Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Habakkuk
Book: Habakkuk
Chapter: 2

Habakkuk must wait in Faith. (1-4) Judgments upon the
Chaldeans. (5-14) Also upon drunkenness and Idolatry. (15-20)

1-4 When tossed and perplexed with doubts about the methods of
Providence, we must watch against temptations to be impatient.
When we have poured out complaints and requests before God, we
must observe the answers God gives By his Word, his Spirit, and
providences; what the Lord will say to our case. God will not
disappoint the believing expectations of those who wait to hear
what he will say unto them. All are concerned in the truths of
God's Word. Though the promised favour be deferred long, it will
come at last, and abundantly recompense us for waiting. The
humble, broken-hearted, repenting sinner, alone seeks to obtain
an interest in this Salvation. He will Rest his soul On the
promise, and On Christ, in and through whom it is given. Thus he
walks and Works, as Well as lives By Faith, perseveres to the
End, and is exalted to Glory; while those who distrust or
despise God's all-sufficiency will not walk uprightly with him.
The just shall live By Faith in these precious promises, while
the performance of them is deferred. Only those made just By
Faith, shall live, shall be happy here and for ever.

5-14 The Prophet reads the doom of all proud and oppressive
powers that Bear hard upon God's people. The lusts of the Flesh,
the Lust of the Eye, and the pride of Life, are the entangling
snares of men; and we find him that led Israel Captive, himself
led Captive By each of these. No more of what we have is to be
reckoned ours, than what we come honestly By. Riches are but
Clay, Thick Clay; what are Gold and Silver but White and yellow
Earth? Those who travel through Thick Clay, are hindered and
dirtied in their Journey; So are those who go through the world
in the midst of abundance of wealth. And what fools are those
that Burden themselves with continual care about it; with a
great Deal of guilt in getting, saving, and spending it, and
with a heavy account which they must give another Day! They
overload themselves with this Thick Clay, and So sink themselves
down into Destruction and perdition. See what will be the End
hereof; what is gotten By violence from others, others shall
take away By violence. Covetousness brings disquiet and
uneasiness into a family; he that is greedy of gain troubles his
own House; what is worse, it brings the Curse of God upon all
the affairs of it. There is a lawful gain, which, By the
blessing of God, may be a comfort to a House; but what is got By
fraud and injustice, will bring poverty and ruin upon a family.
Yet that is not the worst; Thou hast sinned against thine own
soul, hast endangered it. Those who wrong their neighbours, do
much greater wrong to their own souls. If the sinner thinks he
has managed his frauds and violence with art and contrivance,
the riches and possessions he heaped together will Witness
against him. There are not greater drudges in the world than
those who are slaves to mere worldly pursuits. And what comes of
it? They find themselves disappointed of it, and disappointed in
it; they will own it is worse than vanity, it is vexation of
Spirit. By staining and sinking earthly Glory, God manifests and
magnifies his own Glory, and fills the Earth with the knowledge
of it, as plentifully as waters cover The Sea, which are Deep,
and spread far and wide.

15-20 A severe woe is pronounced against drunkenness; it is
very fearful against all who are guilty of drunkenness at any
time, and in any place, from the stately Palace to the paltry
ale-House. To give one Drink who is in want, who is thirsty and
Poor, or a weary traveller, or ready to perish, is Charity; but
to give a neighbour Drink, that he may expose himself, may
disclose secret concerns, or be drawn into a bad bargain, or for
any such purpose, this is wickedness. To be guilty of this Sin,
to take pleasure in it, is to do what we can towards the Murder
both of soul and body. There is woe to him, and Punishment
answering to the Sin. The folly of worshipping idols is exposed.
The Lord is in his holy Temple in Heaven, where we have access
to him in the way he has appointed. May we welcome his
Salvation, and Worship him in his earthly temples, through
Christ Jesus, and By the influence of the Holy Spirit.