Habakkuk 2

* Habakkuk must wait in faith. (1-4) Judgments upon the

Chaldeans. (5-14) Also upon drunkenness and idolatry. (15-20)

1-4 When tossed and perplexed with doubts about the methods of

Providence, we must watch against temptations to be impatient.

When we have poured out complaints and requests before God, we

must observe the answers God gives by his word, his Spirit, and

providences; what the Lord will say to our case. God will not

disappoint the believing expectations of those who wait to hear

what he will say unto them. All are concerned in the truths of

God's word. Though the promised favour be deferred long, it will

come at last, and abundantly recompense us for waiting. The

humble, broken-hearted, repenting sinner, alone seeks to obtain

an interest in this salvation. He will rest his soul on the

promise, and on Christ, in and through whom it is given. Thus he

walks and works, as well as lives by faith, perseveres to the

end, and is exalted to glory; while those who distrust or

despise God's all-sufficiency will not walk uprightly with him.

The just shall live by faith in these precious promises, while

the performance of them is deferred. Only those made just by

faith, shall live, shall be happy here and for ever.
5-14 The prophet reads the doom of all proud and oppressive

powers that bear hard upon God's people. The lusts of the flesh,

the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, are the entangling

snares of men; and we find him that led Israel captive, himself

led captive by each of these. No more of what we have is to be

reckoned ours, than what we come honestly by. Riches are but

clay, thick clay; what are gold and silver but white and yellow

earth? Those who travel through thick clay, are hindered and

dirtied in their journey; so are those who go through the world

in the midst of abundance of wealth. And what fools are those

that burden themselves with continual care about it; with a

great deal of guilt in getting, saving, and spending it, and

with a heavy account which they must give another day! They

overload themselves with this thick clay, and so sink themselves

down into destruction and perdition. See what will be the end

hereof; what is gotten by violence from others, others shall

take away by violence. Covetousness brings disquiet and

uneasiness into a family; he that is greedy of gain troubles his

own house; what is worse, it brings the curse of God upon all

the affairs of it. There is a lawful gain, which, by the

blessing of God, may be a comfort to a house; but what is got by

fraud and injustice, will bring poverty and ruin upon a family.

Yet that is not the worst; Thou hast sinned against thine own

soul, hast endangered it. Those who wrong their neighbours, do

much greater wrong to their own souls. If the sinner thinks he

has managed his frauds and violence with art and contrivance,

the riches and possessions he heaped together will witness

against him. There are not greater drudges in the world than

those who are slaves to mere wordly pursuits. And what comes of

it? They find themselves disappointed of it, and disappointed in

it; they will own it is worse than vanity, it is vexation of

spirit. By staining and sinking earthly glory, God manifests and

magnifies his own glory, and fills the earth with the knowledge

of it, as plentifully as waters cover the sea, which are deep,

and spread far and wide.
15-20 A severe woe is pronounced against drunkenness; it is

very fearful against all who are guilty of drunkenness at any

time, and in any place, from the stately palace to the paltry

ale-house. To give one drink who is in want, who is thirsty and

poor, or a weary traveller, or ready to perish, is charity; but

to give a neighbour drink, that he may expose himself, may

disclose secret concerns, or be drawn into a bad bargain, or for

any such purpose, this is wickedness. To be guilty of this sin,

to take pleasure in it, is to do what we can towards the murder

both of soul and body. There is woe to him, and punishment

answering to the sin. The folly of worshipping idols is exposed.

The Lord is in his holy temple in heaven, where we have access

to him in the way he has appointed. May we welcome his

salvation, and worship him in his earthly temples, through

Christ Jesus, and by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

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