Habakkuk 2:6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!
7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?
8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
As we have noted before, Habakkuk was chosen by God as a prophet in Judah. As a prophet, he was a public figure. He was to proclaim the Word of God to the king and to the people. He was also chosen by God to be one of the holy men He used to write the Scriptures. We see that even though he was a holy man, he was not a god. He was not infallible. His writing was infallible because he was moved by the Holy Ghost to write exactly what God told him to write.
In our text, God shows us that His prophets need to be corrected at times. We do not have any prophets today. However, evangelists, pastors and teachers will also need to be corrected at times. We have God’s Word that we must study and hold to in our own lives and in our ministry. According to reliable surveys, less and less people believe in God. More and more professing Christians no longer believe the Bible to be infallible. They do not believe in an absolute authority. The godly person must believe the infallible authority of God’s Word. He will not be popular in standing true to the truth. He will be blessed of the Lord and that is what matters.
Habakkuk did not see things accurately and yet he chose to complain to God about what he believed to be true. God told him to record the words in this book. God gave us this to help us to be careful what we think and what we say. He also shows us that He is not fazed by anyone who disagrees with Him.
In verse 6 of our text, Habakkuk was directed to write about what people would be saying about Babylon. Babylon was led to Judah to punish them for their sin. God did not want Babylon to become more proud as a result of this. God wanted them to humble themselves. God sent Daniel and his three friends to Babylon to show them that the true God is in charge of all things. God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream that shocked him. He forgot the dream and he could not understand it. His “wise men” had no way of helping him. He was ready to kill them all because they could not help him. Foolishly, the king wanted to kill Daniel and his three friends with these other fools. God intervened and gave Daniel favour with the king. Daniel revealed the dream and its interpretation. Daniel made it very clear that God was in charge and that Nebuchadnezzar needed to humble himself and turn to God.
Nebuchadnezzar made some nice words after that, but then he had a 90’ tall idol made and demanded that all the people bow before this golden idol when they would hear the music playing. Daniel’s three friends refused to bow to this image, even at the threat of being burned to death. God is greater than the devil, and God protected these three men even in the fiery furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar saw a fourth person in that furnace who he identified as the Son of God. God showed Nebuchadnezzar His greatness on several occasions. Eventually the king acknowledged the true God. Then in Daniel 5 Belshazzar decided to throw a wild party and he brought some of the vessels taken from the Temple into his party. God wrote a judgment on the wall against him. That night, the Medes and the Persians invaded Babylon and killed the king and took over the empire.
As we see in Habakkuk 2:6 and following, Habakkuk stated that people would take up a parable against Babylon. That is true. Babylon became a byword. Babylon was a powerful empire, but it fell in one night.
Nebuchadnezzar had assumed he was so great and that is why he could take Judah. He did not understand that God gave Judah to him. God allowed him to enter the Temple and plunder it. God allowed him to take captives and to kill off other Jews.
Thus the warning in verse 6. “Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his!” This is the first of five woes that God gave in this chapter. Babylon’s empire was limited. Habakkuk did not know how long, but God did. Nebuchadnezzar had been so anxious to expand his empire, that he ended up lading himself with thick clay. That term speaks of debt. Nebuchadnezzar had gained the help of other nations in his pursuit of greater power. His grandson was so arrogant that even though he knew the Medo/Persian armies were outside the city walls, he threw this big party. He made a foolish choice and he sunk in the clay. He was killed that very night.
This is history. This is not mythology. This is the rise and fall of a world empire. It fell just as God declared it would and it was replaced by another empire that would also fall just as God declared.
Habakkuk needed to stop his complaining and let God be God. He would learn some important facts. He would not change God’s mind. His mind needed to be changed. He needed to trust God and be blessed by following God.
In verse 7 we see that the fall of Babylon would be sudden. The treasures of Babylon would become the treasures of the Medes and the Persians. In verse 8 we read that all the spoil that Babylon had taken from the nations they overthrew, would become the bounty of the nation that would overthrow them. The Bible tells us that the Babylonian empire was never destroyed. It was swallowed up by the Medes and the Persians. The Babylonian philosophies would be adopted into the Medo/Persian empire. Then the Greeks would come along and conquer the Medo/Persian empire. It would adopt the philosophies of those former two empires and mix that with the Greek empire. Then the Roman empire would come along and do the same.
The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ tells us that Babylon will rise up again. There will be the revived Roman empire which will have the Babylonian philosophy within it and that whole system will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation. Habakkuk was told to write about this even though he would not live to see it happen. Daniel wrote about it as did other writers, the last of which was the apostle John.
Born again Christians today are living in anticipation of the Lord’s soon return which will usher in the Tribulation time. That time will be a literal seven year period ruled on earth by the antichrist. God will be troubling the world with plagues beyond the antichrist’s control. In the end of the seven years, the antichrist will be cast into the lake of fire along with the false prophet.
Habakkuk needed to learn to trust God and let Him be God. We would be wise today to do the same. Instead of being opinionated without facts, let us let God be God and believe what He says. Rather than allegorize things that are meant to be taken literally, let us accept God’s Word as truth and be willing to stand upon the truth. There are many lost people today who do not want to believe the truth. Those who know the true God have a duty to speak the truth and pray that others will come to repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. When people get saved, they can begin to build their thoughts and lives on the truth. They will not want to fight against the truth and try to develop their own brand of truth. They will be able to submit to God’s Truth and be set free to help others to know the truth as well.