Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.— Habakkuk 2:4
We saw how God used word order in the Hebrew language to emphasize how it is NOT the wicked but the JUST who will live. Those JUSTIFIED in the sight of God will live while the wicked will not. Today we will briefly cover the last two points of this verse which will help us as we continue through the rest of the vision.
The next point of emphasis is the word “live.” The wicked will NOT live. The Just WILL LIVE. Remember how the Lord explained that He will be raising up the Chaldeans to come upon the land to destroy it? Habakkuk understood very well what the Lord meant. This meant death. Many of God’s people of Judah died when the Chaldeans came. Men, women, and children were killed. Others were robbed and tortured. Families were torn apart. Children were taken away from their families to Babylon. There was so much destruction and death. How could the Lord say that the just will live?!
The just would truly live. The just are the ones who all throughout history are the ONLY ones who have TRULY lived. The Chaldeans thought they were their prime. They thought that no one could take their riches and glory away. They thought they were living to the fullest, but they were in reality dead men. Though the Chaldeans destroyed the body, that one who was justified in the sight of God would live an everlasting life in the presence of the Lord.
Listen to what Ephesians 2:1-3 says,
“1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
There are those today who think they are living life to the fullest by indulging themselves in sin. Many who grew up in godly homes with solid standards rebel once they move out. They think their parents and friends from church are uncultured and miss out on what life has to offer. The life of this world, however, is death. I’ve seen time and time again those who rebel against the Lord to live the life of the world live a lifeless hopeless life which is in reality a life of death. They wind up on drugs or in unwanted pregnancies and miserable relationships. Ephesians tells us as Born-Again Believers that WE were dead in trespasses and sins. There was a time when WE were dead. This world is full of walking, talking dead people! They have no real life in them. They are spiritual zombies! WE were once like that as well! But praise God for what comes next in Ephesians –
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Those dead in trespasses and sins in Habakkuk’s time could still have been quickened (made alive) if they had placed their faith in the Lord. But they all died and are now suffering the wages of sin in hell. The just, on the other hand, will LIVE.