Before Habakkuk 1 ends, God responded to the question Habakkuk posed in verse one. Though I am sure it was not the answer he wanted, Habakkuk received a response from God. God’s answer was: “I am raising up the Babylonians that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own”. I imagine Habakkuk’s heart must’ve sunk into the bottom of his stomach upon hearing God’s response.
Chapter one concludes with Habakkuk confessing his confusion and posing yet another question. He admits that he is shocked that the Holy God, whose eyes are too pure to look at evil, would allow evil doers to rule over his chosen people. He questions why God would allow the wicked to swallow up people more righteous than them. Chapter two begins with Habakkuk stating that he would stand and watch for God's answer to his second inquiry.
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
(Habakkuk 2:1 NIV)
I think there is something to be said about Habakkuk's statement and positioning. This verse illustrates Habakkuk’s trust in God. Habakkuk said he would stand at his watch and wait for an answer. This means that he expected God to answer. For our personal application, we too ought to expect an answer from God when we pray or inquire of him. But this verse also implies that Habakkuk’s trust in God was unconditional.
Despite God's previous harsh answer, Habakkuk chose to stand and watch for God’s second answer. Many of today’s atheists and agnostics do not stand and wait for God’s answer. Instead, they choose to walk away because of a previous unpleasant answer or an unpleasant experience. Bad times can pose a challenge to our faith—just as bad times caused Habakkuk to pose these questions. Yet, regardless of our uncertainty or confusion, we should stand, be still, and watch for what God will say or what he will do. God's response to Habakkuk’s second question was as follows:
Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:2-3 NIV)
Many of us have heard this verse before. It is very popular for believers—and even some unbelievers—to use this verse in regards to personal dreams and desires. We've been encouraged to plainly write down our visions, hopes, and dreams in journals or even vision boards in the hopes of those plans becoming a reality. While I am not against the pursuit of dreams as long as they align with God's will, I think many Christians (including myself) have missed a valuable lesson in this text. God told Habakkuk to write the vision so that a herald may go run with it. Per Oxford languages, a herald is “an official messenger bringing news.” A herald is also a representative of the king. For example, Daniel 3:4 documents a herald loudly proclaiming King Nebuchadnezzar’s decree.
So, God told Habakkuk to write this vision so that a herald can go run and tell it to others. God also said that the vision was yet to come. He said, “the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.”
The foreshadowing of Christ is evident in this text. Living by faith was something that had not happened in Habakkuk’s time. Indeed, it was a vision with an appointed time … and that time came when Jesus was sent, died, and rose again. Praise God that in our generation, that vision has been fulfilled.
Yet, there is another vision that has not been fulfilled. It has been prophesized that Jesus will return one day. That vision was given to John in the Book of Revelation. That vision has been written, it has been made plain, and there ought to be heralds in the earth running with the vision to make it plain to those in the earth.
And we are the ones who were meant to run with it. We are the heralds of today. Notice the verb ‘run’ is used in the text. There must be a sense of urgency behind a message if someone runs with it. If I was going to tell my husband that we won tickets to the Alabama National Fair, I’d likely walk. If we won a trip to Miami, Florida, I might skip. But if we won an all-expense vacation to Hawaii or Bora Bora, I’d likely run because the message is good, and it is urgent.
Likewise, Jesus is on his way back. This news is good, but it is also urgent. It is good for the believers and doers of his word. But it is severely urgent to the lost. Time is of the essence. Just as the herald was charged to run with the vision in Habakkuk 2, you are also charged. As a believer of God the Father and his Son, King Jesus, you are his representative. And since you are the King’s representative, you are also the King’s herald. Thus, you are charged to run and tell the world that the kingdom of God is at hand.
I encourage you to ask God to grant you wisdom on how to share his message with others. Ask him to give you boldness and to cultivate your gifts and talents to align with his will and purpose, which is to tell others about the vision—the second coming of Jesus Christ our Lord, because though the vision delays, it will certainly come. The vision is coming. Jesus is coming. And both you and I ought to run as a herald and proclaim it to the world.
I pray this message has blessed and encouraged you. Have an amazing day and week!
May God bless you and keep you.
Quin Arrington is a wife, mother of two children, and author of three books. Her literary collection includes both fictional and nonfictional works. Books can be purchased at the link listed below. Thank you for time and attention. God bless!