Habakkuk 1:12–2:4 (NKJV)
12 Are You not from everlasting,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O Lord, You have appointed them for judgment;
O Rock, You have marked them for correction.
13 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?
14 Why do You make men like fish of the sea,
Like creeping things that have no ruler over them?
15 They take up all of them with a hook,
They catch them in their net,
And gather them in their dragnet.
Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore they sacrifice to their net,
And burn incense to their dragnet;
Because by them their share is sumptuous
And their food plentiful.
17 Shall they therefore empty their net,
And continue to slay nations without pity?
2:1 I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected.
Habakkuk begins this chapter with a series of questions, asking God why He allows Babylon to capture God’s people and take them into captivity. He questions God as to how long He will allow this activity to go on. He points out that they are like fishermen catching helpless fish, and then they idolatrously worship the net that brought them the fish. They have no pity, but slay nations. Habakkuk then purposes to stand watch and wait for God’s response.
2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 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.
4 “Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.
Habakkuk is here given the Lord’s response to his second question. The Lord gives Habakkuk a direct message to be preserved so that all the nation can see it. “He who runs” is likely a reference to one of two situations. It either refers to the writing being large enough(make it plain) to be read by someone running by the tablet or wall, or it refers to someone who is running the race of life that needs to see it. The Lord makes it clear that patience and faithfulness are necessary in this situation. The vision will come to pass, but in its time. When it is time, the Lord will not tarry (delay), but will fulfill the vision. The proud will fall, but the just shall live by faith. The word for faith here can be translated as faith or as faithfulness. Both are required to make it through a crisis. When you have faith in God, you can believe for relief, deliverance, or blessing. However, you must be faithful and stand in that faith with you life and actions if you are to see it come to pass. Whatever you may be facing today, live by faith. Run the race and be faithful. Oh, and keep you eyes open for the messages and visions that God may send you along the way!