Hebrews 10:37-38 contains words from Habakkuk 2:3-4. The author of Hebrews was using a translation in the Greek language. That is why the words in the Book of Hebrews are a little different from the same passage in Habakkuk.
Habakkuk, in his book, first expressed his sad feelings about the people in Judah. Wicked people had become very powerful there. And it seemed as if God was doing nothing about it.
God replied that he would certainly act. He would send the army from Babylon against the evil ruler of Judah.
Habakkuk spoke to God for a second time. The army from Babylon was a very cruel and evil enemy. They would attack good people and bad people alike. The people who were loyal to God would suffer, too.
God replied that, in the end, his knowledge would fill the earth. But the attack by Babylonís army was not the end. At the proper time, he would punish Babylonís cruelty.
Habakkuk 2:3-4 comes in the middle of Godís second reply. God says that he is bringing about these things. They will not happen immediately. But they will happen soon and, at that time, there will be no delay.
The author of Hebrews says that the meaning is not just an event. It is not just an event that is coming, but a person. Christ is coming to carry out his judgement against the evil forces that rule this world (Revelation chapters 18 and 19).
But until then, everyone will suffer troubles, including Godís people. That is why Godís people must trust God constantly (Hebrews 10:38).
These words would have seemed very real to the author of Hebrews and his original readers. Almost 700 years had passed since Habakkuk wrote his book. But the situation in Judah (now called Judea) was again very similar.
The first Christians had declared Godís good news there for about 40 years. Many people believed; but most people refused to believe it. And the most powerful people opposed cruelly those people who were loyal to God.
Now, again, a cruel enemy was ready to attack Judea. This time, it was the army from Rome. And they were much more wicked than the people in Judea.
So Godís people were again asking how they could live through such terrible times. And Godís answer was the same. They must live by faith (by active belief and trust in God).
Next part: Constant faith (Hebrews 10:38)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.