Facing Oppression with Faith - Habakkuk 2:4-8
September 5, 2023, 8:16 AM

“See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—5 indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples. 6 “Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, “‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’ 7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

In chapter 2 there are three truths that God wanted Habakkuk to hang on to in his disappointments. They serve as anchors to live by. Today I want to center on the first one in Hab 2:4 “See the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright-but the righteousness will live by faith.”

Habakkuk couldn't imagine an eviler country than Babylon being used of God to punish Judah, He challenged God. Chapter 2 reveals five accusations of sinful character against them by those victimized. Interspersed in these verses are contracts for the people of God to hang on to, even in a sinful world.

The proud nations rely on their man-made power. That was true with Judah’s enemies. That is true of those around us who may be victimizing others. The proud soul will not listen to anybody. The proud heart shows no respect to those in authority, do what is right it its own eyes and that is what the devil wants the proud to do.

The passage has implications greater than Judah and Babylonia. It relates to the heart of evil selfishness, prideful souls. Regardless of warnings, few seek God. Few care what the Bible says. No one will be excused.

But God will make things right. God sees what is going on, not only what other people notice, but what the motives are of the heart.

When all around us is arrogance and greed, the Lord says, “The righteous shall live by faith.” This was quoted in at least four passages of the New Testament. It was the verse that moved Martin Luther to start the reformation. Salvation is founded on faith in the works of Jesus Christ and not the world. It is founded on faith in Jesus and not our good works. It is what changes the heart that makes us right with God and one another.

Don’t look around you when our world is crumbling. Rather keep trusting, keep continuing to do what is right knowing that by faith God will reward your obedience.

Application:   What makes them and us righteous is not first what we do, but it is first Who we believe. He will keep His Word.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you that I can always know that You are on Your throne and in control. I just need to trust and obey.