Wisely does Habakkuk announce he will wait on God to answer, for the Lord does all things in His own good time. We struggle to understand how the Hebrew mind viewed time so differently. The hand of God moves when time is ripe, not according to predetermined scheduling. It is neither clock-driven nor event-driven, but justice-driven. Wise men understand larger events only seem caused by great men, or men in great numbers. In reality, it is God who works through the hearts of both good and evil. But there is a difference in how the just and unjust see the things God does. The prophet knows he’ll be corrected, and prepares his heart to respond appropriately.
Pedantic literalism misses the point here. God warns Habakkuk he could write the revelation on stone without fear it would be wrong. He could make sure it was publicized to any and all, and not be embarrassed by how it turns out later. The real challenge is not the message, but waiting on God. Men are the most impatient of creatures. To us, it seems God is heartless in delaying the revelation of His truth, but in His eyes the problem is our truculent folly. It’s not as if God isn’t aware of our time sense, but is hardly moved by it. Thus, He restates the general principle: An upright heart will always find God faithful, but an unjust man will never get what he really wants. It’s not about events and property, but about communion with God.
So Habakkuk should expect to see the Babylonians insatiable and utterly rapacious. They will consume like a fire and never get enough, yet in the end, this very thing will become a joke. This signature lack of contentment will be what destroys them, because they won’t be able to keep any of their plunder very long. The Babylonian Empire stood less than a century. There was nothing wrong with their learning, nor any failure in the genius of her rulers, but her dark soul was empty and dead even while she lived.
God will never allow His glory to be muted. Even when it seems all the world assails His Name, He rules. Is it not odd how so many take advantage of human weakness to dominate and oppress, and forget their own vulnerabilities? Whatever human talent can raise up, God can easily trump when He’s ready. You cannot exploit His Creation without His justice noting whether you seek His glory or your own. Humanity so quickly forgets and worships their own hands, or what those hands can produce. How quickly Creation forgets and wipes away the greatest accomplishments of humanity, yet bows reflexively to the Creator!