The Lord answers Habakkuk
1 I will stand at my place on the wall of the city. I will watch from there. I will wait to see what God will say to me. I have complained to him and I now I will see how he answers me.
2 The Lord answered me. He said:
‘Write down what I will show to you. Make it very clear on the page where you write it. Then someone can easily read it, and he can tell the message to other people. 3 What I will show to you must happen at the time that I have decided. That is a future time, but it will certainly happen, as I have said. It may not happen very soon, but you must be patient. What I show to you will certainly happen at the right time, so wait for it.
4 Look now! The enemy is very proud. They do not want to do what is right. But righteous people will live because of their faith in God.
2:4The proud enemy is the Babylonian army. God will use them to punish his people. But in the end he will punish the Babylonians because they are proud and cruel.
5 Wine will destroy that proud enemy. They do not stop attacking other people. They never have enough for themselves. They are like death that is so hungry that it eats as much as it can. The deep hole of death swallows everything. The cruel enemy is like that! They want all the nations to belong to them. They catch everyone to be their prisoners.
2:5Wine or Riches.
6 But one day, their prisoners will laugh at them. The people will insult that proud nation with songs and proverbs. They will say, “You have stored for yourselves many valuable things that do not belong to you. It will be very bad for you! You have robbed other nations so that you can be rich. This will not continue much longer!”
7 The people that have lent their riches to you will suddenly attack. They will come to take back their things and you will be very afraid. Now they will come to rob you! 8 You have robbed many nations. You have murdered people in many lands. You have destroyed towns and the people who live in them. Now the people who remain will come to rob you.
9 It will be very bad for anyone who cheats other people so that he can make his family rich. He thinks that his riches will make him safe. He thinks that he is too high up for any trouble to reach him. 10 But the cruel things that you have done will bring shame to your family. You decided to destroy people from many countries. Because of that, you will pay with your own life. 11 The stones in the walls of your houses will cry out against you. The beams in your roof will also shout aloud.
12 It will be very bad for anyone who kills people so that he can build a city for himself. It will be bad for anyone who does wicked things to make his town great.
13 Listen! The Lord Almighty has commanded this: All the work that people do to get things for themselves is useless. The things that the nations work so hard for will become smoke! 14 But people everywhere will one day recognize the Lord's great glory. Those people will fill the whole earth, as the waters fill the sea.
15 It will be very bad for you! You cause your neighbours to become drunk. You are so angry that you make them drink too much wine. You are happy when they are so drunk that you can see their bare bodies. 16 But it is you who will become ashamed, not great. You will become drunk so that people see you with no clothes on! The Lord has a cup of wine in his right hand. He is ready to give it to you as a punishment. You will no longer be great, but you will be ashamed.
2:15The neighbours are probably the nations near to Babylon that Babylon has attacked.
17 You have done cruel things to the people in Lebanon. You destroyed their animals. The Lord will punish you for the things that you have done, and you will be very afraid. You have murdered people. You have destroyed the land and the towns and the people who live in them.
18 What value does an idol have? What help can it give? Somebody has made it as the image of a false god. It can only tell false messages. Why should its maker trust it for help? He has used wood or metal to make it and it cannot speak!
19 It will be very bad for anyone who says to a piece of wood, “Wake up!” It will be bad for anyone who says to a stone that cannot speak, “Get up and help me!” It cannot teach you! It has gold or silver to make it look nice, but it is not alive.
20 But the Lord rules from his holy temple. Everybody on the earth should be quiet in front of him.’