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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Habakkuk Chapter 2

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Habakkuk
Date Penned: BC 612-589
Overview: For God's People to Move from Doubt to Faith (c 1-3)
Theme: Habakkuk's Doubt (c 1-2)
Message: Habakkuk's First Question (v 1-17)

Habakkuk: Chapter 2 Commentary

(2:1) The watchman and watch tower, often used by the prophets to show an attitude of expectation (Isaiah 21, Jeremiah 6, Ezekiel 3) are pictures of Habakkuk's attitude of patient waiting and watching for God's response. Stone watchtowers were built on city walls or ramparts so watchmen could see people (enemies or messengers) approaching their city while they were still at a distance. Watch towers were also erected in vineyards to help guard the ripening grapes. Habakkuk wanted to be in the best position to receive God's message. 

(2:2) This chapter records God's answers to Habakkuk's questions on how long would evil prevail? Why was Babylon chosen to punish Judah? God said the judgement, though slow to come, was certain. Though God used Babylon against Judah, he was aware of Babylon's sins and would punish it in due time.

(2:3) Evil seems to have the upper hand in the world. Like Habakkuk, Christians often feel angry and discouraged as they see what goes on. Habakkuk complained vigorously to God about it. God's answer to him is the same answer he would give us. "Be patient" I will work out my plans in my perfect timing. "It is not easy to be patient", but it helps us remember that God hates sin even more than we do . Punishment of sin will certainly come. As God told Habakkuk, "Wait for it" To trust God fully means to trust him even when we don't understand why events occur as they do  .

(2:4) The wicked Babylonians trusted in themselves and would fail, but the just (righteous) lived because of their faith and trust in the Lord. This verse has inspired countless Christians. Paul quotes it in Romans 1 and Galatians 3, The writer of Hebrews quotes it, chapter 10, just before the famous chapter on faith and is helpful to all Christians that endure hard times when there seems to be no hope. The body of Christ must trust that God is directing all thing according to His purpose.

2(5-8) Babylon was proud, trusted in itself and its military might, and lived to satisfy its own lusts at the expense of the captives. But these very sins would rise up to judge it, and the captives it wronged would strip and taunt Babylon. Justice would come slowly, but it would come.

(2:9-13) Babylon's riches came from the misfortunes of others, and these riches would turn into worthless ashes in its hands. The victims and their cities would cry out against Babyoln. Money is not evil, but the Lord condemns the love of money as it is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6) Be careful not to hunger for wealth so much that you lose your appetite for God. Do not allow money to take the place of family, friends, or the Lord.

(2:18) Idolatry may seem like a sin that modern people need not fear. But idolatry is not just bowing down to idols. It is trusting in what one has made, and therefore, one's power as creator and sustainer. If we say we Worship God, but we put our trust in our bank account, homes, businesses, or organizations, then we are idolaters, Do you trust the Lord more than the things He has given you?

(2:20) Idols have no life, no personhood, no power. They are empty chunks of wood or stone, Temples built to idols are equally empty, No one lives there. But the Lord is in His Temple, He is a real person-alive and powerful. He is truly and fully God. Idolaters command their idols to save them, but we who worship the living God come to Him in silent awe, great respect, and reverence. We acknowledge that He is in control and knows what He is doing. Idols remain silent because they cannot answer. The living God, by contrast, speaks through His Word. Make sure you are seeking Him and listening to what He has to say to you.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Not Works

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue the book of Habakkuk with Chapter 2. In our text today we see the Lord answer His question on the delay on the judgement of the Babylonians as they trusted in themselves. In making application we see a common problem of many. Trusting in their own merits an resources instead of God. Today many believe they are good enough to go to Heaven on their works but the Bible is clear that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus-Christ and not of works lest any man should boast. How about you? Do you believe your good works instead of faith in Jesus-Christ? Let us learn from our text today and the example of the Babylonians to see that we are not saved by our works but only in faith in Jesus-Christ and His shed Blood. 


Habakkuk 2

Habakkuk 2

 1I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

 2And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

 3For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

 4Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

 5Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

 6Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!

 7Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?

 8Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

 9Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!

 10Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.

 11For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.

 12Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!

 13Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?

 14For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

 15Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!

 16Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD's right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.

 17For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

 18What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

 19Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

 20But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.