Against the warning of Isaiah against alliances that lead to idolatry and its prophecies on the end of Israel, Judah and the great empires, Israel is contending : God does nothing to defend his rights. But the Creator God, eternal, unfathomable, is God from all eternity. He lives and acts infinitely beyond human limitations. He directs the nations according to his will. To those who do not rely on their own abilities but trust in him, he gives the courage, strength and patience to overcome the difficult moments, not to weaken but to continue.
Discouraged by the Babylonian invasion, the people of Judah heard a surprising prophecy. Habakkuk announces the destruction of the kingdom and exile because of idolatry. He also prophesies a return home for those who will be faithful to God.
In difficult days, when God seems far away or indifferent, when everything goes wrong and one loses courage, one can choose to “live by one’s faith” and this faith saves.
“The righteous will live by faith,” a revelation of the righteousness of God, a power of the Gospel understood by Luther as justification by grace, received by faith.
Starting point: death of Jesus on the cross, confidence in this substitution;
Acquisition: God’s free gift, repentance and trust
Permanence: God’s fidelity to His Word, trusting to God.