Habakkuk waits for an answer
1 I will stand and I will watch. I will stay on the walls (of the city). I will look to see what God will say to me. And I will see what answer I will have for my problem.
The Lord answers
2 Then the Lord replied to me. And he said, ‘Write down what I will show to you. Make it very clear on the page where you write it. Then the runner can tell people all about it.
3 What I will show to you must wait for the proper time. But at that time, it will happen. It will happen as I have said. It may not happen for a long time but wait for it. It will certainly happen and it will not be late.
4 Look, the Babylonians are proud. The things that they want are not good. But righteous people will live by their faith in God.
5 And also, wine will destroy Babylon. Yes, they are proud and they never stop taking things from people. They never have enough, as Sheol and death never have enough. They take people from all countries for themselves and they take people from everywhere.
6 The people in all those countries will write a song that is against Babylon. They will say that its people are silly. And they will say other bad things about it. They will say, “Some people rob other people. And they keep what they take. A sad time will come to those people. Some people get a lot of money by the very bad things that they do. A sad time will come to those people. They will not always be able to do those things.”
7 The people that you people in Babylon have taken things from will wake up. It will happen when you are not thinking about it! They will get up and they will make you afraid. Then you will be the people that they will rob!
8 You have robbed many countries. So the people who remain will rob you. That is because you have killed people. And you have destroyed their towns and their lands. You have killed everyone who lived there.
9 Some people get things for themselves by ways that are not fair. A sad time will come to those people. You build your homes high up so that nobody can take you to do bad things to you.
10 You decided to kill the people from many countries. Because of that, you will be ashamed. And you will pay with your own life.
11 Even the stones in the walls will cry. The beams that you made from wood will do it as well.
12 A man might build a city because he kills people. A man might make a town great because he has been very bad. A sad time will come to that man.
13 The work that people do will go into the fire. The Lord of everything has decided that it will. People in many countries will make themselves tired for nothing!
14 But the earth will become filled with people who know about the glory of the Lord. This will be as the waters cover the sea.
15 A sad time will come to him who gives strong drink to his neighbours. He pours out wine until they are drunk. Then he looks at them when they have no clothes on!
16 You will be really ashamed. Nobody will think that you are great. Then you will drink and people will see you with no clothes on! The cup in the Lord's right hand will come round to you. You will be ashamed. You will not always be great.
17 The violence that you did to Lebanon will cover you. You will be very frightened because you killed animals. And you have killed people. And you have destroyed their towns and their lands. You have also killed everyone who lived there.
18 An idol cannot do anything. It was a man who made it! It is a copy of a false god. It teaches him things that are not true. That is because he is trusting his own work. He has made idols that cannot speak!
19 It will be very bad for someone who says to a piece of wood, “Wake up!” He says to a stone that cannot speak, “Get up and be my guide!” Look at it! It has gold and silver over it but it is not alive.
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple. Everything in the world should be quiet in front of him.’
2:20Verses 2-20 The Lord says that someone will destroy Babylon. In verse 5 we read, ‘wine will destroy Babylon’. The Book of Daniel tells us that this really happened, about 70 years later! God may use bad people. But he makes sure that someone punishes them later. It always happens because God has authority! ‘Sheol and death never have enough’ in verse 5 means this: People are always dying.
2:20In chapter 2, we read 5 things that bad people (and bad countries) do:
2:20· They rob other people, verse 6.
2:20· They are not fair, verse 9.
2:20· They kill people, verse 12.
2:20· Many people become drunks, verse 15.
2:20· They have false gods, verse 18.
2:20People who do not obey God do those things. So God will punish them. He may use bad people to do it. But after some time, he will punish those bad people. If we wait, it will happen! We must be quiet until it happens. That is what verse 20 means.