And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.— Habakkuk 2:2
“And the LORD answered me.” We saw Habakkuk’s stand he made upon the watchtower. He was going to watch to see what the Lord would say to him and what he would say when he is reproved. The opening words to verse 2 are comforting words. Remember that Habakkuk had once complained of God’s silence. Maybe the Lord was waiting for Habakkuk to march up to the watchtower and ready himself for a change in perspective. Well, Habakkuk is now eager to hear from the Lord and is ready to change. His heart is right where the Lord wants it.
Verses 2-3 are God’s instruction of how to write the vision along with a preview of the nature of the vision. Verses 4-20 give us the actual vision. The vision directly warned the people of Judah of the coming judgment but also the good news of God’s plan for the downfall of the Babylonians (Reminder: in this book, “Babylonians” = “Chaldeans”. See The Clod Breakers – Part I). He warns the the people of Judah that the “Just shall live by his faith.” The people were given an opportunity to repent and turn to the Lord for salvation – salvation from sin and its eternal punishment, not from the Babylonians.
The vision reminds US that sin will be judged in God’s timing. The wages of sin will continue to be death. God WILL JUDGE sin. We are also reminded that the “Just shall live by his faith,” not his sight. Things may look bad on the outside, but there is hope for the Child of God. The message of this chapter encourages us to put on spiritual spectacles as we view the world around us.
The message of this vision spoke to the people of Judah and still speaks to us today.
- The Message is Clear
- The Message is Abiding
- The Message Must Be Proclaimed
- The Message is Appointed
- The Message is Faithful
We’ll just cover the first point today.
The Message is Clear
“Make it plain upon the tables.” The vision God gives in verses 4-20 is one which the Lord wanted to be clear. He wanted the vision to be plain to the people of Judah. He did not want it to be questioned. The letters must be big enough to be seen by everybody and clear enough to be understood by everybody. The Lord did not want the people to perish. He is not willing that ANY should perish. He also wanted the message of comfort and hope to be understood by all as well. The vision is mostly of severe judgment but it was a comfort to the saints in Judah to know that the Babylonians would be judged as well. A similar message was preached by the prophet Nahum just a few years before Habakkuk. Nahum’s name means “comfort.” Nahum’s prophecy details the coming destruction of the Assyrian empire which would occur shortly before the Babylonians conquered Judah. It was a comfort to the people of God to know the Assyrians, who carried away captive 10 tribes of Israel, would face the judgment of God. The judgment in Habakkuk’s vision was to be understood plainly by the people of Judah. The hope of salvation was to also be understood plainly. For us, the Bible plainly tells us to “put on the new man” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). God’s plan for us to put off the old man and put on spiritual man is clearly and plainly laid out for us. Yet is so easy for us get sidetracked with the things of this world. Our earthly eyes see the discouragement around us and lead us away from the spiritual perspective. The reality is that Just will live by FAITH (Habakkuk 2:4)! This is so clear and plain! Our flesh wants to live by SIGHT. The message is clearly and plainly laid out for us just as it was for Judah.