She is the epitome of a good Christian lady. She and her mission-minded husband have gone on many mission trips. She came to hear me update her church on recent events relating to prophecy and the Middle East. She brought a list of questions. I didn’t write them down, but one question went something like this: “It seems like the Rapture is so close, what should we do?”
The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk was praying about the rampaging sin and violence in Judah. He wanted God to stop the violence and save his nation, but he thought God was ignoring Judah’s sin and his prayers. Habakkuk accused God of letting His Word slide, not listening, and exercising poor judgment (Hab. 1:1-5).
In essence, God told Habakkuk that He wasn’t guilty of any of those things. He was aware of Judah’s sin, He had heard Habakkuk’s prayers, He wasn’t letting His Word slide and there was nothing wrong with His judgment.
God told Habakkuk to pay attention and be amazed. He said, “I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” In response to Judah’s sins and Habakkuk’s prayers, God said He intended to use Babylon to destroy Judah.
The destruction of Judah was not what Habakkuk wanted to hear. He couldn’t believe that God would use a nation (Babylon) that is more wicked than Judah to destroy Judah. He asked God several questions and resolved to wait until God answered them and to think about how he would respond to God (Hab. 2:1).
God told Habakkuk to clearly or plainly write (engrave) his words on tablets so that those who read them could run and tell others. The destruction of Judah would come at God’s appointed time. His judgment wouldn’t fall one day before or one day after He wanted it to fall. What God says will happen will take place right on schedule because God does not lie (Hab. 2:2-3).
God told Habakkuk it may take longer than you think so you should be patient and wait for His Word to be fulfilled. His Word can be trusted. Current events will conform to what is written (Hab. 2:3). But these things happen when God says they will happen.
What should people do as they face God’s coming judgment? The proud (lost) will trust in themselves, but the just (saved or justified ones) will live by faith (Hab. 2:4). Those who don’t care about the things of God (salvation through the Messiah, that Holy City not made with human hands, etc.) will continue on the broad road to destruction. But those who do care about the things of God will put their trust in Him, try to do His will and continue on the narrow road to victory. Perilous times will come but God’s people will rely on God’s power to faithfully live for Him.
This teaching that the just shall live by faith appears in three other places in the Bible (Rom.1:16-17; Gal.3:11 and Heb.10:38). And one of many interesting things about it is the fact that it has application for the Second Coming of Jesus in the passage to the Hebrews.
The writer to the Hebrews advises us “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). He reminds us that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
He talked about how the early Christians were persecuted (Heb. 10:32-34). He urged them to remain faithful (Heb. 10:35). Then, he said, “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith” (Heb. 10:37-38a).
Jesus won’t tarry. He will come at the set time. He was dead, but He is alive and He can raise the dead. So if perilous times come, don’t back off. Put the pedal to the metal (accelerate) and go forward harder than ever by faith based on the Word of God.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck