The LORD answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late.
Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith. Moreover, wine betrays; an arrogant man is never at rest. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, and like Death he is never satisfied. He gathers all the nations to himself; he collects all the peoples for himself.
Have you ever faced a problem or a life issue with no solution in sight? You meditate on the problem or ruminate on the issue in vain. Out of the blue, an “aha moment” arrives when you know the answer and feel assured of the outcome – only to be disappointed by failure. Let’s be honest: it’s difficult to find faith in the face of failure. In other words, your disappointment may feel more ruthless than your trust.
In today’s passage, we see a perplexed prophet confounded by the question of why God would permit such a wicked people as the Babylonians to come and ravage the land of Judah. Why would He allow the evil nation to enslave God’s people? It made no sense to Habakkuk.
God offers a difficult answer to Habakkuk. Likewise, He also offers an answer to us when we are confused and baffled by life’s circumstances—“the righteous one will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).
We are all human, afflicted by esteem for ourselves, lacking the uprightness to tackle the eccentricities of life. Yet we often believe that no issue of life is unconquerable by our own efforts. When our human efforts fall short, we struggle to find faith in the face of our failure – even though we’ve often left God out of the process in the first place.
God’s view of humanity is quite different. Rather than depend upon our own power, rather than trust our own instinct, rather than believe that we have all the answers, the truly righteous person will live by faith. In ruthless trust, we must depend solely upon God for the outcomes of life’s setbacks. When we put our faith in God, he is faithful to protect us and guide us to more satisfying and God-honoring attitudes and practices.
Lord, grant me grace throughout this day
To walk the straight and narrow way,
To do whatever in Thy sight
Is good and perfect, just and right. —Huisman
Prayerfully examine those areas of your life where God’s answer seems baffling. Then ask the Lord for ruthless trust in Him even when His answers do not seem to make sense.