As I read Habakkuk chapter 2 this morning, it became so clear that these words apply today every bit as much as they did back in this prophet’s day. It seems to me, that God is clarifying that we have a choice. To choose righteousness brings protection and promise, even though we might need to go through a process we don’t understand. On the other hand, to choose ungodliness eventually brings the unavoidable price of judgment and penalty. Sin is a real thing, it brings bondage, addiction and death. Habakkuk was wondering why it was taking God so long to avenge His people, allowing them to suffer at the hands of the Chaldeans. Remember, Jesus had not come to earth yet. Salvation was through the law, not grace. People subjected themselves to judgment for their disobedience; both the righteous and the unbelievers. For us, it’s different. Thank God we can choose to believe Jesus and that alone results in salvation by grace, the unmerited favor and forgiveness of all sin, past, present and future.
Look at Habakkuk 2:4. “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him. But the “just” shall live by faith”. We are just, we are found righteous because of Jesus. We live by faith in the steadfast goodness of our trustworthy God. In times of adversity, we stop looking at the problem, and focus on Jesus because He is our redeemer. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The result of trusting the Lord is peace in every storm, hope in the outcome, and a knowing that God is at work in us to do and to will for His great pleasure. We always win because Jesus paid the price of our unrighteousness. We have access to abundant life and freedom. It’s just a matter of submitting to His plan.
So, Habakkuk wants to know why the intervention of the Lord tarries. People get battle weary and war torn. God’s ways are higher than our ways, that’s why we have faith in Him. Perhaps rescue lingers because God is giving those ensnared by sin, time to see their own wickedness and repent. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is dogging them, convicting them because He dearly loves them and desires to free them from the straight jacket of sin. It’s written that it’s Gods desire that none perish but come to the knowledge of God. He has His hand out, He wants everyone to come to Him. Maybe it’s not about us, but about those who do not know Him. You see, we know God. We know His mercy and grace. We know love never fails. We know to wait on the Lord patiently because He has a better plan. That is faith. I think this chapter is a reminder to live patiently by faith while God works in the lives of others. In the interim, we have a life of peace and adventure, provision and hope.
Sometimes love asks us to wait.