grave (Sheol), the Babylonians never have enough. Sheol often is pictured as being greedy, always enlarging itself to receive more of the dead.”[6] God, therefore, declares that the wicked will become drunk on the wine of His wrath and He pronounces five woes against these tyrants.

[1] Thomas, Habakkuk, 112.

[2] Ibid. 112.

[3] Miller, Holman Old Testament Commentary, 65.

[4] Snyman, Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah, 71.

[5] Miller, Holman Old Testament Commentary, 65

[6] Kenneth L. Barker. New American Commentary: Micah-Zephaniah: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1998), 292.

One Year Bible Reading Plan: March 22

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Joshua 7-8

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Praying, Meditating, and Journaling the Psalms:

Choose one of the following Psalms: Psalm 22, 52, 82, 112, or 142.

1: Read the psalm through in its entirety.

2: Take one verse at a time and pray the verse back to God as it applies to your life.

3: Meditate on the verse and ask the Holy Spirit what He is trying to teach you about God, your Christian walk, or about yourself.

4: Journal what you prayed about and the results of your meditation.

5: Move to the next verse. Continue through the entire psalm this way.

6: Write down one verse that stood out the most to you today on a 3X5 card and carry it with you throughout the day. Memorize the verse and hide it in your heart.

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