The Righteous Will Live
Habakkuk was a man about whom we know virtually nothing except for what is recorded in Scripture—his name in the book he wrote. But what he learned from God changed the course of human history. And it might just change your life as well.
Things in Israel were lamentable in Habakkuk’s day. He was upset that the spiritual life in Israel had reached such a low ebb, and confused as to why God was doing nothing about it. Habakkuk voiced his complaints to God, and God’s answers became a source of strength for the righteous in the nation. When Habakkuk asked, “How long must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (1:2), he got an answer from God that only perplexed him further: I am going to do something, but I am going to use the Babylonians to do it, God said (1:6). A holy God was planning on using a people more wicked than the Israelites to bring judgment on (purify) the nation! (1:12, 13) Habakkuk, in essence, replied, “This I have got to see!” (2:1) God told Habakkuk to write down the message he was about to receive and spread it abroad for all to read. And the heart of that message? The righteous will live by his faith (2:4). “You must trust me, Habakkuk, until you see what I will do,” God was telling him. “Tell the godly to have faith, and be faithful, while you wait to see my judgment.”
Live by faith, not by sight. This became the message of the apostle Paul (Rom. 1:17; 2 Cor. 5:7) who wrote it first on his heart and next by his hand and spread it throughout the Mediterranean world. Fifteen hundred years later, an obscure Catholic monk in Germany, Martin Luther, complaining about the state of his church and his own life, discovered Habakkuk’s words through studying Paul’s—and ignited a Protestant Reformation that changed the course of Western civilization.
Are things around you, and perhaps in you, not what they should be? Do you wonder where God is in the midst of the confusion? If so, God’s promise to Habakkuk is his promise to you: The righteous will live by faith.
God’s Promise to You: “You will see me more clearly if you look with eyes of faith.”
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