A Portrait of a Proud Man

Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

— Habakkuk 2:5

This verse portrays the nation of Babylon as a proud man and serves as an introduction and summary of the five woes to follow in the remainder of the chapter.

WoeVersesHabakkuk 2:5 PortraitSetting
1. The Woe of Indulgence6–8“who enlargeth his desire as hell”The Bed
2. The Woe of Covetousness9–11“and cannot be satisfied”The Home
3. The Woe of Violence12–14“and is as death”The Town
4. The Woe of Drunkenness15–17“because he transgresseth by wine”The Street
5. The Woe of Idolatry18–20“he is a proud man”The Hill

Over the course of the next few lessons in Habakkuk we will delve into each of these woes. We must keep in mind the reason the Lord allows Habakkuk to have insight into the woes pronounced on the nation of Babylon. Habakkuk has made his complaint before the Lord and is confused as to why the Lord would allow His people to suffer at the hand of the Babylonians. In Habakkuk 2:4, the Lord reveals the truth that those who are justified by faith have eternal life even if they suffer and die at the hands of the Babylonians. Pride is contrasted with justification in verse 4 and appears as the most prominent theme of Babylon’s sinful condition in the remainder of the chapter.

The first four woes are clearly summarized in Habakkuk 2:5. The fifth woe doesn’t appear to have much of a representation in the portrait of Habakkuk 2:5 until one considers that pride, the preeminent sin of Babylon, may just be the underlying sin of Babylon’s fifth and most fatal woe, the woe of idolatry.

Although this chapter very clearly pronounces woes upon a nation which exists only in the history books, these woes apply just as easily today to those who in the pride of their heart reject the Lord. The poor lost soul has the choice to either accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life or remain in condemnation. A born-again believer also has a choice. They can either submit to the Lord’s will in humble submission or through the pride of their heart reject the Lord’s will, leading to a spiritually defeated life.

In the next few sessions in Habakkuk, we will cover each of these woes, their relation to Babylon’s downfall, and their applications to people today.

Keep in mind that from time to time, as the Lord leads, I will continue to share studies on Settings of Prayer.

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