The Berean Expositor
Volume 8 - Page 32 of 141
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This word comes as a message to ourselves. If by the grace of God we are numbered
among "the just", if we have been justified "by faith", then during the days of this
world's sunshine or tempest, peace or violence, we are called upon "to live by faith". To
us the vision has been made plain; we grasp the precious fact that He is working out His
purpose, however silent the heavens may be. We learn that prayer is not to be looked
upon as a power for making God alter His set time to suit our convenience. Prayer is not
only "crying", but prayer is "waiting" (the marginal reading of Psa. 37: 7 is very
beautiful, "Be silent to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him"). The just one who lives by
his faith while grieved by violence and oppression, waits patiently, and is silent to his
God. Unbelief calls upon God to vindicate His character, faith knows that "at the end it
will speak and not lie"; unbelief says to its idols, "awake", but faith knows that the Lord
is in His holy temple, and says, "Let all the earth keep silence before Him" (Hab. 2: 20).
Did Habakkuk learn the lesson? Chapter 3: is largely taken up with his Psalm, and
the concluding portion (verses 17-19), will abundantly answer our question. Listen to the
words of implicit trust even though all things around are failing and perishing. Chapter 1:
emphasizes "the things seen", chapter 3: closes with a faith that looks beyond to "things
not seen".
"Although the fig-tree shall not blossom,
Neither shall fruit be in the vines;
The labour of the olive shall fail,
And the fields shall yield no meat:
The flock shall be cut off from the fold,
And there shall be no herd in the stalls;
Here is the righteous "living by his faith". The lesson has been learned, and God
alone is the object of his trust; instead of despairing at such a terrible blight and
visitation, faith knows that the Lord is in His holy temple. Circumstances may change,
but we trust in the One who is above circumstances, He changes not. "The Lord God is
my strength", and while He abideth faithful we may well be "content".
Such is the context of the oft-quoted words, "the just shall live by faith"; we pray that
"like precious faith" may be the increasing portion of all who seek to "adorn the doctrine
of God our Saviour in all things".