Verse 1 – I will stand upon 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 reproved (corrected).
The watchman of the tower was often used by prophets to show an attitude of expectation. Habakkuk would patiently wait for God to answer him.
Verse 2 – Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it,
Verse 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.
These two verses are entire sermons by themselves. We can apply them to our own lives, which should mean something to someone who has ever waited on God to answer.
When we set goals for the kingdom, we start to see ourselves in a certain position of where we desire to be. The revelation that comes from God will be planted in our spirits. The longer we dwell on it, it begins to grow and expand. Write it down! What God places inside of us, He will bring to pass. He says even though it tarries, “wait for it.”
In this case with Habakkuk, God told him to write down his vision of the coming army so there would be no misunderstanding, because it would surely come.
Verse 4 – “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.
The proud put their trust and faith in themselves to succeed and prosper in this life. However, the “just,” humble their hearts under God’s mighty hand and live knowing “God is for them and not against them.”
Verse 5 – “Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, and he does not stay home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, and he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, he gathers to himself all nations and heaps up for himself all peoples.
The Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar were filled with an insatiable desire of conquest. Just another reason for their punishment.
Verse 6 – “Shall not all these take up a proverb against him, and a taunting riddle against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his – how long? And to him who loads himself with many pledges’?
Verse 7 – Will not your creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty.
Verse 8 – Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the people shall plunder you, because of men’s blood and the violence of the land and the city, and of all who dwell in it.
Even though God used Babylon to punish Judah, Babylon would not go unpunished. Babylon’s plunder form the nations is like a debt from creditors that they must eventually repay.
Verse 9 – “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!
Verse 10 – You gave shameful counsel to your house, cutting off many peoples, and sinned against your soul.
Verse 11 – For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the timbers will answer it.
Verse 12 – “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity!
Verse 13 – Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the peoples labor to feed the fire, and nations weary themselves in vain?
Babylon’s wealth had come form the misfortune of others, but these riches would be fuel for fire. Wealth acquired by lying, cheating, and stealing, will be dealt with by God. We make sure our appetite for money doesn’t override our love for God and His ways.
Verse 14 – For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Verse 15 – “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!
Verse 16 – You are filled with shame instead of glory. You also drink! and be exposed as uncircumcised! The cup of the LORD’S right hand will be turned against you, and utter shame will be on your glory.
Verse 17 – For the violence done on Lebanon will cover you, and the plunder of beasts which made them afraid , because of men’s blood and the violence of the land and the city, and of all who dwell in it.
Babylon had stolen lumber form the forests of Lebanon. They had built their city on stolen timber.
Verse 18 – “What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, the molten image, a teacher of lies, that the maker of its mold should trust in it, to make mute idols?
Verse 19 – Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’ Silent stone, ‘Arise! It shall teach!’ Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and in it there is no breath at all.
Verse 20 – But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”
The Babylonians put their trust in their pagan god Marduk, which was lifeless. People do the same thing today by putting their trust in their bank accounts, homes, businesses, and government. That is idol worship. It doesn’t have to be an object made of wood, silver, or gold. Our total confidence should always be in “Our God!”