Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, That he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! Thou hast consulted shame to thy house By cutting off many people, And hast sinned against thy soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, And the beam out of the timber shall answer it.— Habakkuk 2:9–11
“Coveteth an evil covetousness”
This second woe is now declared in verses 9–11. Notice the words, “coveteth an evil covetousness.” What does it mean to covet covetousness? Well, in the setting of a home, an example of this would be when a parent desires their children to desire after the world. They are in this case coveting that their children would covet. You may say, “Well what parent would do that?” As pointed out in the last section, the vast majority of families have set the wrong goals for themselves. When the wrong goals are set, the parents are coveting an evil covetousness.
“That he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!“
Is worldly honor and a well-reputed career what’s going to save a family destruction? Countless examples from secular history and the Bible will tell this is not the case. In a matter of fact, in many cases the families that seem the most secure are the ones who are set for destruction. No amount of riches can save a family from sin. No amount of honor and notoriety can prevent a child from heading to hell. You may be able to obtain your dream job and make enough money to not worry about a single bill for the rest of your life, but apart from God you have no security whatsoever. Fulfilling a covetous heart will only give you a false sense of security.
“Thou hast consulted shame to thy house By cutting off many people, And hast sinned against thy soul.”
In the context of this passage, “to consult” is to “confer or bestow” and thus the end result has been decided. By destroying many lives through its conquest, Babylon bestowed shame upon his house, and the result of his own doing has been decided. Notice that although the judgment was pronounced by the Lord, the fulfillment of this woe of covetousness is ultimately brought upon Babylon by himself. Today, many families are bestowing shame upon themselves and have, in turn, decided their own judgment. This dreaded covetousness is despicable!
“For the stone shall cry out of the wall, And the beam out of the timber shall answer it.”
Keep in mind that the whole picture of this woe, from the summary in verse 5 to this portion in verses 9–11, portrays the setting of the home. In verse 10, we find that Babylon decided judgment upon himself. He thought that he could gain security and salvation through fulfilling his covetous desires, but his covetousness could never be satisfied. The security and salvation he thought to gain were temporary and fake. Here in verse 11, the wall and the rafters of the house are now testifying to the destruction of the home.
The seemingly happy families portrayed on YouTube are fake. Oftentimes the happy lives portrayed on Instagram are fake. Reality shows are in actuality merely fantasy. These fake families pretend that their lives are perfect because they enjoy the feeling of being admired. If the walls of their homes could talk, they would have a very different story to tell. If the rafters of the ceilings in their homes could talk, they would portray a very different picture. Many celebrities have tried to live the fake life of happiness, but eventually they are unable to fake it any longer and they admit to how messed up their lives really are. Even in the religious world, too many families are so concerned with maintaining a façade of a perfect family. We don’t need perfect families. We need real families—families built upon the Word of God.
What would the walls and ceiling of your home testify? Don’t look to the world for a model family to pattern yours after. Whatever model family the world provides is headed for destruction.
Woe to the covetous!