Habakkuk 2:4 - Living for God or Self.
Hab. 2:4: Living for God or Self.
TRANSLATIONS AND PARAPHRASES
Habakkuk 2:4 (NLT) "Look at the proud! They trust in
themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous will live by
Hab 2:4 (CWB) This is the message I want you to write: Those
who are proud will not survive. But those who are righteous will,
because they live by faith and are loyal to their God.
Habakkuk 2:4 (MSG) "Look at that man, bloated by
self-importance-- full of himself but soul-empty. But the person
in right standing
before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really
Hab 2:4 (TLB) "Note this: Wicked men trust themselves alone (as
these Chaldeans do), and fail; but the righteous man trusts in me and
Hab. 2:4 (Gibbs) The proud rely upon self whereas Christians
rely upon God and His promises.
We have met this verse before: "The just shall live by faith"
(Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). This little verse from Habakkuk is
so rich that God wrote three NT commentaries on it! [Wiersbe
Expository Outlines re Gal.3:11]
This verse has inspired countless Christians. The quote in
Hebrews is just before the famous chapter on faith. [Life Application SB
Faith. or "faithfulness," used here to describe one's relation
to God. Trust in God issues forth from the assurance that God will
guide, protect, and bless those who do His will. Habakkuk here grandly
affirms that he who lives by a simple faith and trust in the Lord will
be saved, but the "soul which is lifted up" through its own willful
pride and perverseness in sin will perish. [SDA Commentary]
This text is the Mount Everest in the biblical understanding of
salvation. Faith in God and faithfulness to God are the path to life.
Unbelief and unfaithfulness are the path to death. [Disciple SB]
Habakkuk states the fundamental principle of the gospel: "the
just shall live by his faith." To divest oneself of the feeling of
security in oneself, to believe God's message, and to trust in Him means
life and happiness for the soul. [Believer's SB]
Living by faith, i.e., in humble dependence of God, stands in
distinct contrast to the ways of the proud and self-sufficient.
[Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]
Living by faith, i.e., by a relationship with Jesus - a
continuous ongoing relationship with Him. [Pastor Quick]
Living by faith is always a prerequisite in the Bible to
experiencing the righteous life. Right actions do not come by human effort to
meet written or traditional standards. Right actions come as God's
people trust Him and let Him lead life. [Disciple SB]
A proud person relies on self, power, position, and
accomplishment; a righteous person relies on the Lord. [Nelson SB]
Instead of becoming an atheist or agnostic, Habakkuk went to his
watchtower to pray, meditate, and wait on the Lord. He knew that God heard
his complaint and that He would send an answer soon. God did answer.
"I have a plan and a schedule," God said. "It will all work out in
due time, so don't become impatient." Then God gave to Habakkuk
three very wonderful assurances to encourage and strengthen him during
those difficult days. The first is that the just shall live by faith".
This is one of the most important verses in the entire Bible. It
forms the text for three NT books: Romans (1:17-emphasis is on the
just); Galatians (3:11-emphasis is on shall live); and Hebrews
(10:38-emphasis is on by faith). This verse describes two kinds
of people: those
who are proud because they trust in themselves, and those who are
saved and humble because they trust in the Lord. [Wiersbe's Expository
Without faith man can neither please God nor be secure about his
future. This is a biblical principle of universal validity and a
biblical theme that has many variations. It applies to all men, the just
and the unjust, in all circumstances and at all times. It is rooted
in the fact that man's only hope is God's Word and God's provision.
Faith lives by this. It recognizes man's bankruptcy and impotence.
Faith renounces the pride of self-accomplishment and the paralysis of
self-despair. It casts itself upon God's Word in obedient trust and upon God's
provision in joyful assurance. Faith's embrace of Christ for
righteousness, however fundamental, is only one instance of this biblical
pattern. The significance of faith is evident. It leads unfailingly to
salvation. But it does not itself save. It merely is the instrument that
unites the sinner to Christ and makes him partaker of his
righteousness. Christ's righteousness alone gains him acceptance with God and
secures his salvation. [Daily Devotional Bible]
Wicked people are characterized by the fact that they trust in
themselves. They proudly believe they can make their own way in the world
under their own power. Most of us have experienced the consequences of
such an attitude. We have discovered that without God, we cannot live
a healthy and meaningful life. We soon become enslaved to
something - alcohol, drugs, sexual pleasure, work, religious activities -
in an effort to fill the empty space inside that only God can fill.
God knows what is best for us; we can trust him to lead us into the
most meaningful life possible. [Life Recovery SB]
You can trust God because His character never changes and His
Word never fails. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren
All the kids called him "Grandpa." He was a plumber with an
eighth-grade education. But no one was more articulate about Jesus Christ
than Grandpa Craig. Kids from all over spent a lot of time with
Grandpa - eating popcorn in his living room, having Bible studies,
praying, just "shooting the breeze." No matter where the conversation
wandered, though, Grandpa would always bring it around to Jesus. Whenever
we were talking about school or dating or the future, Grandpa
would say, "That reminds me of something Jesus said ..." or, "That's
just like when Jesus ..." and he would reveal new insights to us
about Jesus. Grandpa's life was filled with the reality of Jesus'
presence. On Saturday afternoons, we would sometimes take long walks with
Grandpa. He would point to the countryside and say, "Now, that's Jesus'
way of showing us how much he loves us. He made all these things
for us to enjoy." Grandpa saw Jesus in everything around him. "See
how the sun goes down so faithfully every evening?" he would ask.
"That show how faithful Jesus is to us. Just like the sun, he never
lets us down." When anyone wondered how to act toward a new kid in
school, Grandpa would ask, "How would Jesus act if he were in school?"
Problems with parents? "What would Jesus do in your shoes?" His advice
was always simple: "Focus on Jesus. Figure it our from there."
[The Youth Bible; NCV; p.1058]
Check out stories of George Mller.
Check out stories of Mother Teresa.
VITAL CROSS REFERENCES
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and
lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge
him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest
unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)