Habakkuk’s Woe to Babylon


Habakkuk continues in Chapter two declaring the coming ruin of Babylon for the deploring acts they have committed, namely creating idols for worship and seeking their own selfish ambitions at the cost of their integrity. He picks up the thread from chapter one where he declares his complaints to God. This section in chapter two is more of a specific warning against turning to our own ways and not seeking the Lord’s guidance. He says:

Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own…

woe to him who gets evil gain for his house…

woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity…

woe to him who makes his neighbors drink…

woe to him who says to a wooden thing, awake; to a silent stone arise…” Habakkuk 2:6-19

Are not the Chaldeans, those in Babylon, who Habakkuk is addressing turning their guidance towards their own fallen reason and away from that inscrutable wisdom of God that He calls us to seek. Did not Habakkuk earlier in chapter two state that it is our duty to retreat from the wisdom of the world, which is folly in God’s eyes as Proverbs so frequently expresses, and seek the wisdom of God from the recess of the “watchtower?” All of these woe’s find the people seeking their own gain apart from God. They even seek a new God in a wooden and stone idol. How does God not demolish them with his just rod and sword. God, the creator of all humanity and everything in the earth, finds Himself spit out by the people, for they would rather have a lesser god in an idol than the God that created them. More than that, the wood and stone which God created is now being abused and misused against the purpose for which He created it. Is this not the folly of mankind? Were we not created to know God, our father and savior, more deeply than any of us do? We were created to be in constant relationship with Him, to seek our wisdom and guidance in a patient posture from the workings of His hands. We were. Yet we use the life God has given us to seek things other than our Lord and Savior which our mind was created to meditate on. Here is an image that explains this well: a river raft was created for floating and rafting a river. It would not work well, or at all, if I were to strap rope to it and tie it to a harness on my waist and jump off a roof and hope it would bring me safely to the ground. It was not created to be a parachute. In the same way we were not created to seek our selfish desires, we were not created to turn our backs on our maker. We were created to glorify God and to seek sanctification in our relationship with Him. May we be reminded why we were created and take pleasure in fulfilling our created nature, coming to know our God and father better than we could have ever hoped. He has given us the ability in Christ to break free from our bondage to sin and evil and turn towards good and love. May we remember that wood and stone idols do nothing but ruin ourselves. Amen.

(ORIGINALLY POSTED: June 10th, 2008)

#Idols #Ruin #God #Habakkuk #Babylon