1 I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. 2 And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. 4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Closer to God
When Habakkuk felt hopeless in this world and confused by what God was doing, there was only one place he turned to, closer to God, NOT away from Him.
Watchpost is the highest point of a city, so physically, he moved closer to God, so he could make his complaints clearer to God. It was then God’s word came again, not explaining His plan but showing Habakkuk a way out of the current mire,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.Habakkuk 2:4
Like a chess master looking at two players matching, in just one short sentence, he helped the player in a seemingly unrecoverable position not only to recover but completely turn the tide in one strike. The short sentence given to Habakkuk was not just for Habakkuk; it was also for generations to come – “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”
A giant can be measured by the shadow he casts. The longer the shadow is, the taller he must be. We may not know much about Habakkuk, but his words influenced many people:
- Six hundred years later, a guy named Paul quoted twice “the righteous shall live by faith” in his letters, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 that set the foundation of the Christian faith.
- Another guy in Hebrews also quoted this, applying it to when a person accepts Jesus by faith and continues in faith until He returns. (Hebrews 10:38).
- Two thousand years later, another guy named Martin Luther held on to these words and turned the religious world upside down.
- Two thousand five hundred years later, these words helped another guy named Ming overcome many challenges.
The shadow of Habakkuk spanned more than two thousand five hundred years. In his shadow grew many giants of the Christian faith. And that is why I called him a giant, do you agree?
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
Faith in Life
God gave Habakkuk some words, and he turned around and applied those words to his life.
In chapter two, God asked Habakkuk to put His words on tablets. So, others can easily read and understand it. Habakkuk understood what God’s purpose was. I have not seen Habakkuk’s tablet, but he left me a song so I can remember his word. In his song, undoubtedly, many Christians would remember this section.
Famine was a common occurrence in Israel’s time. In fact, on some severe occasions, terrible things happened as recorded in 2 Kings 6:24-30. Maybe Habakkuk has faced famine also. Faith is not just an abstract concept to Habakkuk, it is a functioning tool in even the direst situation in life. By faith, he did not have to kill his son to eat in famine, but rather he could
rejoice in the Lord.Habakkuk 3:18
Guess who was influenced by his words and used them? Don’t you agree Habakkuk is truly a giant in our faith?
P.S. Habakkuk did not “do” anything. At least it has not been recorded in his book. He became such a giant all because of a struggle in his soul. Everyone has struggles in their hearts. Don’t look down on these struggles, they may bring another giant into this world.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?Romans 7:24
The words of another giant.