This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. – Habakkuk 2:3 NLT
Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear? The TIME IS NOW to listen to the minor prophets words and heed his call! In Martin Luther’s prefix to the prophet Habakkuk, Luther explains; Habakkuk means, “to hug”. He does so with his prophecy by hugging or embracing his people. He comforts them and takes them into his arms as one does with a crying child or adult.” This is what Dr. J. Vernon McGee calls the DARKSIDE OF LOVE. As a parent talks to a child before disciplining and holds them, after the discipline- so too does Habakkuk embrace his people with this harsh judgment of God. The name Habakkuk means “to embrace.” Habakkuk signifies an embracer, or one who embraces another, takes him into his arms. He embraces his people, and takes them to his arms, i.e., he comforts them and holds them up, as one embraces a weeping child, to quiet it with the assurance that, if God wills, it shall soon be better. He can be considered a shadow of our Lord Jesus. Jesus too embraces us and He also judges us, but it is always from a position of LOVE. When we love someone enough, we share truths that they might not like, or might not understand or might not want.
Leader, John Piper in his book, “What Jesus Demands of the World”, under Demand 28 on his discussion of Love he says (emphasis mine): “We live in a time when emotional offense, or woundedness, often becomes a criterion for deciding if LOVE has been shown. If a person can claim to have been hurt by what you say, it is assumed by many that you did NOT act in love. In other words, love is not defined by the quality of the act and its motives, but by the subjective response of others. In this way of relating, the wounded one has absolute authority. If he\she says you hurt them, then you cannot have acted lovingly. You are guilty. Jesus will not allow this way of relating to go unchallenged. Love IS NOT defined by the response of the loved. A Person can be genuinely loved and feel hurt or offended or angered or retaliatory or numb without in any way diminishing the beauty and value of the act of love that hurt them. We know this most clearly from the death of Jesus on the cross- the greatest ACT OF LOVE ever performed, because the responses to it covered the range from “AFFECTION” (John 19:27) to “FURY” (Matthew 27:41-52). That people were BROKEN, ANGERED, ENRAGED and CYNICAL in response to Jesus’ death did not alter the fact that what he did was a great act of love.” John 15:3 reminds us, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Conduit, as with so much in the Bible, the prophets’ words were for his audience at the time, and for the audience of those who will study the Bible thousands of years after it was written. It was for the Jews of His day, and as today’s verse says, it is for a future time, the GREAT TRIBULATION and for us, PRE-TRIBULATION believers! The 2nd chapter of Habakkuk has in it, the Five “Woes” of the Wicked Babylonians, but they are also the ‘5 Woes’ against society today. Before we even get to the WOES, we get hit with the sin of PRIDE! “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. (ibid 2:4a) That speaks to us today, before he even gets to the REAL WOES! GREED: Woe to him who increases what is not his—how long? (2:6) FALSE SECURITY; Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of disaster! (2:9) VIOLENCE: Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity! (2:12) ARROGANCE: Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness!” (2:15) IDOLATRY: Woe to him who says to wood, “Awake!” To silent stone, “Arise! It shall teach!” (2:19) How remarkably modern these “woes” seem even though they were written to describe the ancient Babylonian culture at the time of Habakkuk. The Babylonians looked to their own man made gods and military power to give them security, which they sought to attain by a total disregard for the rights and dignity of others. Does this sound like any other country you know today? The TIME IS NOW TO TURN BACK TO GOD! The Roman Empire was the greatest empire, it lasted over 1000 years, and it crumbled from within! The Bible tells us that a nation will fall apart if it is not united. It also says that a house divided will not stand. (Luke 11:17) “Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.” We must UNITE with GOD and UNITE with each other, and we cannot do that in our flesh, we can only do that in our SPIRIT, and only when that SPIRIT is connected to the VINE that is JESUS, the Christ! “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned”. (John 15:4-6)