The Lord answers Habakkuk in the form of a vision
As Habakkuk waits patiently for the Lord to answer his questions and also consider what he will respond in answer to the Lord’s rebuke, the Lord answers him in the form of a vision, and He tells Habakkuk to write down and record the same, so that those who read it will understand and be guided in the right path when facing similar situations, vs 1,2.
For this vision did not only apply to the Lord’s dealings with His people in that day, but in the future days too, vs 3, and it would surely come to pass at its appointed time!
However, it was only the righteous who would be able to wait for its fulfillment because of their humility and faith, while the proud would get tired of waiting for the vision to come to pass, vs 4!
This was because the proud depend more on wine than the spirit of the living God, vs 5, and therefore, in their restlessness and dissatisfaction to get things done at their pace and timeframe, they are always trying to amass that which is not theirs, by seeking to get rich by extortion, vs 6.
So, eventually, at the time of the fulfillment of the vision, their creditors would attack them and rob them just as they did to others when they used acts of violence and bloodshed in their pursuit of unjust gain, thinking that they would escape the clutches of disaster, vs 7-9,12,17! Now their own schemes would bring shame to their own houses and they would self-destruct, vs 10, for the very stones and wooden rafters of their houses would bear witness against them, vs 11.
Thus, their efforts would go up in smoke; and their exhausting work would soon come to nothing, when the recognition of the Lord’s sovereign majesty would fill the earth just as the waters fill up the sea, 13,14. Then their sin would become plain for all to see, and for all those times when they intoxicated their neighbour with wine, inorder to expose their shame, they would be visited with the cup of wine which was in the Lord’s right hand, and disgrace would replace their majestic glory, vs 15,16!
In that day their lifeless, worthless, crafted, metal idols together with their misleading oracles will prove useless, vs 18,19, and the majestic and one and only Living God will be revealed in His palace and the whole earth will be speechless in His presence, vs 20! So, the Lord assures Habakkuk that judgment was sure to visit those who do evil to others in pride and refuse to repent of the same during the period of time before God’s righteous judgments are revealed.
However, until then those who are truly righteous will have to live by their faith in a righteous God, and so continue in well doing while refraining from returning evil for evil or insult for insult, being confident that in due season they would certainly reap the good that they have sown, even while they were passing through trying times! Let him who has an ear, hear and respond in faith, humility and righteousness. Amen