1. What was Habakkuk awaiting when he stood upon the tower?
The Lord’s answer to his complaints; being reproved: “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved” (Habakkuk 2:1).
- Habakkuk was waiting to hear from the Lord (Numbers 9:1-14, Ezekiel 3:17, Ezekiel 33:7, and II Peter 1:20-21).
- He knew he was going to be “reproved” [chastisement; figuratively (by words) correction, refutation…] for his complaints we studied in the previous chapter (Proverbs 1:23, Proverbs 3:11, Proverbs 6:23, Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 13:18, Proverbs 15:10, and Proverbs 27:5).
- Think about Job (Job 32:1-42:6) or Jeremiah here (Jeremiah 12:1-17).
2. What do we learn about the vision God sent to Habakkuk?
“(2) And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (3) For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
- The answer comes in the form of a vision (Genesis 15:1, Numbers 12:6, Daniel 8:1-2, and Acts 10:9-20).
- The instruction not only to speak, but to write (Exodus 17:14, Numbers 5:23, II Chronicles 26:22, Isaiah 8:1, Isaiah 30:8, Jeremiah 30:2, etc.).
- Make it plain (Deuteronomy 27:8, II Corinthians 3:12, John 11:14, and John 16:25).
- That he may run that readeth it implies fear. Why? Consider what was said of the king who read the writing of the Law (Deuteronomy 17:14-20).
- The vision was of the future (Ezekiel 12:27).
- An appointed time (Daniel 8:19; 11:35).
- When it comes it would speak for itself (Ezekiel 33:27-33).
3. Regarding the one whose soul was lifted up that had spoiled many nations, what was going to happen to him?
He was going to be spoiled: “(4) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (5) 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: (6) Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! (7) Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? (8) Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein” (Habakkuk 2:4-8).
- The Chaldeans were the ones raised up to spoil and thus is the “he” here in this text (Habakkuk 1:5-11).
- Think of Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar (Daniel 4:1-5:31).
- Being “lifted up” with pride is not a good thing (Psalms 10:4, Proverbs 16:18, Isaiah 2:11-12, and James 4:6-10).
- The just live by faith (Romans 1:16-17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38).
- The effect of wine (Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 23:29-35, Proverbs 31:4-5, Isaiah 5:11-12, Isaiah 28:7-8, etc.).
- He doesn’t care about a home. Think about what that says of a ruler from the viewpoint of qualified elders (I Timothy 3:5).
- Is not content (Proverbs 27:20, Ecclesiastes 5:10, and I Timothy 6:6-10).
- As many would join in saying, woe to him that increases in that which is not his (Proverbs 22:16).
- He needed to understand that this would be returned on his own head (Proverbs 22:22-23).
4. What woe is stated concerning him that coveted with an evil covetousness?
“(9) 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! (10) Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. (11) For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it” (Habakkuk 2:9-11).
- Can there be a “good” covetousness? Yes, (I Corinthians 12:31; 14:39).
- The sinful (Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 5:21, Psalms 10:3, Psalms 119:36, Proverbs 28:16, Luke 12:15, Romans 13:9, etc.).
- Have you ever heard someone say: “if these walls could speak?” The stones of that which was built or taken from covetousness speaking out as though they testified against them (cf. Luke 19:40).
5. What woe was given concerning building a town with blood and establishing a city by iniquity?
“(12) Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! (13) Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? (14) For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:12-14).
- God punished His own people for this (Micah 3:8-12).
- You cannot build something sinful and expect good fruit from it (Luke 6:43).
- Vs. 13 explained: Jeremiah 51:58
- When considering God’s judgment on Babylon and the result for His people, the world would see it (Psalms 98:1-3).
6. What woe was given unto him that gave his neighbor drink?
“(15) Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! (16) Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. (17) For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein” (Habakkuk 2:15-17).
- Alcohol impairs judgment (Genesis 19:30-38, II Samuel 13:26-29, and Hosea 7:4-6). *See notes on verse 5.
- The Lord is going to turn the tables (Isaiah 47:1-3).
- The Lord turned erring glory to shame (Hosea 4:7).
- Again, what they did to others is going to return on them (Psalms 137:8).
7. What did the Lord point out to them about idols in contrast to Himself?
They weren’t alive, but He is in His holy temple: “(18) What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? (19) Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. (20) But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:18-20).
- Psalms 115:1-8, Psalms 135:15-18, Isaiah 42:13-17, Isaiah 44:14-20, Jeremiah 2:27-28, and I Corinthians 12:2
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.