I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
Then the Lord replied, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
“See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness — indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples.
“Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, “‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’ Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey. Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you.
For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin! You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life. The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice! Has not the Lord Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies! You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed! The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.
The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.
Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.”
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.
In this chapter of Habakkuk, we have the Lord’s reply to the questions Habakkuk asked previously, and I find the first part interesting again as it could apply to our times as we wait for our Lord’s return.
Habakkuk has taken his post as the watchman, to see what the Lord will say. Sometimes it seems that with so much information from every direction in our time it’s easy to find answers, yet, are they from the Lord, or from our own thoughts?
With knowledge increasing, it seems as if wisdom has decreased in our world, and so much of what’s going comes from emotion (social justice, education & woke culture, riots), or a sense of superiority and pride (Politics, media, big tech) . There is not anything from the Lord in any of these answers.
I look at God’s first part of His answer here, For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay and see a couple of things. The revelation, the action is waiting for an appointed time. God has had His plans set from before this world, and everything happens according to His timing. It speaks of things yet to come, like all of Scripture, what He tells Habakkuk here is that what is written, what is revealed, will happen, just as it is recorded, and will not be fake news. It might take a while for it to happen, but wait. WAIT. When we wait, it shows trust. And when we trust, He shall bring it to pass. When it is coming in His time, it will not be late.
During Habakkuk’s time however, God had some more things to say, including more woes. Not only did God use the Babylonian invasion and captivity to judge Israel but He also acted in judgement against the wickedness of the Babylonians. His five woes against them were for their exploitation of others, coveting evil gain, thoughtless shedding of blood, their drunken immorality and violence, and their idolatry.
I imagine many of the Jewish leaders like previous generations thought God would never use such an idolatrous and sinful people to judge them, yet a look from throughout history shows He has and will. Just as He can use evil rulers to carry out His plans for His own glory, He had no problems using the Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians or whomever to get the attention of His wayward children. Yet He always reserves justice for His children.
Just as in the ancient times, our societies now have as many idols, and are quick to trust in them. Whether they are images made or those who have made themselves their own gods, as much as they ignore the living God who created them, they vainly chase after whatever their own desires may be. Much like Satan who put his trust in his own pride, the pride of those in our time believe they are above God, wise in their own eyes, and expect future generations to gaze on their legacies with awe, wonder and adoration. But also much like Satan, pride will lead to a fall and they will have to reckon with God. Woe to them if they don’t come soon to know He is the Living and Holy God.
Wait. Patiently. In other words, Be still, and know that He is God. Though He lingers, wait for Him; Jesus will certainly come and will not delay. Maranatha!
Have a blessed day all!