Worthy of Judgment!
While Habakkuk wrestles with God’s chosen instrument of judgment, the Chaldean army, his faith is instructed that all parties are going to be judged. God details why the Chaldeans are worthy of judgment. There actions are representative of the those which will be judged in the Babylonian world system seen in the book of Revelation. In fact, every nation that acts in these ways is ripe for the judgment of God. Habakkuk proclaims 5 woes directed at five classes of evildoers. These 5 stanzas are 3 verses each. Who is worthy of Judgement?
Woe to the pillager who is full of selfish ambition (6-8). The Babylonians exacted heavy taxation of conquered nations. They offered loans with excessive interest impoverishing those who were conquered. God will judge those who exploit others to increase personal wealth. Both individuals and nations that plunder other nations to make themselves rich will be judged.
Woe to the plotter who schemes to exploit others because of his covetousness nature (9-11). The Chaldean army took building materials, stones and timbers, to make impregnable cities. They thought they could protect themselves from retaliation for their captives. However, they are not beyond the reach of God’s judgment. God will judge those who live in luxurious homes at the expense of the poor.
Woe to the promoter of violence who are guilty of gross bloodshed (12-14). The Chaldeans were ruthless and built luxury palaces through forced labor. God will judge those who shed innocent life to build that which will not last forever. In contrast to the magnificent building projects of Babylon, God’s glory will cover the entire earth. God promises the fall of Babylon the great (Rev. 17-18).
Woe to the partier who is characterized by drunkenness and sensual behavior (15-17). Babylon intoxicated others and poisoned them making them easy prey. God will punish not only the individual but also the nation that intoxicates a neighbor (or neighboring nation) to exploit them. The indignant ones will be judged.
Woe to the pagan whose life is consumed with idolatry (18-20). The Chaldeans were an idolatrous people. The violation of the second commandment will receive God’s judgment. In contrast to the idols crafted by men’s hands, God sits in His holy temple (20). Every knee will bow before Him. The earth should be silent in awe of Him!
Habakkuk has moved from worrying about his circumstances in chapter 1 to watching how God will act in chapter 2. In chapter 3, he will turn to worshipping God for His perfect plan.
Pastor Chris Thompson