"The just shall live by his faith"
Habakkuk 2:2-4, 18-20
These few verses from an Old Testament book of only three chapters contain words that changed the course of history: “The just shall live by his faith.” They were quoted by Paul in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and in Hebrews 10:38. When Martin Luther encountered them, he exclaimed “I felt as if I were entirely born again and had entered paradise itself through the gates that had been flung open!” Before long, Luther’s understanding of Habakkuk’s words as quoted in Romans caused a reformation not only in the church, but in all of Western society.
And the LORD answered me, and said,
Write the vision,
and make it plain upon tables,
that he may run that readeth it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time,
but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:
though it tarry, wait for it;
because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him:
but the just shall live by his faith. . . .
What profiteth the graven image
that the maker thereof hath graven it;
the molten image, and a teacher of lies,
that the maker of his work trusteth therein,
to make dumb idols?
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.