Habakkuk – Chapter 2 – Perspective

I wrote the following paragraph in my last post.

So if the Bible isn’t about us, then what is it about? In a sentence, it is a record of what God has done, what He is currently doing, and what He will do in the future. The central figure in this massive literary work is God Himself. The theme of the book is God’s interaction with His creation. The focus of the Bible is eternal, so if you are treating it like a Christianized self-help book you are misunderstanding the message. The Bible corrects our perspective by demonstrating God to be the center of the universe, not us.

Essentially, I was challenging our perspective of the Bible. We make it about us, I contend it is about God. I would like to take a few minutes and consider how we perceive the Bible. More specifically, let’s consider how we view the Old and New Testaments and how they fit as a whole.




  1. the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
    “a perspective drawing”

  2. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
    “most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”
synonyms: outlook, view, viewpoint, point of view, standpoint, position, stand, stance, angle, slant, attitude, frame of mind, frame of reference, approach, way of looking/thinking, vantage point, interpretation

“her perspective on everything had been changing”

(Google dictionary search)

Sometimes I feel like a Salmon swimming upstream when it comes to trying to get people to pay attention to the Old Testament. Maybe the problem is with the word old. Why mess around in the old when there is something new to consider? Maybe the problem is with the naming convention we use. The word testament is actually more of a Greek representation of the two works. The two parts of the Bible are more accurately representative of New and Old Covenants rather than testaments.

Many modern day Christians view the Old Testament as historical or simply as a prelude to the New Testament and see little value in spending time in it today. There are many problems with marginalizing the Old Testament. Maybe the main problem is that the New Testament authors and characters spend a significant amount of time connecting the “scriptures”, or the Old Testament to the then modern day events records for us as the New Testament.

Let’s look at a verse of scripture in the book of Habakkuk which demonstrates a truth applicable in both the Old and New Covenants.

Habakkuk 2:4

          4 “Behold the proud,

   His soul is not upright in him;

   But the just shall live by his faith.


Feel free to read the surrounding verses for context. In this one sentence that makes up verse four, the author introduces a contrast between the proud man and the man who lives by faith. Let’s make a few observations.

The first word we encounter is “behold”. Look at or notice the proud [man]. What is it that the author wants to draw our attention to concerning the proud man? The fact that his soul is not upright in him.

The Hebrew word for proud is עָפַל and means to swell up, or to be tumid. The direct effect of this swollenness is it causes his soul not to be upright. Upright is יָשַׁר which means straight or direct.

In contrast to this “crooked” proud man is the just man that lives by his faith. Wait a second! What doesn’t that last sentence fragment say? It does not say, “the just shall live by the law”. Isn’t that what you would expect of the Old Testament just person? Shouldn’t they be living according to the Old Testament law? What is the concept of faith doing in the Old Covenant section of scripture?

The word faith, the concept of faith is here in the Old Testament because the law never justified anyone, ever. The just or the justified live by faith. Paul, in the book of Romans, quotes Habakkuk 2:4.

Romans 1:17

     17   For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”


Why is the proud man’s soul not straight? Why is it twisted up and crooked? It’s because he is attempting to live by his own merits, his pride or swollen opinion of himself.

Let’s read Romans 1:16 and 17 together.

          16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

          17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”


Do you see that? This concept of living by faith is directly tied to the gospel of [Jesus] Christ. Doesn’t that give us a different perspective on Habakkuk 2:4? That Old Testament verse is talking about the New Testament truth of salvation through Christ!

Consider one more New Testament direct reference to Habakkuk 2:4.

Hebrews 10:38

          38 Now the just shall live by faith;

   But if anyone draws back,

   My soul has no pleasure in him.”


I’m not going to take the time to study through these verses exhaustively, but I hope you see that the Old Testament and the New Testament are inextricably linked together. This single verse in Habakkuk is only one evidence of many in support of the idea.

Don’t ignore the Old Testament. It’s not really Old. It is apart of the living Word of God.

Hebrews 4:12

     12   For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


Don’t you just love the Word of God?


All Scripture Quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

2 Replies to "Habakkuk - Chapter 2 - Perspective"

  • Roger Streifel
    May 2, 2019 (2:05 pm)

    Well done! Hebrews 10:38 would be a Christian choosing to sin but of course not lose his Salvation. The Lord is stating his hatred for the sin that evolves from disobedience(drawing back).

  • Roger Streifel
    May 2, 2019 (2:06 pm)

    The just=“a justified Christian” in heb. 10:38

Got something to say?

Some html is OK