When the prophet Habakkuk saw the wicked oppressing the righteous He asked God, “Why.” Why were wicked people who were oppressing the righteous going unpunished? Why do the wicked prosper? Why is God indifferent? The Lord gave the prophet a reply…
Look among the nations and watch—Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days, Which you would not believe, though it were told you.—Habakkuk 1:5.
God proceeded to show the prophet that He would use Babylon to judge His own people for their sin and turning away from God.
Why would a Holy God use evil Babylon who was more wicked than Judah? That does not seem fair?
You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours, A person more righteous than he?—Habakkuk 1:13
So the prophet braces Himself for God to answer knowing that He will be corrected.
I will stand my watch, And set myself on the rampart (tower), And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.—Habakkuk 2:1
God’s answer is in three parts. ANSWER #1: The just shall live by faith and not by sight!
Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.—Habakkuk 2:2-4
ANSWER #2: Everyone shall reap what they sow. God’s law and witness will not be mocked. God will judge the proud! God speaks 5 woes upon the ways of the wicked.
Woe to the proud who heaps up for himself – Hab 2:5-8
Woe to the proud who covets at the expense of others – Hab 2:9-11
Woe to the proud who sheds innocent blood – Hab 2:12-13
Woe to the proud who lead others into sin – Hab 2:15-17
Woe to the proud who is given over to idolatry – Hab 2:18-19
But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence (no rebuttal) before Him.—Habakkuk 2:20
ANSWER #3: God is faithful to bring His plan to pass! God reveals to the prophet that His kingdom will be established on earth…
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.—Habakkuk 2:14
The prophet Habakkuk is also given a vision of the second coming of Christ to judge the world…
God came from Teman, the Holy One from MountParan.. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise. His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden. Before Him went pestilence, And fever followed at His feet.—Habakkuk 3:3-5
The result of Christ’s coming is the complete restoration and salvation of His people, Israel…
You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed—Habakkuk 3:13
Now the prophet has a new outlook on things. His response has changed from one of complaining to one of rejoicing by faith in the promises of God.
Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.—Habakkuk 3:17-19
The red deer the most sure-footed of all mountain animals. It lives in an environment of rough terrain where the air is pure, the view pristine, and the dangers are far below. That’s a picture of the righteous who live by faith, God makes their path secure!
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.—Psalms 18:30-33
So next time you want to ask God why about the things that may be happening in your life that you don’t understand. Consider the lesson God taught the prophet Habakkuk first.
- We are to live by our faith and not by sight.
- We are to understand that man is responsible for the outcomes of His life. Every man reaps what he sows good or bad.
- We are to be confident that God is faithful to fulfill His plan in our lives.
- Finally, we should never let our head down and complain about the problem but we should life our head high and rejoice by faith because God has His hand upon our lives!