These words recorded in Habakkuk 2:4 are quoted three times in the New Testament……in Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. These words lay the foundation for the Reformation. These words lit a fire in the heart of Martin Luther.
So far in our discussion concerning Habakkuk, we have learned that the Prophet Habakkuk, 600 years before the birth of Christ, is troubled by all of the evil around him….he wonders why God isn’t doing anything about it….and when God tells him that He is going to use the evil Babylonians to come against the nation of Israel….he is even further confused. The last time we looked at Habakkuk, we learned that the first thing he did was very wise. In the midst of his confusion, he stopped….slowed down….and intentionally took time to think back on what he knew to be true about God. What a great reminder to all of us.
Habakkuk goes on to remind himself of the “Holiness” of God. He reminds himself that God is consistent and unchangeable. The writer of Hebrews in 1:10-12 gives us a wonderful reminder of the unchangeable quality of God.
Toward the end of chapter one and the beginning of chapter 2, Habakkuk determines that his mind cannot wrap itself all the way around this huge problem, so he wisely decides to leave it with God. He is saying, ” Well, I don’t understand this, but You are mightier than I….I will get away from the problem for awhile….and I will “stand my watch” and trust You.
It is at this point that God gives Habakkuk these wonderful words, ” The righteous will live by faith”. The Lord is underscoring the truth that each one of us is in a battle everyday. The battle to live by sight and by what we can see according to our own human reasoning….or to live by faith. Faith in a wonderful God…..a loving God….a consistent God…..a God whose ways are not our ways….a mysterious God….a God who stands by His Word….a God who directs all of the affairs of life by “grace and truth”.
Are you confused today ? Let me encourage you to step back…leave it with God….trust Him …He knows what He is doing !