Habakkuk 1

** The subject of this prophecy is the destruction of Judea and

Jerusalem for the sins of the people, and the consolation of the

faithful under national calamities.

* The wickedness of the land. The fearful vengeance to be

executed. (1-11) These judgments to be inflicted by a nation

more wicked than themselves. (12-17)

1-11 The servants of the Lord are deeply afflicted by seeing

ungodliness and violence prevail; especially among those who

profess the truth. No man scrupled doing wrong to his neighbour.

We should long to remove to the world where holiness and love

reign for ever, and no violence shall be before us. God has good

reasons for his long-suffering towards bad men, and the rebukes

of good men. The day will come when the cry of sin will be heard

against those that do wrong, and the cry of prayer for those

that suffer wrong. They were to notice what was going forward

among the heathen by the Chaldeans, and to consider themselves a

nation to be scourged by them. But most men presume on continued

prosperity, or that calamities will not come in their days. They

are a bitter and hasty nation, fierce, cruel, and bearing down

all before them. They shall overcome all that oppose them. But

it is a great offence, and the common offence of proud people,

to take glory to themselves. The closing words give a glimpse of

12-17 However matters may be, yet God is the Lord our God, our

Holy One. We are an offending people, he is an offended God, yet

we will not entertain hard thoughts of him, or of his service.

It is great comfort that, whatever mischief men design, the Lord

designs good, and we are sure that his counsel shall stand.

Though wickedness may prosper a while, yet God is holy, and does

not approve the wickedness. As he cannot do iniquity himself, so

he is of purer eyes than to behold it with any approval. By this

principle we must abide, though the dispensations of his

providence may for a time, in some cases, seem to us not to

agree with it. The prophet complains that God's patience was

abused; and because sentence against these evil works and

workers was not executed speedily, their hearts were the more

fully set in them to do evil. Some they take up as with the

angle, one by one; others they catch in shoals, as in their net,

and gather them in their drag, their enclosing net. They admire

their own cleverness and contrivance: there is great proneness

in us to take the glory of outward prosperity to ourselves. This

is idolizing ourselves, sacrificing to the drag-net because it

is our own. God will soon end successful and splendid robberies.

Death and judgment shall make men cease to prey on others, and

they shall be preyed on themselves. Let us remember, whatever

advantages we possess, we must give all the glory to God.

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