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Why a vision?

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Why a vision?

(Habakkuk 2:2-4)


The Lord’s reply came in the vision

Habakkuk waited on the Lord until he received an answer to his painful questions (Hab. 2:1). The Lord’s reply came in the vision introduced in Hab. 2:2-3, which provides a true perspective on history and gives the Divine promise about its outcome. This answer does not resolve all the painful questions, but it does teach God’s people the way of covenant life here and now (Hab. 2:3-4). God’s ways culminate in real life for the faithful, but woe and death for the arrogant sinners (Hab. 2:4). The Lord’s presence in His temple affirms His Lordship over history and assures us that God’s valid claim to the whole world will be universally acknowledged (Hab. 2:14.20; Isa. 45:21–25; 1 Cor. 15:24–28). The wicked take paths that lead to death. The righteous by faith take a path that leads to life. This distinction is a comfort to Habakkuk and to all God’s children.

The just

In contrast to the proud, the just will be truly preserved through his faith in God. This is the heart of God’s message to and through the Book of Habakkuk.

By faith

In this context, the Hebrew word denotes steadfast confidence on the Lord, a trust that perseveres. In the midst of a land filled with wickedness (Hab. 1:2–4) and subject to the wrath of God, the Lord promises that a righteous remnant in Judah will trust in the God who remembers mercy in His wrath (Hab. 3:2). The Epistle to the Hebrews recalls the words of Gen. 15:6 and applies them to Habakkuk’s situation. By faith, Abraham waited patiently for the fulfillment of God’s promises (Heb. 6:15), and now Habakkuk and the remnant must wait patiently, too (Hab. 3:16).

Faith as the pattern of life

Faith is not a one-time act, but a way of life. The true believer, declared righteous by God, will persevere in faith as the pattern of his life (Col. 1:22-23; Heb. 3:12-14). Only the perspective of faith, obedient trust in God, provides for meaningful existence in the world during the present period, between the ‘already’ of initial fulfillment of God’s promises and the ‘not yet’ of their final realization.

Proclamation of the Gospel

The Apostle Paul uses Hab. 2:4 as a basic text for his proclamation of the Gospel (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb.10:35–39). Like Habakkuk (Hab. 1), the Apostle knew that sin is incompatible with God’s holiness and that the fatal tension between these opposites could only be resolved by Divine intervention. The prophetic word to Habakkuk (Hab. 2) reveals principally the way God would deal with the incompatibility of sin and holiness.

The Cross of Jesus Christ

The Cross of Jesus Christ and the final judgment are fulfillments of God’s revelation. Like Habakkuk, the Apostle Paul affirmed that true life was only possible in a relationship of total dependence on the Lord. Such dependence, based on the faithfulness of our God, transforms our existence in this world, filling our lives with joy in the certainty of God’s faithfulness to His promises (Hab. 2:3; 3:17–19).

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

James N. Spurgeon wrote:

'A job is at your choice; a ministry is at Christ's call. In a job you expect to receive; in a ministry you expect to give. In a job you give something to get something; in a ministry you return something that has already been given to you. A job depends on your abilities; a ministry depends on your availability to God. A job done well brings you praise; a ministry done well brings honour to Christ.'

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