The Lord’s Answer
2 Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
3 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)
Yesterday, we saw Habakkuk taking a step of faith and waiting on the Lord to answer his second question. Habakkuk trusted God to answer in God’s time – Habakkuk’s resolve was to wait and see what God was going to say or do next.
During this waiting period, Habakkuk was likely claiming King David’s words as his own:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
(Psalm 40:1 NIV)
Habakkuk waited quietly and confidently in faith that God would answer his prayer, as God had promised to bring this discipline on Judah during Habakkuk’s lifetime.
Today, we see that the Lord did answer Habakkuk. We don’t know the timeframe – it may have been minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years – Scripture does not give us any indication. The timeframe is irrelevant.
So what were God’s first words to Habakkuk? “Write this down…”
When God says “write this down…”, we need to pay attention – God wants our undivided focus. We need to stop whatever we’re doing, and give God our full attention. No multi-tasking, no interruptions, no calls, no texts, no tweets, pull over and stop if we’re driving, and capture that thought or verse or prayer in writing. When God says “write this down…”, that time is a holy moment – don’t let it escape.
God’s command to Habakkuk was to write down what God was revealing. God said to write the revelation clearly and legibly, so all could read it without difficulty.
God also told Habakkuk to write the message down so that a herald (messenger) could take the message and proclaim it wherever he was sent. As was the custom of the day, heralds were used to carry a message from a king or public official to those who were to hear the message. There was no television, no radio, no internet, no snail mail – only messengers who literally, physically, and personally took the words of the one making the proclamation to the intended audience.
In verse 3, God tells Habakkuk that the revelation will not happen immediately, but will still happen in Habakkuk’s lifetime. God tells Habakkuk to wait patiently for the revelation, and to not give up or think that God has forgotten His proclamation.
God tells Habakkuk that the revelation “awaits an appointed time”. Let us always remember that life happens on God’s timetable, not ours. We delude ourselves into thinking that we control our destiny, the events in our lives, and to a certain extent, the immediate world around us. But the reality is that we control very little, but we know the One who is in charge of all. This is simultaneously humbling and comforting.
May we be like Habakkuk, sensitive to the Lord’s calling and commands, while patiently and confidently waiting for His timing and direction.