Habakkuk had asked the Lord an important question regarding His plans for the Jews and for the Babylonians. Would the empire to the east be allowed to destroy God’s city?
God told Habakkuk to write down the following answer for future generations: “The righteous shall live by his faith.” (See Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38.) The Lord would establish His final purposes at “the appointed time,” but until then, the people of God had to “wait” for their vindication. Though it might seem as if events were moving too slowly, the Lord’s perfect day of joy “hastens to the end.” God’s assembly needed to trust Him that His kingdom would “surely come.”
Though in both Jerusalem and Babylon there was much stealing, violence, sexual impropriety, and idolatry, these worldly troubles would not ultimately prevail. Eventually, “the earth” would be “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
God’s great victory will be comprehensive. The Lord’s children will dwell in a new resurrection environment where His holiness will reign supreme. Believing this promise, we can join those throughout the centuries who have found their peace in the Lord. Our God is “in His Holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.”
We do not deny that the life of godliness can be very challenging in a world of sin. Our best strategy for survival will not be through the escape of drunkenness, since Habakkuk warns us that “wine is a traitor.” Nothing under the sun has the power to bring heaven to earth. It is far better for us to remember that the Prince of Peace was obedient to the end for us. The Lord is God and He is good. He will defeat every overwhelming adversary. Our coming King will judge the wicked and save the righteous.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Sovereign Lord, we wait for Your Word. There is much that we do not understand. Your Son will finally come with power. Until that day Your people will live by faith. Though the wicked man will gather up what is not his own, he cannot take it with him beyond this life. There will be surprising witnesses that will rise against him in the day of resurrection that he does not expect. There are many things that we do not understand now, but we know that the earth shall be covered with the knowledge of Your greatness and Your glory. All idols will be exposed as nothing. You are in Your holy temple. We worship You with awe and reverence, and trust You in everything.