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By: Larry Shaffer
In this pic we are hiking in the Texas Hill country, near the Guadalupe River with Nate and Ryker!
If this book is a debate and you had to judge the competitors by rounds, how would you judge?
Habakkuk says to God, “why don’t you listen to my prayers? Your nation is a mess. Change their hearts and restore Your people.”
God responds and says “I am going to do what you don’t expect. I am going to cause the wicked and treacherous Chaldeans to swoop in and conquer the Jews. I am going to use a wicked people to judge my chosen people.”
Habakkuk responds and says “ok, I know you can do whatever You want, and I praise You. But how can You sleep at night knowing that You favored the wicked Chaldeans over a less wicked Israel. Yes, Israel is in a bad place spiritually, but they are not evil to the core like the Chaldeans? How can You do this? How is God going to respond? More rounds to come….
Now as we enter chapter two, God is about to give a fuller response. He tells Habakkuk that by no means is He “favoring” the Chaldeans. He is “using” them. While they applaud themselves and their own fierce might and military prowess, God laughs at their arrogance knowing that after he uses them, He will judge them severely for their evil and wickedness. But before He outlines the five “woes” He is going to bring upon the Chaldeans in chapter two, He tells Habakkuk that He will certainly do what He has said He will do in His own time. V3 says, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward its goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come.” And then in the next verse, v4, God makes one of the most important statement in the Bible and certainly the key verse in Habakkuk. “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him, but the righteous will live by his faith.”
The little verse that could
This is such a simple statement but so profoundly significant as well. Remember I said in an earlier post that the principle of “scripture interprets scripture” is so very helpful in understanding the Bible. Well, this verse, ‘but the righteous will live by his faith’ is quoted three time in the New Testament. Twice by Paul and once in Hebrews. That’s why I said this little phrase tucked away in the book of Habakkuk is one of the foundational verses of the entire Bible. We’ll dig into it more next time. Until then, may God strengthen our faith by keeping both our hearts and our minds stayed on Him and His promises. He will fulfill all His promises in time. By faith, we trust in Him!