Summary: Those that have faith in God live right & do right. The proud do what is right in their own might. Pride & might did not make Israel right or justified & would not justify the Babylonians either. Faith in God justifies us.
GOD’S CENTRAL REVELATION
Habakkuk had been troubled by ungodliness and injustice in Israel. But when God revealed that He was about to use the Babylonians to punish His people, Habakkuk asked God how He could use the ungodly to punish those more moral than themselves. It was a daring ethical question, for Habakkuk was asking God if He was doing right. The prophet had been waiting intently and apprehensively for God’s reply.
God said it is a matter of faith. Those that have faith in Him live right and do right. The proud do what is right in their own might. Pride and might did not make Israel right or justified and it would not justify the Babylonians either. Faith in God and faithfulness to His ways is all that can justify a man or nation before God.
I. God’s Clear Revelation, 2.
II. God’s Certain Revelation, 3.
III. God’s Clarifying Revelation, 4-5.
True to his profession, Habakkuk was a spokesman for God’s
revelation. He waited for God’s message, instead of pronouncing his own message. He was ready to carry God’s message to God’s people no matter what that message would be.
Let’s rejoin Habakkuk on the watch tower on the wall where he waited for God’s response.
I. GOD’S CLEAR REVELATION, 2.
In 2:2 God tells the prophet to take notes concerning what will occur. “Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.”
God did not disappoint His servant who was waiting for a reply. Habakkuk’s answer was received because of his disciplined watchfulness (2:1). In ancient days the watchmen were responsible to warn the city of approaching danger and, if they weren’t faithful to their task, their hands would be stained with the blood of the people who died (Ezek. 3:17-21, 33:1-3). It was a serious responsibility. We too, along with Habakkuk, bear the responsibility to warn people to change their mind and repent or turn from their unrighteous life and “flee from the wrath that is to come” (Mt. 3:7). May we be able to say with Paul “therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men” (Acts 20:26).
You get the impression that Habakkuk was anticipating a rebuke for his boldness before God, but the Lord graciously answered him giving him the revelation he needed to turn his worry into worship. He is commanded to record the revelation given on tablets. The noun revelation (hazon) denotes a vision transmitted to the senses (1 Chron. 17:15; Prov. 29:18). The clear and forthright message was to be inscribed on durable tablets (the usual medium for Babylonian not Hebraic writing) so that it could be preserved and more important, publicized.
The letters were to be large and legible enough to be read easily. So the prophet is instructed to reduce the vision to writing so that the people would have it for the future. For it’s message would not take effect immediately.
The one reading it was to run forth to tell it because it was a message of encouragement to Israel, telling her the means of salvation and the eventual destruction of Babylon. God is still in charge and is moving history towards the goal of the Day of the Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom.
II. GOD’S CERTAIN REVELATION, 3.
God tells the prophet in verse 3 not to let the people miss or dismiss the revelation though it will not happen immediately. “For the vision is yet for the appointed time. It hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come. It will not delay.”
Every prophetic revelation demands a certain degree of patience. The Lord’s timetable and agenda usually differ from man’s. One must wait for fulfillment. The words wait for, or linger, suggest a delay beyond what is expected.
God’s words to Habakkuk were reassuring: the revelation waits for an appointed time. The prophecy pointed toward a future goal. Literally it “pants, breathes or blows” toward the end or goal. (Like a runner toward the finish line). The end means the termination of a certain object, activity or period of time. The reference to the end seems to signify not only the coming destruction of evil Babylonia, but the broader fulfillment of the messianic judgment in the fall of "Babylon the Great" at the close of the tribulation (Rev. 17-18).
God’s revelation will not prove false or fail. Though the deliverance was not to come immediately, it was certainly coming and the godly should wait for it. Delay is only in the heart of man. God is working out the details and timing according to His plan. For those in Judah about to experience the fearsome Babylonian invasion and captivity, this assurance of fulfillment should have been a great comfort. At God’s appointed time their barbaric captures would suffer divine judgment. The vision will not deceive or disappoint but will come to pass.