But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. – Hab. 2:20 KJV
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Habbakuk, a man whom the biblical book named after him describes as a prophet had just brought to the attention of the Almighty God, the oppression that the people were experiencing in the hands of their leaders when the Almighty God in response told him of His plans to sending the Babylonians to address the situation – Hab. 1:2-11. This plan of the Lord got Habbakuk more worried, knowing the reputation of Babylonians for being very ruthless and merciless with regards to the victims of their warring activities. It just did not seem right that the people will have to experience more terrible oppression before relief would be expected and this he expressed to the Almighty God, with fearful expectation of a strong rebuke from the Lord for what seems like a challenge of His decision – Hab. 1:12-2:1. The Almighty God however disappointed as He did not get angry but instead revealed to him His long term plans to address the situation. Habbakuk will need to note this communication with the Lord so that everyone will be aware but they should also realise that this divine plan will definitely be implemented but in an appointed time that may seem like a delay to the people but it will mark the end of their negative experiences. They will need to therefore live by their faith, even if the oppressor continues to puff up in their desires that are not upright – Hab. 2:2-5. The unfailing truth however remains that no matter how much the wicked continues to display arrogance and greed in their actions, with the believe that they will be untouchable, the Lord has a plan to compensate according to the manner in which they oppressed His people. In verses six to twenty of the second chapter of this book named after Habbakuk, the Lord lists out five Woes that will befall the oppressors of His people in accordance with their oppressive actions as follows:
1. To the one who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion, the Almighty God will make debtors suddenly arise and make such tremble and become their victim – Hab. 2:6-8. This will be simply because such by his/her actions have plundered many people and by so doing shed man’s blood and destroyed many people.
2. To the one who builds an empire using unjust gains and positions in a manner that gives the impression that he/she cannot be touched by ruin, there will be sudden uprising from the ruins that will bring shame and disgrace to such – Hab. 2:9-11. Just when such feels all the people have been defeated, the Lord will empower them to bring shame to such and his/her entire household.
3. To the one who builds an empire by destroying people, whatever he gains as product of his/her evil act will serve as fuel for his/her destruction to serve as an instrument of lesson for the entire world to glorify the Almighty God – Hab. 2:12-14. Just when such believes he/she has succeeded in trampling on all people to build an empire, the Almighty God will surface to prove that He is Lord over all.
4. To the one who lures another into a situation where such can be discredited, embarassed and ridiculed, the Almighty God has shame and disgrace reserved for such at the peak of that evil achievement when such is expecting glory – Hab. 2:17.
5. To the one who has decided to make gods out of wood and stone, such should expect to be disappointed as such will always take wrong decisions since no guidance can be realistically expected from ordinary carvings that are covered in good and silver – Hab. 2:18-20.
This is the same God that was yesterday, is today and will remain for ever. That is the God that all those who worship Him must trust and retain faith in at all times believing that He will appear at the right time. That is the same God that all those who do evil must fear knowing that every advantage derived from doing evil will be lost as soon as it is time to enjoy it. That is the God that everyone must relate with in fear and trembling knowing that all actions will be rewarded, not just after death but even before we depart from this realm. Nothing can escape His knowledge and judgement as nothing is hidden from Him. He is omnipresent as He is everywhere and nothing escapes his view. It is therefore important that the advise of Habbakuk be taken to heart by all who live on this earth which is simply that “the Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before him”. Whatever may be your situation, just remember always that his eyes hover around all the earth, nothing is hidden from his knowledge and He will recompense according to their works. May we all be justified before Him in Jesus name. Amen.