Habakkuk 2

1“I will stand like a guard and watch. I will wait to see what the Lord will say to me. I will wait and learn how he answers my questions.” 2The Lord answered me, “Write down what I show you. Write clearly on a sign so people can read it easily. 3This message is about a special time in the future. This message is about the end, and it will come true! ˻It may seem like that time will never come.˼ But be patient and wait for it. That time will come. It will not be late. 4This message can’t help people that refuse to listen to it. But a ˻good person will believe this message. And the˼ good person will live because of his faith.” 5˻God said,˼ “Wine can trick a person. In the same way, a strong man’s pride can fool him. But he will not find peace. He is like death—he always wants more and more. And, like death, he will never be satisfied. He will continue defeating other nations. He will continue to make those people his prisoners. 6But soon enough, all of those people will laugh at him. They will tell stories about his defeat. They will laugh and say, 'It’s too bad that the man who took so many things will not get to keep them! He made himself rich collecting debts.’ 7“˻Strong man,˼ you have taken money from people. One day those people will wake up and realize what is happening. And they will stand against you. Then they will take things from you. And you will be very afraid. 8You have stolen things from many nations. So those people will take much from you. You have killed many people. You have destroyed lands and cities. You have killed all the people there. 9Yes, it will be very bad for the person that becomes rich by doing wrong. That person does those things to live in a safe place. He thinks that he can stop other people from stealing from him. ˻But bad things will happen to him.˼ 10“You have made plans to destroy many people. But those plans will bring shame to your house. You have done bad things, and you will lose your life. 11The stones of the walls will cry out against you. Even the wooden rafters in your own house will agree that you are wrong. 12“It will be very bad for the leader that does wrong and kills people to build a city. 13The Lord All-Powerful has decided that a fire will destroy everything that those people worked to build. All their work will be for nothing. 14Then people everywhere will know about the Glory of the Lord. This news will spread like water spreads out into the sea. 15It will be very bad for that person that becomes angry and then makes other people suffer. In anger, that person knocks other people to the ground. And he treats those people like they are naked and drunk. 16“But that person will know the Lord’s anger. That anger will be like a cup of poison in the Lord’s right hand. That person will taste that anger and then he will fall to the ground like a drunk person. “Evil ruler, you will drink from that cup. You will get shame, not honor. 17You hurt many people in Lebanon. You stole many animals there. So you will be afraid because of the people that died and because of the bad things you did to that country. You will be afraid because of the things you did to those cities and to the people that lived in those cities.” 18That person’s false god will not help him. Why? Because it is only a statue that some man covered with metal. It is only a statue. So the person that made it can’t expect it to help. That statue can’t even speak! 19It will be very bad for the person that says to a wooden statue, “Get up!” It will be very bad for the person that says to a stone that can’t speak, “Wake up!” Those things can’t help him. That statue may be covered with gold and silver, but there is no life in that statue. 20˻But the Lord is different˼! The Lord is in his holy temple. So all the earth should be silent and show respect in front of the Lord.

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