4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith. 5 “Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man, And he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples. 6 “Will not all these take up a proverb against him, And a taunting riddle against him, and say, `Woe to him who increases What is not his– how long? And to him who loads himself with many pledges ‘? 7 Will not your creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you, Because of men’s blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it. (Hab 2:4-8 NKJ)
Behold the proud: Habakkuk wondered why Babylon – a nation even more sinful than Judah – would be used to bring judgment to Judah. In answering the prophet, God first assures him that He sees the proud, and knows that his soul is not upright in him.
- · Pride is everywhere and takes all manner of shapes.
- · Here is the rich man, proud of what he has
- · There is the poor man, proud of his “honor” in having less
- · Here is the talented man, proud of what he can do
- · There is the man of few talents, proud of his hard work
- · Here is the religious man, proud of his religion
- · There is the unbeliever, proud of his unbelief
- · Here is the establishment man, proud of his place in society
- · There is the counter-cultural man, proud of his “outcast” status
- · Here is the learned man, proud of his intelligence and learning
Judah’s pride came before their fall. Babylon was proud and down they came.
And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!” Then he answered and said, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground.” (Isa 21:9 NKJ)
And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (Rev 14:8 NKJ)
Babylon in Isaiah and Habakkuk refer to the natural, and Revelation looks at Babylon in terms of the Roman Empire, a world system consumed with its own self-importance—would eventually collapse.