Chaldeans, God's instruments, goriest details, imminent punishment, Judah, live by faith, Neo-Babylonian Empire, prophet Habakkuk, prophets of God, Southern Kingdom of Israel, suffer the consequences, troubling visions, Vison-Message, warning, watchtower, wrath of God
…‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’ ~ Habakkuk 2:2, ESV
Many of us pray to receive a vision from God, but I doubt that many of us would like to receive any vision that resembles the one God gives to the prophet Habakkuk. God gives Habakkuk a vision that reveals to him the Wrath of God that is still to come against Judah. In other words, the vision Habakkuk sees lets him know that the worst is yet to come.
God gives the prophet Habakkuk the vision of the Chaldeans—of the Neo-Babylonian Empire—coming to plunder and oppress Judah—the Southern Kingdom of Israel. He also shows the prophet how these cruel and evil enemies of Judah are being used as instruments of God’s Wrath—His Judgment against the entire nation of Israel.
This shocking vision causes Habakkuk to voice his complaint about the Wrath that God is going to pour out on Israel. He asks God to help him understand why a Holy and Just God would allow people who are more sinful than the Israelites are to punish His chosen People. God’s answer to Habakkuk’s cry does not come immediately, so the prophet climbs to the top of his watchtower and waits for God’s answer. When the answer finally comes, it comes in the form of another vision.
God not only gives Habakkuk the reason why Judah has to suffer at the hands of the wicked Chaldeans but also He puts His answer in a Widescreen and Technicolor format, and God does not omit any of the gory details. After God’s Vison-Message is over, God demands that Habakkuk publicizes His Wrath and Warning so that everyone in Judah knows about them. In a nutshell, that Message is: God’s righteous People have to live by faith or suffer the consequences.
The way Habakkuk is to publicize God’s Warning and His Judgment against Judah (the Southern Kingdom of Israel) is to write everything he heard and saw on tablets in large legible letters. Then from his watchtower location, he is to put the tablets where the people passing by can read God’s Warning and run to tell everyone else what God prophesies. God wants to alert His People about their imminent punishment so that He can inspire as many sinners as possible not only to desire to heed His Warning but also to desire to repent—to turn from their spiritual adultery and covetousness back to their One True God—so He can give them their clean heart.
Let us never forget that the just have to live by faith or suffer the consequences. Shalom.
~ from Keeping It Real: Daily Renewing the Mind (2015)