And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest” (Habakkuk 2:2-5).
Habakkuk was grieved by the injustice going on around him and was frustrated that God had not done anything to stop it. So he filed a complaint with God. The Lord responded by that he was raising up the Chaldeans to destroy Judah. I think Habakkuk had wanted justice for his homeland not its destruction by ungodly outsiders. Yet he acknowledged God’s holiness and righteous judgment on Judah, and knew that the Chaledeans would one day get what was due them, too.
The Lord’s response to Habakkuk has great value for us today. There will be many times when we wonder where is God? We may wonder why isn’t he doing anything to save us. His answer is: The righteous will live by his faith. We should “write the vision” by encouraging others to put their faith in God that He is coming again in power and will set all things right one day. “If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay”. And while we are waiting, we are warned not to drown ourselves in alcohol for “wine is a traitor”. For one day God will return in glory.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
Habakkuk ends with a powerful psalm of faith and praise.
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
These are the words of a man of faith. Even though he had no earthly strength or provision to rely on, yet he pledged to rejoice in the Lord. He resolved to take joy in the God of his salvation. He put his faith in God for strength to rise up to high places where he would be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.
O God, teach me the lesson of Habakkuk! Let me believe in You when everything around me tempts me to doubt You. I want to live by faith just as Habakkuk did. You are my strength, Lord Jesus. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. You will give me hind’s feet to run by faith to high places. I believe in You. Fill me with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.