“Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith.” vs4
When we don’t know what’s going on, we must live by faith. Looking to the Son of God, we count on Him and trust Him.
This life of faith is the ESSENCE of justification, sanctification, and the whole walk with God: it is not seeing but believing; it is taking God at His word.
That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” [Rom 4:22]
We are justified by faith. We believe God, when we are ungodly, and we are counted righteous! We never have any righteousness of our own; it is all the gift of grace, trusting in the Christ who can’t be seen, whom God resurrected.
We overcome trials by faith. Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead, so he endured the hardship and offered up His Son.
We do everything by faith. God is to be believed.
Don’t let unbelief hinder you! Habakkuk was in a horrible situation: Israel would be taken by Babylonians - a cruel nation - and he had to trust that God knows what He’s doing.
A young woman is dying of cancer. She loves her husband and children! She does not want to go, prays for a miracle, and resists His will. She has no peace, but she is His child. Therefore, she realizes by prayer, rebuke from others, and the presence of God in church that His will is perfect, no matter what! Peace triumphs and joy overtakes sorrow. She submits, desires healing, but she's willing to go to heaven. She has God, not because she sees, but she believes, and in believing, she sees the invisible.
Jesus replied, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” [John 11:40]
We must believe.
Secondly, eventually God’s justice will shine. Vs6-8
‘Woe to him who amasses what is not his
and makes himself rich with many loans!
How long will this go on?’
Will not your creditors suddenly arise
and those who disturb you awaken?
Then you will become their prey.
Because you have plundered many nations,
the remnant of the people will plunder you—
because of your bloodshed against man
and your violence against the land, the city,
and all their dwellers.
He will not forsake the righteous or prosper the wicked! The death of Christ manifests - to end all arguments - that God is just!
I remember struggling with my stutter early in ministry. I was on radio at San Jose State University, and I’d prepared a “great” message on the atonement. I would dazzle the people, I thought. I came into the booth with friends, visitors, and could barely talk. At the end, I mumbled a few things in humility and brokenness. People were supportive, but I went home hurt and infuriated. I walked until 3am with my Bible, stopping to argue with God and read Job. Then, He led me to Job 34:10-12,
“Therefore listen to me,
O men of understanding.
Far be it from God to do wrong,
and from the Almighty to act unjustly.
For according to a man’s deeds He repays him;
according to a man’s ways He brings consequences.
Indeed, it is true that God does not act wickedly
and the Almighty does not pervert justice.”
I saw the cross! I saw Christ crucified and knew that the Almighty punished Him because He’s just! He didn’t have to. Nobody forced Him! He did it because the Almighty will not put away sins except by sacrificing His Son. I saw the highest justice imaginable and knew that He’d never be unjust to anyone. If I stuttered, it was just. If I deceived myself with greatness, then I deserved to fall down.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 14:11]
This will help in the day of battle: Whatever He does is right. We stop murmuring by believing God.
Finally, here’s one last thing: God will save the elect! Vs14
For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
Let man act wickedly, so what? God will save. Racism and man-stealing destroy many in cruel bondage, but the slave trade delivers others from Islam and God’s wrath. “Redskins” are debased, land is stolen, treaties are broken, and whole communities are wiped out by plague! God, however, has an elect among the Cherokee and indigenous tribes, and they shall hear! David Brainard and America’s most brilliant theologian, Jonathan Edwards, will BOTH give themselves to Native Americans as missionaries. (God’s best men!) In Africa, the prosperity gospel dominates and fake miracles deceive the masses, but God is still saving everyone in the book of life! In China, the coronavirus opens the door for true believers to preach Christ on the streets!
God rules the wickedness of this world for His own purpose. He will save in spite of and by the means of all the evil.
As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this—to preserve the lives of many people. [Gen 50:20]
They’ll nail Him, crucify Him, and spit on Him, but He’ll rise again! God reigns supreme.
Let us never fear in these dark days but be encouraged by hope! Live by faith, walk by faith, and triumph by believing God.