Habakkuk voiced a complaint to the LORD, in that he cried out against violence and injustice, and God did not hear; that He looked on and did nothing while the wicked surround the righteous.
God gave him His answer: that He was raising up the Chaldeans, or Babylonians. God had been prophesying, through Isaiah and others, that judgment was coming on Judah and Jerusalem because she had forsaken the LORD. But then the world power, Assyria, was overthrown, and perhaps this caused the wicked to be emboldened in his wickedness, and to think that no judgment could possibly be coming upon them because Assyria was no more. Thus the occasion for Habakkuk’s complaint. God is assuring the prophet that all His words will stand:
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.” Hab 2:3
Even in his complaint, Habakkuk kept his heart right before the LORD, acknowledging that what his eyes seemed to see, that the wicked prospered and the law was powerless, could not stand, because the LORD cannot look on wickedness (Hab 1:13). He acknowledged that after he laid his complaint before the LORD, he would stand and watch to see what His answer to him would be, which would correct his faulty conclusions, that were leading him to despair in what he was witnessing (Hab 2:1).
Wow, that we had a heart like Habakkuk’s! Instead of losing faith in God or His promises (that is the end result of dismay or despair in the face of our circumstances!), that we could just lay out our perceptions before Him without recriminating Him, and wait for Him to correct us, and show us where the enemy has lied to us!
The LORD’s answer to Habakkuk is to wait for the accomplishment of His Word, because it will come to pass — the righteous live by faith in Him (Hab 2:4). We have not seen the end of everything God has promised us — yet. In fact all the patriarchs died without seeing the accomplishment of God’s promises (Heb 11:13, 11:39-40).
And what is the end of all God’s promises to us?
“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.” Hab 2:14