Habakkuk 4: Salvation Comes From the Lord
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4 ESV)
If God revealed that because of your nation’s wickedness He was going to allow a foreign power to attack, defeat and take your people captive how might you feel? Perplexed at God’s methods? Angry about people’s choices? Scared about the future? All of the above and more?
This was the context in which the prophet Habakkuk wrote – first crying out to God (chapter 1), second receiving God’s answer (chapter 2), and third responding in poetic prayer declaring his determination to place his confidence and trust in God’s good character (chapter 3).
God’s bottom line is found in verse 2:4, above, saying calamity is coming because people have turned from Him so turn to Him and trust in His redemptive purposes.
How easy is rest for you in the face of the unknown – or in the face of known difficulty (unknown is harder for me)?
God tells Habakkuk “the righteous [or just] shall live by his faith”, a major clue this idea is central to walking with God. Some obvious questions:
- Who are the righteous or the just?
- What does it mean to live by faith?
In simple terms, humans are born with a sin problem whose punishment is spiritual death. The righteous or just are those whose sentence is overturned by the sacrificial and shed blood of Christ. To illustrate:
Imagine I’m a hunted deer or sheep to the slaughter (pictures the Bible uses to describe human sin) and a shepherd not only rescues me from death but acts as my substitute by dying in my place. This is in essence what Jesus Christ, the sinless Good Shepherd did in dying on the cross to take our penalty for sin. In rising from the dead 3 days later, Christ overcame the power of death enabling us to live victoriously now and eternally in heaven with Him. This is a gift we must choose to receive, and in receiving it we are redeemed, saved. We become the righteous, the just.
Take these truths to heart – literally – and like Habakkuk choose today (and everyday) to live and walk by faith.
- If God revealed that because of your nation’s wickedness He was going to allow a foreign power to attack, defeat and take your people captive how might you feel? Perplexed at God’s methods? Angry about people’s choices? Scared about the future? All of the above and more?
- All of God’s purposes are redemptive. What does this mean?
- How easy is rest for you in the face of the unknown – or in the face of known difficulty? Which is harder?
- Contrast the two types of people described in Habakkuk 2:4: Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
- Have you been made “right” or “justified” by the saving blood of Jesus Christ?
- What are large and small circumstances in your life where you need to actively choose to “live by your faith.”?
Directives for the Week
- Read or listen to all 3 chapters of Habakkuk. Work to memorize Habakkuk 2:4b.
- Habakkuk 2:4b is quoted repeatedly in the New Testament, suggesting living by faith is central to our walk with God. Read Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38, noting the contexts. What do you learn about living by faith?
- How seriously does God take righteousness? Read Psalm 1, Psalm 49:18, Isaiah 13:11, Ezekiel 18:9.
- What does it mean to be known by God? Read John 10:14, 1 Corinthians 8:3 and 2 Timothy 2:19.
- Study the “What It Means to Be Saved” text box above to deepen you understanding salvation comes from the Lord. Meditate on and memorize Romans 10:9. If you have time, look up the “Roman’s Road”, a series of verses some use to explain God’s plan of salvation.
Submitted by Andrea Plotner