It is that we may not be surprised, that we may not be taken at unawares. What do you propose to answer when you are called to appear before an all-seeing God? He has not only spoken to us in national judgments and mercies, He has said a word privately to each one of us as individual. Wherefore are we in this world? We are not here by choice, nor by chance.
Consists in receiving communications from the eternal mind. As a sinner, man has a deeper and a more special need than angels can have. Communications from God are of infinite moment to man. Christ came to bring men to God. His Cross is the meeting-place between man and his Maker. From the special manifestations of God for the purpose. These we have in the Bible. From the general teaching of the Bible. In the Book men are called to audience with God.
How are divine communications to be received I Two things are necessary That we resort to the right scene. That we resort to the right scene in the right spirit. That we have to impart as well as to receive is evident From the tendency of Divine thoughts to express themselves. Ideas of a religious kind always struggle for utterance. From the universal adaptation of Divine thoughts. From the spiritual dependence of man upon man. In the Divine purpose there is a period fixed for the realisation of every Divine promise. However distant it may seem, our duty is to wait in earnest practical faith for it.
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What is the special design of the Gospel? To qualify man to fulfil his mission on earth. Text Courtesy of BibleSupport. Bibliography Exell, Joseph S. This chapter records God's answer to the second of Habakkuk's two questions raised in Habakkuk 1. The first regarded "how long" the well-deserved punishment of the wicked would be delayed. God's answer to the effect that Babylon, the great and wicked world-power soon to arise, would indeed punish wicked Israel for their sins did not fully satisfy Habakkuk. How could the holy and righteous God use a wicked state like Babylon to punish Judea, which with all of their sins were yet better than the Babylonians?
Habakkuk took up his watch to await God's answer; and Jehovah promptly answered Habakkuk 2: Apparently, there was a terrible disappointment to Habakkuk in the revelation that the great new world power Babylon would be no better, in any sense, than was Assyria; and God's answer consisted of five terrible woes pronounced against the great wicked state that would destroy Judea: Woe 1 Habakkuk 2: These woes had the effect of describing, not merely Babylon, but all of the successive heads of the great Scarlet Beast of Revelation Things on earth where rebellious humanity had broken their fellowship with God would never get any better as long as men rejected their Creator, but God was not at all being defeated in any of this; the chapter concludes with the focus upon God Himself: Both terms are to be considered figuratively.
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Bibliography Coffman, James Burton. I will stand upon my watch , These are the words of the prophet: A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The prophet, waiting earnestly for an answer to his complaints first chapter , receives a revelation, which is to be fulfilled, not immediately, yet in due time, and is therefore to be waited for in faith: The Chaldeans shall be punished for their cruel rapacity, nor can their false gods avert the judgment of Jehovah, the only true God.
The prophets often compare themselves, awaiting the revelations of Jehovah with earnest patience, to watchmen on an eminence watching with intent eye all that comes within their view Isaiah Copyright Statement These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship. This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed. Bibliography Jamieson, Robert, D. I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
Reproved — Called to give an account of the mysteriousness of providence; either to satisfy doubters, or to silence quarrellers. Copyright Statement These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. We have seen in the first chapter Habakkuk 1: It was indeed a hard struggle, when all things were in a perplexed state and no outlet appeared. The faithful might have thought that all things happened by chance, that there was no divine providence; and even the Prophet uttered complaints of this kind.
He now begins to recover himself from his perplexities; and he ever speaks in the person of the godly, or of the whole Church. For what is done by some interpreters, who confine what is said to the prophetic office, I do not approve; and it may be easy from the contempt to learn, that the Prophet does not speak according to his private feeling, but that he represents the feelings of all the godly.
So then we ought to collect this verse with the complaints, which we have before noticed; for the Prophet, finding himself sinking, and as it were overwhelmed in the deepest abyss, raises himself up above the judgement and reason of men, and comes nearer to God, that he might see from on high the things which take place on earth, and not judge according to the understanding of his own flesh, but by the light of the Holy Spirit. For the tower of which he speaks is patience arising from hope. If indeed we would struggle perseveringly to the last, and at length obtain the victory over all trials and conflicts, we must rise above the world.
Some understand by tower and citadel the Word of God: If we more fully weigh the reason for the metaphor, we shall be at no loss to know that the tower is the recess of the mind, where we withdraw ourselves from the world; for we find how disposed we are all to entertain distrust. When, therefore, we follow our own inclination, various temptations immediately lay hold on us; nor can we even for a moment exercise hope in God: If then we would cherish faith in our hearts, we must rise above all these difficulties and hindrances. And the Prophet by tower means this, that he extricated himself from the thoughts of the flesh; for there would have been no end nor termination to his doubts, had he tried to form a judgement according to his own understanding; I will stand, he says, on my tower, 24 I and I will set myself on the citadel.
In short, the sentence carries this meaning—that the Prophet renounced the judgement of men, and broke through all those snares by which Satan entangles us and prevents us to rise above the earth. I will watch then to see what he may say to me. But were the words capable of admitting this explanation, yet the very drift of the argument shows, that the passage has the meaning which I have attached to it. For how could the faithful answer the calumnies by which their faith was assailed, when the profane opprobriously mocked and derided them—how could they satisfactorily disprove such blasphemies, did they not first attend to what God might say to them?
For we cannot confute the devil and his ministers, except we be instructed by the word of God. It remains for us to accommodate the doctrine to our own use. It must be first observed, that there is no remedy, when such trials as those mentioned by the Prophet in the first chapter Habakkuk 1: Until then the faithful ascend to their tower and stand in their citadel, of which the Prophet here speaks, their temptations will drive them here and there, and sink them as it were in a bottomless gulf.
But that we may more fully understand the meaning, we must know, that there is here an implied contrast between the tower and the citadel, which the Prophet mentions, and a station on earth. As long then as we judge according to our own perceptions, we walk on the earth; and while we do so, many clouds arise, and Satan scatters ashes in our eyes, and wholly darkens our judgement, and thus it happens, that we lie down altogether confounded.
It is hence wholly necessary, as we have before said, that we should tread our reason under foot, and come nigh to God himself. We have said, that the tower is the recess of the mind; but how can we ascend to it? For we creep on the earth; nay, we find that our flesh ever draws us downward: Then the repetition is not without its use; for the Prophet says, On my tower will I stand, on the citadel will I set myself. He does not repeat in other words the same thing, because it is obscure; but in order to remind the faithful, that though they are inclined to sloth, they must yet strive to extricate themselves.
For when any perplexity takes hold on our minds, we soon succumb to despair. This, then, is the reason why the Prophet, after having spoken of the tower, again mentions the citadel. But when he says, I will watch to see , he refers to perseverance; for it is not enough to open our eyes once, and by one look to observe what happens to us; but it is necessary to continue our attention.
This constant attention is, then, what the Prophet means by watching; for we are not so clear-sighted as immediately to comprehend what is useful to be known. And then, though we may once see what is necessary, yet a new temptation can obliterate that view. It thus happens, that all our observations become evanescent, except we continue to watch, that is, except we persevere in our attention, so that we may ever return to God, whenever the devil raises new storms, and whenever he darkens the heavens with clouds to prevent us to see God.
We hence see how emphatical is what the Prophet says here, I will watch to see. The Prophet evidently compares the faithful to watchmen, who, though they hear nothing, yet do not sleep; and if they hear any noise once or twice, they do not immediately sound an alarm, but wait and attend. As, then, they who keep watch ought to remain quiet, that they may not disturb others, and that they may duly perform their office; so it behaves the faithful to be also tranquil and quiet, and wait patiently for God during times of perplexity and confusion.
Let us now inquire what is the purpose of this watching: I will watch to see , he says, what he may say to me. There seems to be an impropriety in the expression; for we do not properly see what is said. But the Prophet connects together here two metaphors. The metaphor is found correctly used in Psalms There also it is a metaphor, for the Prophet speaks not of natural hearing: But the Prophet, as I have said, joins together here two metaphors; for to speak, or to say, means no other thing than that God testifies to our hearts, that though the reason for his purpose does not immediately appear to us, yet all things are wisely ruled, and that nothing is better than to submit to his will.
For though one may be resolved to hear God, we yet find that many temptations immediately distract us. It is not then enough to become teachable, and to apply our ears to hear his voice, except also our eyes be connected with them, so that we may be altogether attentive. We hence see the object of the Prophet; for he meant to express the greatest attention, as though he had said, that the faithful would ever wander in their thoughts, except they carefully concentrated both their eyes and their ears, and all their senses, on God, and continually restrained themselves, lest vagrant speculations or imaginations should lead them astray.
Let this, then, be our understanding, to obey God speaking to us, and reverently to embrace his word, so that he may deliver us from all troubles, and also keep our minds in peace and tranquillity. For as soon as any temptation takes place, Satan suggests many things to us, and those of various kinds: How can you dare to trust that God will assist you? How can he extricate you? What will be the issue? But this appears still more clear from what is expressed at the close of the verse, when the Prophet adds, and what I may answer to the reproof given me ; for he shows that he would be furnished with the best weapons to sustain and repel all assaults, provided he patiently attended to God speaking to him, and fully embraced his word: When, therefore, the Prophet says, what I may answer to reproof , he means, that he would be sufficiently fortified against all the assaults of Satan, both secret and external, when he heard what God might say to him.
It is hence no wonder that many fall away under trials, yea, almost the whole world; for few there are who ascend into the citadel of which the Prophet speaks, and who are willing to hear God speaking to them.
Hence, presumption and arrogance blind the minds of men, so that they either speak evil of God who addresses them, or accuse fortune, or maintain that there is nothing certain: Let us proceed, -. On my watch-tower will I stand, And I will set myself on a citadel; That I may look out to see what he will say to me, And what I shall answer to the reproof given to me; Literally, to my reproof. And what I should reply to my arguing with him. The latter renders the line thus: This is the current meaning of the word, see 2 Kings The view of Piscator and Junius is, that it is the reproof or correction he administered to the people in chapter 1: He was waiting to know what he might have to give as a reply in defense of that reproof.
This is altogether consistent with the mode in which the Prophets usually write: He then waited to know two things, how to solve his difficulties respecting the conduct of the Chaldeans, and how to reply to his own people for the severe rebuke he gave them. There is much in this view to recommend it. There are some occasions on which we should especially wait, and when we may so calculate with an entire confidence on the speaking of God that those passages of life ought to be singled out.
How many answers have been missed, simply because we did not follow our petitions with a heavenward eye, and with the calm waitings of expectant faith! Remember, when you pray, go at once from the footstool to the tower.
Wesley's Explanatory Notes Bible Commentary
Depend upon it, whenever a cloud rolls over you, there is a voice in that cloud. Whatever else there may be in the voice, long listened for, when it comes there will certainly be three things. He will comfort you that you are His child. The answer comes, the wicked man, though apparently prosperous, is really a ruined man, but the righteous shall live by faith Habakkuk 2: Then suddenly the scene changes: O Lord - it is the proper name of God, Revelation 1: The one word in Hebrew wonderfully fits in with the truth, that God becomes one with man by taking him to Himself. It involves then that other title which had been the great support of Isaiah, by which he at once comforted his people, and impressed upon them the holiness of their God, the holiness which their relation to their God required, the Holy One of Israel.
The one thought involved the other. God, the Unchangeable, had made Himself their God. It was impossible, then, that lie should cast them off or that they should perish. We shall not die, is the lightning thought of faith, which flashes on the soul like all inspirations of God, founded on His truth and word, but borne in, as it were, instinctively without inference on the soul, with the same confidence as the Psalmist says Psalm Look we to Thy mercy, Thine alone is it that we live, are not slain by him, nor led to deeds of death.
And O mighty God - literally, Rock. It is a bold title. Habakkuk purposely widens it.
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Hence, he continues the simple image: Since then God was the Rock, who had founded them, from Him Alone had they strength; when He should withdraw it, they must fall. How then did they yet abide, who abused the power given them and counted it their own? And this the more, since. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil - The prophet repeats his complaint as troubling thoughts are accustomed to come back, after they have been repelled, , in order to answer it more strongly. Light cannot co-exist with darkness, fire with water, heat with cold, deformity with beauty, foulness with sweetness, nor is sin compatible with the Presence of God, except as its Judge and punisher.
Thou canst not look. There is an entire contradiction between God and unholiness. And yet, Wherefore lookest thou upon - viewest, as in Thy full sight make the contrast stronger. To say that Judah was more righteous than the Chaldaean does not imply any righteousness of the Chaldaean, as the saying that Jeremiah Then, also, in all the general judgments of God, the righteous too suffer in this world, whence Abraham intercedes for Sodom, if there were but ten righteous in it; lest Genesis No times were more full of sin than those before the destruction of Jerusalem, yet the fury of the Assassins fell upon the innocent.
And so the words, like the voice of the souls under the Altar Revelation 6: The wicked also includes all persecutors, both those who executed the Lord Christ, and those who brought His servants before judgment-seats, and who blasphemed His Name James 2: And God, all the while, seemeth to look away and not to regard. And makest men as the fishes of the sea - mute, helpless, in a stormy, restless element, no cry heard, but themselves swept away in shoals, with no power to resist.
As the creeping things - whether of the land as it is mostly used , or the sea Psalm Either way, it is a contemptuous name for the lowest of either. That have no ruler over them - none to guide, order, protect them, and so a picture of man deprived of the care and providence of God. Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldaeans are herein a faint image of Satan, who casts out his baits and his nets in the stormy sea of this life, taking some by individual craft, sweeping others in whole masses, to do evil; and whoso hath no ruler, and will not have Christ to reign over him Luke And because he deceived the first man, he ceaseth not daily to slay the whole human race.
Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag - literally he sacrifices unto his, etc. Whatever a man trusts in is his god. If a man relies to compass his end by his strength, or his wisdom, or his forethought, or his wealth, his armies or navies, these his forces are his God. So the Assyrian said Isaiah The idol is Ezekiel Among the civilized Romans, the worship of the eagles, their standards to whom they did sacrifice, was no other nor better.
The inward idolatry is only a more subtle form of the same sin, the evil spirit which shapes itself in the outward show. Here the idolatry of self is meant, which did not join creatures with God as objects of worship; but denying, Him in practice or misbelief, became aged to itself. So Habakkuk had said, this his strength is his God. His idol was himself. Because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous - literally, is in the English margin, well-fed.
All the choicest things of the world stood at his command, as Nebuchadnezzar boasted Daniel 4: Satan, as it were, by one line and net, that of sin, enclosed all, and Israel especially, on account of his impiety to Christ.
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Yet he, having this glory and grace, was taken with the rest. They became his prey by error; but Israel, knowing Him who is by nature God, in an ungodly manner, slaying Him who was by nature His Begotten Son and who came as Man, were taken in his nets. Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?
Shall he then devour those whom he has caught? Copyright Statement These files are public domain. Bibliography Information Barnes, Albert. Lexicon Search Greek Hebrew Aramaic. Before Christ Edersheim Flavius Josephus more. The Quotation Archive Add a Quotation. Tozer Charles Spurgeon Voice of the Lord more.
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Verse 4 Therefore - i. So Jeremiah Jeremiah And being vessels of Satan, and the most honored of all his members, they hastened to Christ. The prophet assigns the reason of the woes he had just pronounced. All the remnant - Theodotion: And upon Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of the heavens, and will scatter them toward all these winds, and there shall be no nation where the outcasts of Elam shall not come.
For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before her enemies; but it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the Lord. The violence was dealt out to the whole land or earth, and in it, to cities, and in each, one by one, to all its inhabitants. Babylon is called Jeremiah So Satan had by violence and deceit subdued the whole earth, yet Christ made him a spoil to those whom he had spoiled, and the strong man was bound and his goods Spoiled and himself trampled underfoot.
For the remnant of Israel was saved. If we, creatures of a day, had no one above us, Nebuchadnezzars boast had been true Daniel 4: Even as one sees in a picture the vast mounds which still remain, one can hardly imagine that they were, brick upon brick, wholly the work of man. To be delivered from the hand grasp of evil - that it should not be able to reach him. Evil is spoken of as a living power, which would seize him, whose grasp he would defy.
It was indeed a living power, since it was the will of Almighty God, whose servant and instrument Cyrus was, to chasten Babylon, when its sins were full. Such was the counsel, what the result? The evil covetousness which he worked, brought upon him the evil, from which, in that nest built by the hard toil of his captives, he thought to deliver himself. Thou hast consulted shame to thy house, the cutting off many people, and sinning against thy soul - The wicked, whether out of passion or with his whole mind and deliberate choice and will, takes that counsel, which certainly brings shame to himself and his house, according to the law of God, whereby, according to Exodus Is it not themselves, for the confusion of their faces?
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Holy Scripture overlooks the means, and places us at the end of all. He was bringing about, not only these short-lived, but the lasting ends beyond, and these far more than the others, since that is the real end of a thing which abides, in which it at last ends. The contemporaneousness of the act is expressed by the participle; the pronoun is omitted as in Habakkuk 1: For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it - All things have a voice, in that they are. Wherefore there are voices in things, although there are not words. Against Belshazzar the wall had, to the letter, words to speak.
Each three verses forming one stanza, as it were, of the dirge, the following words are probably not directly connected with the former, as if the woe, which follows, were, so to speak, the chant of these inanimate witnesses against the Chaldaeans; yet they stand connected with it. The dirge began with woe on the wrongful accumulation of wealth from the conquered and oppressed people: Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity!
And having fortified the city with wondrous works, and adorned the gates like temples, he built another palace near the palace of his fathers, surpassing it in height and its great magnificence. So there was an inward rottenness and decay in what seemed strong and majestic, and which imposed on the outward eye; it would not stand, but fell. Babylon, which had stood since the flood, being enlarged contrary to the eternal laws of God, fell in the reign of his son. Its aggrandizement and seeming strength is its fall. Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people nations shall labor - o In for the very fire - literally, to suffice the fire?
This is the whole result of their labor; and so it is as if they had toiled for this; they built ceiled palaces and gorgeous buildings, only for the fire to consume them. And the peoples shall weary themselves for very vanity - They wearied themselves, and what was their reward? What had they to suffice and fill them?
Near upon the first stage of the fulfillment, Jeremiah reinforces the words with the name of Babylon; Jeremiah The broad walls of Babylon, shall be utterly destroyed, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labor in vain for vanity , and the folk in for the fire, and they shall be weary. For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord - Habakkuk modifies in a degree the words of Isaiah which he embodies, marking that the destruction of Babylon was a stage only toward the coming of those good things which God taught His people to long for, not their very coming.
All the world should be then full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, not, as yet, wholly of Himself Jerome: So shall the whole earth be filled with the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the bottom of the sea. This as to the letter. But it is plain, that the Devil also and antichrist, and the perverse teaching of heretics, built a city in blood; i. Great as must be waters, which would cover the sea, or compared to which the sea were nothing, far greater is the miracle, when the abundance of heavenly wisdom, given to the simple, surpassed the sea, i.
From cruelty the prophet goes on to denounce the woe on insolence. The woe also falls on all, who in any way intoxicate others with flattering words or reigned affection, mixing poison under things pleasant, to bring them to shame. Thou art filled with shame for glory - Oppressors think to make themselves great by bringing others down, to fill themselves with riches, by spoiling others. They loved shame Hosea 4: Drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered - thy shame like those whom thou puttest to shame, only the greater in being uncircumcised.
So Jeremiah says, Jeremiah Man veils foul deeds under fair words; God, in His word, unveils the foulness. For the violence of Lebanon - i. Having become beasts, they shared their history. They spoiled, scared, laid waste, were destroyed. Violence returns upon the head of him who did it; they seem to raise a lofty fabric, but are buried under it. He sums up their past experience, what God had warned them beforehand, what they had found. What availed it ever but to draw down the wrath of God? Even so neither shall it profit the Chaldaean.
As their idols availed them not, so neither need they fear them. Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar were propagandists of their own belief and would destroy, if they could, all other worship, false or true: Nebuchadnezzar is thought to have set up his own image 2 Thessalonians 2: We may take warning at least by our own sins.
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If we had no profit at all from them, neither will the like profit others. For its priest gave it its voice, as its maker created its form. It could only seem to teach through the idol-priest. It is all one. Zechariah combines them Zechariah The thing made must needs he inferior to its maker. It was one of the corruptions of idolatry that the maker of his own work should trust in what was wholly his own creation, what, not God, but himself created, what had nothing but what it had from himself.