Loving Father God, I wait quietly before You now. Speak to me from Your Word today, I pray.
Read Habakkuk 2:2-20
 Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.  For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.  “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright- but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness-  indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples.  “Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, “‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’  Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey.  Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.  “Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin!  You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.  The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.  “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice!  Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.  “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!  You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed! The cup from the LORD’s right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.  The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.  “Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.  Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.”  The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat "woes" does the Lord speak here?
This time, God’s answer to Habakkuk’s complaint was so certain that he told the prophet to write it down straight away, in advance of it actually happening. In a series of vivid contrasts, of sins and woes, Habakkuk saw that the fate of the evil-doers would mirror what they had done to others. The corrupt, the arrogant, the immoral and the violent would all be judged by God and punished appropriately for their wickedness. Shame and disgrace would replace self-glorification. Although things had seemed to be going their way for so long, the triumph of those who had abandoned God would ultimately prove to be short-lived. The noise and clamor of sin would cease and human-made idols would be shown to be worthless. In contrast, God was alive and present. The only right response to him was awed, silent worship. In the meantime, while, like Habakkuk, we wait for God to act, we don’t have to follow the crowd. We can live according to the radically different standards of “the righteous” (4). In every situation, there is a choice. Will we live by faith, or put our trust in ourselves?
What does living by faith mean for you today? In what ways can your life be distinctively, clearly godly?
Lord, I don’t want to follow the crowd through life. Help me to live so that others know I follow You.
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