There are times that believers expect God to act in some specific ways that would bring them relief or deliverance from their bondage or challenges of life. This was the case of Habakkuk. He witnessed wickedness and oppression on the face of the earth and questioned the slowness of God in saving the righteous and administering justice and bringing judgments upon the wicked people. This edition of our Newsletter discusses the concept of faith as the basis of our salvation. from the perspective of Habakkuk.
“The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth” (Hab 1:1-1-4).
Habakkuk looks at the atrocities in his time and is shocked that God is not doing justice to the righteous. He, therefore, removes himself from people and decides to seek the face of God and hear from Him. His burden or passion for deliverance for his people brings him to his knees to enquire from God. When we do not seem to understand certain things, God must diligently be sought instead of complaining and blaspheming the name of God.
Deliverance from Bondage
Habakkuk expects to see a deliverer who could help to save Israel from their oppressors. Such a deliverer was said of Jesus Christ by Anna. “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Acts 2:38).
In answering the Prophet, the Lord God asked him to write down the revelation that He was about to give him. He was to write it as clear and bold as possible upon tablets so that a person who is running could read and understand it. Habakkuk was assured that the revelation or the vision is for an appointed time so it shall not fail. It may seem to delay but it shall surely come to pass.
Indeed, the vision came to pass at the time appointed. Paul writes that “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal 4:4). The vision delayed because the Old Testament Prophets had wanted to see it but they did not. It has been established that though the heroes of faith obtained a good report through faith, they did not live to see the fulfillment of the promise or the coming of Christ Jesus (Heb 11:39).
What was this vision and what did it mean? The vision was that the deliverance from oppression and enslavement shall not be physical but those who shall live by faith shall receive their deliverance and salvation (Hab 2:2-4). It is only Christ Jesus who can secure humankind complete freedom because He stated authoritatively that “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (Joh 8:36).
The vision that was revealed to Habakkuk, which men were to wait for, was the incarnation of Christ Jesus. Paul connects it with the second coming of Christ when he writes that “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:37-38).
Human beings are justified by faith in Christ Jesus. They shall be made just and live by faith but not by work or merit. Salvation and complete freedom come only by faith in the Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ. The return of Christ shall surely come though it may seem to delay believers should wait patiently in faith.
Prayer: Lord God, may you grant your children the understanding of thy word and cause them to lean on you as they cease from their own works and live by faith in Jesus Christ. Amen!