November 11, 2018
"THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH"
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith." -Habakkuk 2:4, ESV
The book of Habakkuk reminds God’s people everywhere, of the unparalleled value of living a lifestyle devoted to the faith of God’s will, no matter the surrounding circumstances.
Habakkuk identifies what classifies an individual as “just/ righteous” before God (2:4). This is relevant and paramount for any time and place in history because God is the only hope and savior for all people, for all time. Hence, faithfulness (to God) in one’s life keeps one in fellowship with God and the blessings of covenant relationship with Him. Righteous people are commanded to live by faith; they must practice obedience and trust that God will remain faithful to His covenantal promises.
To live by faith(fulness), is to say I am living my life in absolute trust, reliance and obedience to God, because He alone provides genuine hope.
The Book of Habakkuk forces us to consider what kinds of spiritual people we will be, when faced with the destruction and loss of all we cherish. (Hab 1:1-17; 2:1-3; Jer 21:1-10; Hab 2:4, 18-20; 3:1-19).
Habakkuk 2:4 usage in the NT
Romans 1:16-17. While Paul produced his epistle to Christians in Rome, Gospel religion was a new movement sweeping from Jerusalem, throughout the Roman empire. Many were still skeptical and hesitant about embracing it in their spiritual lives. Paul cites Habakkuk 2:4 to inform true righteous followers of God of the nature of this Gospel religion and to remind them of the continuing responsibility to live faithfully to God’s will. (Not to religious norms or traditions which often corrupt understanding of Gods will and eventually replace it).
Lesson: Continue living by faith, but now through Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:1-11. Paul exposes the misconception about righteousness before God—which was a prevalent teaching in Judaism. Paul cites Habakkuk 2:4 here, to reinforce the foundational formula for true spiritual justification with God: Obediently trusting in God, not self.
Lesson: Live by faith out of gratitude, not out of human-based achievements.
Hebrews 10:32-39. The writer of Hebrews uses Habakkuk 2:4 to support the call for Christians to patiently await the fulfillment of God’s promise rather than sliding backwards.
Lesson: Living by faith requires courage and endurance.