Last week we began investigating Habakkuk's questions to God prompted
by living among evil and violent people. God's answer to Habakkuk's
first question was that He was raising up the Chaldeans to punish
In Habakkuk's second question, he inquires of God for the reason
that a nation more wicked than Judea was going to be used to punish
them. Habakkuk asked: "Are You not from everlasting, O Lord
my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, You have appointed
them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction.
You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue
when the wicked devours one more righteous than he" (Heb. 1:12-13)?
Habakkuk continues his question to God by noting the Chaldean's
wickedness and wondering why He would give power to a nation of
Then the Lord answered Habakkuk and said: ". . . Write the
vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will
speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because
it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold the proud, his soul
is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith"
God does not answer Habakkuk's question by explaining the reason
that He is raising up a nation more evil than Judah to punish them.
God's answer to Habakkuk is in two parts. First, He reinforced the
fact that the Chaldeans will surely come and violently destroy them.
Habakkuk is to write the vision so that those who read it will know
to run from the impending destruction. Second, God informs Habakkuk
of the two types of people in Judea. One person is proud and will
not heed God's word and thus not flee destruction. And another person
is just and lives by his faith.
Just as we do not always understand the reasons for suffering and
violence in a particular situation, Habakkuk did not understand
the reason for the righteous to suffer along with the wicked in
God's punishment of Judah. God simply tells Habakkuk that the just
live by their faith. It is our faith that keeps us going in times
of suffering. And by our faith we are confident that God is with
us and that He works all things together for good to those who love
Him (Rom. 8:28).
Paul said: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a
good testimony" (Heb. 11:1-2). People like Habakkuk obtained
a good testimony because they obeyed God in times of trial knowing
that God would save him. And today, we must live by faith in times
of trials and tribulation. We glory in tribulations knowing that
strength comes from trials (Rom. 5:3f). And we are confident that
it is because of our faith in God that we are victorious over the
world (1 Jn. 5:5).
Next week we will begin investigating New Testament Scriptures
which quote Habakkuk 2:4 teaching us that the just live by faith.
Are you an obedient child of God? Do you rejoice in trials and
tribulations? Do you rejoice when suffering as a disciple of Jesus
Christ? Do you live a life free from fear and anxiety? Are you confident
of God's salvation of your soul? If so, you are living by faith.