Habakkuk's dialogue with Deity
1st March 2008, hej
2) Why is there suffering?
The answer from Yahweh is a comfort to us. Suffering is but for a short time, and those that 'see' will wait know it. Yahweh answered Habakkuk for us also,
For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hurries toward the end, and won't prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won't delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up. It is not upright in him, but the righteous will live by his faith. (WEB, Hab 2:3-4).
We are told quite simply that the evil of mankind is not of Yahweh. That evil is the outworking of mankind's own greed and ambition.
Behold, isn't it of Yahweh of Armies that the peoples labor for the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity? (WEB, Hab 2:13)
Instead the plan and purpose is:
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea. (WEB, Hab 2:14).
The purpose is that the current evil would, for those who wait for it, be replaced with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh. That this knowledge of Yahweh would fill the earth entirely. We know from other scripture how this is to be done. They shall hear a word to walk in it (Isaiah 30:21) and preachers will be sent to speak the Word (Romans 10:10-18).
To emphasise the point of the control Yahweh has, Yahweh points out to Judah that they will soon experience the invasion that Lebanon had experienced. Their violence would be punished by violence. And those who trust in their idols would be shown their idol was vanity. They would see the power of Yahweh, who before things happened told them (Isaiah 42:9).
Woe to him who says to the wood, 'Awake!' or to the mute stone, 'Arise!' Shall this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in its midst. But Yahweh is in his holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before him!" (WEB, Hab 2:19-20).
As yet Yahweh is not his His Holy Temple, and the earth is not 'silent' or obedient before Him. This is a picture of the future. This answer must have satisfied Habakkuk's concerns as the next chapter is a prayer of thanks.