The cry for justice (Hab 1:2-1:4)

“O Yahweh!

How long

Shall I cry for help?

You will not listen.

I cry to you.

‘Violence!’

You will not save me.

Why do you make me

See wrongdoing?

Why do you make me

Look at trouble?

Destruction is before me.

Violence is before me.

Strife arises

Contention arises.

So,

The law becomes slack.

Justice never prevails.

The wicked surround

The righteous.

Therefore,

Judgment

Comes forth perverted!”

Habakkuk complained to Yahweh that there was no justice in the land.  He wanted to know how long he would have to cry to be heard by Yahweh, since Yahweh did not seem to listen to him.  Habakkuk has cried out about this violence, but there was no one to save him.  Why did he have to see so much wrongdoing and trouble?  There were all kinds of destruction and violence all around him, since his life was full of strife and contention.  The law had become slack, so that justice did not prevail.  The wicked were in fact surrounding the righteous, so that there were only perverted judgments, not true justice from Yahweh.

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The curses (Jer 48:10-48:10)

“Cursed be

The one

Who is slack

In doing

The work of Yahweh!

Cursed be

The one

Who keeps back

The sword

From bloodshed.”

Jeremiah seems to indicate here that you should not be slack in doing the work of Yahweh. Since the work of Yahweh here is killing the Moabites, holding back your sword from bringing bloodshed would mean that you would be cursed also.

The strong tower of Yahweh (Prov 18:9-18:12)

“Whoever is slack in his work

Is close kin to a vandal.

The name of Yahweh is a strong tower.

The righteous run into it.

The righteous are safe.

The wealth of the rich is their strong city.

They image wealth like a protective high wall.

Before destruction

One’s heart is haughty.

But humility goes before honor.”

If you are slack in your work, you are like a vandal stealing from your employer. The name of Yahweh is like a strong tower. The righteous run to this tower of Yahweh where they are safe. The rich people live in a strong city. They believe that their wealth is like a protective wall for them. Generally speaking, one’s heart is haughty or proud before the destruction comes. Humility should go before honors.