Habakkuk 2:4 - Living for God or Self.

Hab. 2:4: Living for God or Self.


Habakkuk 2:4 (NLT)  "Look at the proud! They trust in 
themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous will live by 
their faith. 

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.

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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:)