When the LORD God of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this searching truth to Habakkuk, he added an explanation as to why the thriving of the wicked is, in all reality, a deceitful illusion. He gave five reasons – (A), (B), (C), (D) and (E) in bold above. Five reasons why “woe” – “misery” – is awaiting the wicked.
Reason (A) The accumulation of wealth (so very often at the expense of others) is only temporary. The LORD God describes this person why as being “loaded with pledges” and goes on to say that his “debtors” – those who have a just claim against him – “will suddenly arise”. This has repeatedly occurred in history: the barbarians rose against Rome; the Russian serfs against the Romanovs. Would it be just if the 1.2 billion starving globally today rose against the all-powerful Western asset holders?
Reason (B) When, in order to obtain security, people fence themselves in and live in exclusive places so as to be safe and superior, they are living by excluding others from a living (“cutting them off”). They would actually receive, through others, the misery of their own exclusion from life itself.
Reason (C) This forecast of “woe” relates to empire-building by nations, collective ventures or alliances. In the explanation to Habakkuk the LORD God disclosed that he has ordained that all such will continue to fall one after the other. “Empires” and “emporiums” will continue to be defeated by others more ruthless or clever than they are. History confirms this. Where Is Marxist-Leninist Russia? Where Enron? Where global accountants Arthur Anderson?
Reason (D) For what reason is misery forecast for those who “make their neighbours drink in order to gaze on their nakedness”? What are these folk actually doing? Throughout the centuries and now there are those who entice people into harm so as to exploit them. They encourage alcoholism so as to gain profit on drink-sales – for their shareholders. They (and their shareholders) entice into gambling – encouraged by governments because of the taxation revenues. The LORD explained that misery will be inevitable because what they did to others will be done to them. Enticed into harm.
Reason (E) The final forecast of “woe” is to those who live entirely for and with the things they have made. The misery in store is that assets don’t speak, aren’t awake and cannot act. Misery because they can’t do, they aren’t alive. The LORD God has decreed that these will not save those who rely on them.