Habakkuk 2

Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand upon my watch

The prophet Habakkuk declares his faith, when he declares, “I will stand upon my watch.”  The Lord commands us in the Law section of the D&C, “Thou shalt stand in the place of thy stewardship.”  For Habakkuk, that was on the tower where he was to write and declare the vision.  Each of us need to stand upon our watch, to stand in the place of our stewardship.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Some years ago in our meetinghouse in Darmstadt, Germany, a group of brethren was asked to move a grand piano from the chapel to the adjoining cultural hall, where it was needed for a musical event. None were professional movers, and the task of getting that gravity-friendly instrument through the chapel and into the cultural hall seemed nearly impossible. Everybody knew that this task required not only physical strength but also careful coordination. There were plenty of ideas, but not one could keep the piano balanced correctly. They repositioned the brethren by strength, height, and age over and over again—nothing worked.

As they stood around the piano, uncertain of what to do next, a good friend of mine, Brother Hanno Luschin, spoke up. He said, “Brethren, stand close together and lift where you stand.”

It seemed too simple. Nevertheless, each lifted where he stood, and the piano rose from the ground and moved into the cultural hall as if on its own power. That was the answer to the challenge. They merely needed to stand close together and lift where they stood.

I have often thought of Brother Luschin’s simple idea and have been impressed by its profound truth . . . “lift where you stand.” (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2008/10/lift-where-you-stand?lang=eng)

Habakkuk 2:4 the just shall live by . . . faith

After telling us that Nebuchadnezzar is lifted up in pride, the Lord reminds the just to live by faith in God not in the power of man.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The Apostle Paul, quoting an Old Testament prophet, summarized what it means to be a believer when he wrote, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

Perhaps in this simple statement we understand the difference between a religion that is frail and ineffectual and one that has the power to transform lives.

But to understand what it means to live by faith, we must understand what faith is.

Faith is more than belief. It is complete trust in God accompanied by action.

It is more than wishing.

It is more than merely sitting back, nodding our heads, and saying we agree. When we say “the just shall live by faith,” we mean we are guided and directed by our faith. We act in a manner that is consistent with our faith—not out of a sense of thoughtless obedience but out of a confident and sincere love for our God and for the priceless wisdom He has revealed to His children.

Faith must be accompanied by action; else it has no life (see James 2:17). It is not faith at all. It doesn’t have the power to change a single individual, let alone the world. (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2017/04/the-just-shall-live-by-faith?lang=eng)

George Q. Cannon

If we thus live day by day—for it is written that the just shall live by faithjavascript:void(0) (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17) if we thus live day by day, I tell you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no power upon the earth or in hell that can disturb the peace, the quietude, the prosperity and success of this people or interrupt the progress of this great and glorious work of our God. I dare prophesy that in the name of Jesus Christ, for I know that it will be justified, every word of it. God has stretched forth his hand to accomplish a work, and that work will roll forth. (Journal of Discourses, 23:271, Oct. 8, 1882)

Habakkuk 2:8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee

Again, this probably refers to the downfall of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian loss of power to Cyrus the Persian in 539 BC. 

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters over the sea

The internet and the Millennium will take care of the fulfillment of this prophecy. Only then will the earth be filled with the knowledge of God.  To know his glory suggests familiarity with the brilliance of his glorified and resurrected body, as those who have seen him with their own eyes.   Jesus prayed, “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

James E. Faust

This is our day and time. I believe the future holds greater blessings for mankind than ever before. I rejoice in this great outpouring of spiritual knowledge, when “the earth [is being] filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Knowledge and intelligence are dropping “as the gentle rain from heaven” (William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, act 4, scene 1, 185. See also  Deut. 32:2) to bless all of our lives. We should seize every opportunity to move forward in faith, looking beyond the year 2000 into a future bright with hope, acknowledging that all good gifts come by divine providence. With such increased knowledge comes a higher responsibility. If we work hard, wisely manage our personal stewardships, and live providently, the Lord will prosper us in our use of this heightened knowledge to advance His holy work. (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1999/05/this-is-our-day?lang=eng)

Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink

Spencer W. Kimball

Emily Post said: "Nothing is in worse taste than forcing any guest either to take alcohol or else to sit conspicuously empty-handed."

They are poor hosts and hostesses who embarrass their guests. The hostess who serves liquor at her dinner table to "liven up her guests" is insulting them. It is as though she were saying, "I knew you would not be interesting and sociable without it."

In Proverbs we read:

"Look not thou upon the wine when it is red. . . . it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder" Prov. 23:31-32

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? . . .

"They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine" Prov. 23:29-30

It would appear now that wine manufacturers are designing to do what cigarette manufacturers did in the past—to bring wine to every table, in every hospital, in every social gathering.

General [John J.] Pershing said, "Drunkenness has killed more men than all of history's wars."

Dr. Sam Morris says, "Murder, robbery, rape, stealing, embezzlement, graft, pay-offs in political corruption—these are daily headlines in the newspapers . . . liquor is the major culprit."

Abraham Lincoln said, "I'd rather lose my right hand than sign a document to perpetuate the liquor traffic." (Conference Report, October 1967, pp. 29-34)

Russell M. Nelson

Certainly modern medical research validates the physical benefits of obedience to the Word of Wisdom . . . The Word of Wisdom is a spiritual law. To the obedient He proclaimed: “I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.” D&C 89:21 . . .

The Lord has revealed His sacred standard to guide people in a troubled world. You and I were born free to follow His divine guidance. We may choose for ourselves. Those choices may bring addiction or freedom. (Conference Report, October 1988, 6)

Habakkuk 2:18-19  What profiteth the graven image

Elder Gary B. Sabin

Habakkuk, a prophet who lived about a century after Isaiah, continued to plead with Israel to let go of their false idols and worship the only true God:

“Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

“But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:19–20).

Zephaniah also warned Israel to repent before it was too late: “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath” (Zephaniah 1:18).

We may say of ancient idol worship, “Yes, but that was then. I would never be so foolish!” But what do we worship today? If we are to have “no other gods” before Him, then rightfully God should be that which we value most. Can we say that is true for each of us?

The Lord told Hyrum Smith, through the Prophet Joseph: “Seek not for riches but for wisdom; and, behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich” (D&C 11:7).

If our greatest desire is for money, sports, music, fame, entertainment, praise, or popularity, then we risk having them become our own graven images, replacing or taking priority over God and His plan for us. We may find ourselves “in over our heads” with the concerns of the world, lacking the clarity of thought to let go of those things that weigh us down and keep us from being spiritually safe. (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2018/06/place-your-trust-in-him?lang=eng)

Habakkuk 2:20 the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalms 46:10) If you were in the temple in the very presence of the Lord, what would be your demeanor?  Wouldn’t you sit there in stunned silence waiting for any word from his mouth?  When we realize the Lord is in charge, when we know he is watching us, we shut our mouths and listen. We can’t fool Him, and we know it.  Justice is never in the mood for negotiation, so we sit in reverent silence before Him, hopefully filled with gratitude and emboldened by confidence, with bowels full of charity towards all men and virtue garnishing our thoughts unceasingly. (D&C 121:45)