Today’s reading in Habakkuk sounds strange to our ears and can be difficult to follow, understand, and make sense of in today’s culture, which is why it’s imperative to first read it through the lens of then-current-day culture.
Go ahead and read verses 6-14 to gain an initial footing in the passage!
As we’ve already studied, Israel was rebellious against God. As consequence, the Lord was using the wicked Chaldeans (or Babylonians) to overtake Israel, taking them into captivity in Babylon. Habakkuk struggled with this consequence of using an evil nation to overtake God’s people who were supposed to be set apart as His holy and chosen people.
In today’s passage, God addresses this tension as He speaks in detail about the sinfulness of the Chaldeans. Their sin was not hidden from God any more so than Israel’s sin, and their day of experiencing the righteous justice of God would also come.
In verse 5, “He” is the arrogant one we read about in yesterday’s Journey. His appetite to fuel himself and his own pride is insatiable; this person is always thinking about more of himself and his own pleasure and desires while also justifying himself to be in the right.
Still sitting in arrogance and a resistance to God’s promised word that consequence would come, the arrogant one feels confident in himself. He believes God would surely never punish him because he feels justified in self-righteousness before God. From this position of self-security, he arrogantly “looks down” upon the evil Babylonian Empire.
From his place of pride, the self-righteous one feels he can securely mock the Chaldeans/Babylonians because he judges himself as far superior to them; surely, God would never judge him. (verse 6) These arrogant ones in Israel are “they” in verse 6.
To help you have greater understanding in reading verses 6-14, you can replace “him” and “you” with “Chaldeans” or “Babylonians Empire”.
The Chaldeans were a wicked people, violent, dishonest, and murderous. Even the stone walls cried out, testifying against their atrocities. (verse 11) Their greatest sin, however, was just as evil as Israel’s. Arrogance and pride were rooted deep in their hearts, as they thumbed their nose at God, “(Babylon) place(s) his nest on high.” (verse 9) Like the very first inhabitants of Babylon (Genesis 11:4), this nation was still reaching for equal status with God, high and lofty above all others.
Babylon’s sin. Israel’s sin. My sin, and yours, are all on equal footing. When we seek our ways over God’s we usurp His authority and crown ourselves as our own little god.
This is the arrogance that brought on Israel’s captivity, Babylon’s ruin, and our own eternal death and separation from God.
The word of the Lord closes out today’s reading with a powerful reminder of the Only True God. Just as water fills the seas, so the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory! (verse 14) One Lord of all. One just King. His glory supersedes all things.
1) Be a scribe and copy the precious words of Scripture down word for word. Make space in your journal to write down Habakkuk 2:6-14. As you copy, lookup a cross reference or two as you come to them (they are the small letters next to certain words in your study Bible or online at www.biblia.com). As you write, think of the incredible gift it is to be invited into God’s presence through His word!
2) Choose one of these options to radiate Jesus’ love to others as you hold tightly to the anchoring truth of the eternal confidence we have only through Christ!
- a) Pitch in to do something extra at church. Whether it’s helping with cleanup, opening doors, trimming weeds, or offering to help in a child’s classroom, step up to loving deeper by serving in a new way.
b) A note of genuine kindness and specific encouragement goes a long way in showing love and support to your pastor. Consider sending your pastor(s) an email or card!
c) Check out some local ministries in your area and make plans to serve with them for an afternoon. Maybe it’s organizing school donations, serving soup, or stuffing backpacks for kids. Even better, get some friends to join you!
d) Prayer walking is a simple way to begin shifting the eyes of your heart to truly see others. Walk around your neighborhood, some city streets, the aisles of your grocery store, or intentionally sit at a local coffee shop and pray, pray, pray. Pray for the people around you, pray for hearts to turn towards Jesus, pray for your own heart to be ready to share the full gospel if given the chance. Don’t worry about seeing results, that’s God’s job!
e) Strike up a conversation with a random stranger. It may move to spiritual topics, it may not, but showing love to those outside our immediate circles always begins with a simple conversation. “What have you been doing today?” “Do you live nearby?” “Where do you go to church?” “What are your favorite local restaurants?” “What a cute handbag! Where did you get it?” These open-ended questions work well!
3) Share the exciting, bold ways you are living out your eternal confidence today with the rest of the GT Community! Our Facebook community page is always open! Or snap a photo and tag us on Instagram @gracefully_truthful
Won’t all of these take up a taunt against him,
with mockery and riddles about him?
They will say,
“Woe to him who amasses what is not his—
how much longer?—
and loads himself with goods taken in pledge.”
7 Won’t your creditors suddenly arise,
and those who disturb you wake up?
Then you will become spoil for them.
8 Since you have plundered many nations,
all the peoples who remain will plunder you—
because of human bloodshed
and violence against lands, cities,
and all who live in them.
9 Woe to him who dishonestly makes
wealth for his house
to place his nest on high,
to escape the grasp of disaster!
10 You have planned shame for your house
by wiping out many peoples
and sinning against your own self.
11 For the stones will cry out from the wall,
and the rafters will answer them
from the woodwork.
12 Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
and founds a town with injustice!
13 Is it not from the Lord of Armies
that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire
and countries exhaust themselves for nothing?
14 For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory,
as the water covers the sea.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!