Reading through the Bible together
Chapter 2 begins with Habakkuk describing himself as a guard on watch, who is expecting a response from God to the prophet’s challenge.
God responds in verse 2 and tells him to write down His response. Although there may be a delay, nothing defeats the purposes of God. Verse 4 contrasts the wicked longings of the Babylonians, with the desires of the righteous in Judah: “The righteous man will live by his faith.” A statement which is echoed time and again in the New Testament (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38-39). By pulling back the curtain, and showing His people how He is working behind the scenes, God calls His people to trust Him, to wait patiently and to live by faith. No matter how much evil there is, no matter how hopeless things may appear to the human eye, God will always have a remnant who will do what is right.
There is then a list of six woes: Woe to the proud (2:4-5), the avaricious, the greedy (2:6-8), the dishonest (2:9-11), the violent (2:12-14), to the drunkard and immoral (2:15-17) and the idolater (2:19-20).
The woes can be divided into two halves each finishing with a significant statement. Verse 14 confirms that although Babylon may appear invincible, basking in worldly glory, imposing her rule of violence and terror for a period of time, but in the fullness of God’s time she will be completely destroyed. God’s glory will fill the earth and Babylon and all she represents will just be a faint memory.
At the end of the chapter Habakkuk again underlines the fact that when sinful people are confronted by a Holy God, they have nothing to say.
Soon the Lord will return to judge the world, and all those who have opposed him, and seen to be so powerful, will have nothing to say. God’s righteousness will fill the earth and the faith of the remnant who have trusted in Him, will be rewarded. Amen.
Trans European Division