Notice their arrogance— they have no inward uprightness — but the righteous will live by their faith. (Hab 2:4)
Another translation of this is (combination of translations): Behold, his soul is puffed up. They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.
Literally, it can be translated, Look at the puffed up/proud person, his soul isn’t going in the straight, right way. But the righteous will live faithfully.
There are three points here:
- That pride means puffing up — it means giving myself more importance than I really have. It is egocentricity. I often act as if it is my responsibility to hold things together.
- When I put too much emphasis on myself, this warps my soul. I don’t conduct myself in thought or in action in the way I was intended to, in humility before God, depending on Him.
- The way I should live is to be steadfast and trustworthy, to have fidelity. This is the definition of faithfulness. It means that I am not like unproductive soils in Jesus’ parable. I don’t quit when things get hard. I don’t get distracted by other things. I continue to serve God.
In Habakkuk the prophet is talking about the Babylonians, and asking if they will get away with their wicked and cruel self interest. God’s answer is that even if it takes a long time, the Babylonians will be brought down for their sins. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed…..But soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, ‘What sorrow awaits you thieves! Now you will get what you deserve!
My other favorite part of Habakkuk 2 is verse 14:
For as the waters fill the sea,
the earth will be filled with a knowledge
of the glory of the Lord.
In the days of the prophets, much about God was still a mystery. I live in an age where, “He made known to us the mystery of his will.” (Eph 1:9) No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. (Jer 24:34 and Hebrews 8) “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Jer 31:33, Hebrews 10)
This is my goal, and should always be my goal. That I can KNOW God. It is so hard to separate doing good deeds for their own sake from a relationship with God. My desire is to know Him, but I find myself consumed with doing things all day instead.
What will move me toward this goal?
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…You need to persevere. (Selections from Hebrews 10)
- Draw near to God with full confidence that I am beloved, desired, and right with Him.
- Know He is faithful, so I can always have hope. Hope every minute of every day. I can be faithful in hope because He is faithful.
- Help others to be faithful as well.
Knowing God means seeing His glory, His majesty and all encompassing splendor. It means I am amazed at His creation. I am in awe that He sent His son to die for me. This is a story that can astound the nations — that there is a God who loves so much that He would sacrifice so much for each individual.
It also means that I realize the wonders He does every day in my life — the people who are coming to Women’s Day, the conversation I had with someone who is miraculously coming to faith, progress I see in others who are struggling, and so much more.