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Jehovah Will Not Delay!

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“Even if [the vision] should delay, keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.”—HABAKKUK 2:3.

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“AT MY guard post I will keep standing.” That was the resolve of God’s prophet Habakkuk. (Habakkuk 2:1) Jehovah’s people of the 20th century have shown that same determination. Hence, they have responded zealously to this call sounded at a landmark convention in September 1922: “This is the day of all days. Behold, the King reigns! You are his publicity agents. Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise, the King and his kingdom.”

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As Jehovah’s Witnesses sound God’s warning today, they must be ever alert to heed the concluding words of Jesus’ great prophecy: “Keep on the watch, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at cockcrowing or early in the morning; in order that when he arrives suddenly, he does not find you sleeping. But what I say to you I say to all, Keep on the watch.” (Mark 13:35-37) Like Habakkuk, and in harmony with Jesus’ words, we must keep on the watch!

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The First of Five Dramatic Woes

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Through his prophet Habakkuk, Jehovah proceeds to announce a series of five woes, judgments that must be carried out in preparing the earth for habitation by God’s faithful worshipers. Such righthearted ones ‘lift up a proverbial saying’ that Jehovah presents. We read at Habakkuk 2:6: “Woe to him who is multiplying what is not his own—O how long!—and who is making debt heavy against himself!”

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Here the emphasis is on unrighteous gain. In the world around us, the rich grow richer, and the poor grow poorer. Drug dealers and swindlers amass great fortunes, while many of the common people starve. One fourth of the world’s population is said to live below the poverty line. Living conditions are appalling in many countries. Those who yearn for righteousness on earth exclaim: “O how long” these iniquities have been multiplying! Yet, the end is at hand! Indeed, the vision “will not be late.”

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The Second Woe

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The second woe, recorded at Habakkuk 2:9-11, falls on “the one that is making evil gain for his house, in order to set his nest on the height, so as to be delivered from the grasp of what is calamitous!” Dishonest gain will be of no avail, as the psalmist makes clear: “Do not be afraid because some man gains riches, because the glory of his house increases, for at his death he cannot take along anything at all; his glory will not go down along with him himself.” (Psalm 49:16, 17) Noteworthy, then, is Paul’s wise advice: “Give orders to those who are rich in the present system of things not to be high-minded, and to rest their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who furnishes us all things richly for our enjoyment.”—1 Timothy 6:17.

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The Third Woe and the Issue of Bloodguilt

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The third woe announced through Habakkuk takes up the issue of bloodguilt. Says Habakkuk 2:12: “Woe to the one that is building a city by bloodshed, and that has solidly established a town by unrighteousness!” In this system of things, unrighteousness and bloodshed often accompany each other. Notably, the world’s religions have been responsible for the most heinous bloodbaths of history. We have only to mention the Crusades, which pitted so-called Christians against Muslims; the Catholic Inquisition in Spain and Latin America; Europe’s Thirty Years’ War between Protestants and Catholics; and the bloodiest of them all, the two world wars of our century, both of which started in the realm of Christendom.

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Will Jehovah execute judgment on warmongering nations? Habakkuk 2:13 states: “Look! Is it not from Jehovah of armies that peoples will toil on only for the fire, and that national groups will tire themselves out merely for nothing?” “Jehovah of armies”! Yes, Jehovah has heavenly angelic armies, which he will use in bringing warlike peoples and nations to nothing!

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The Fourth and Fifth Woes

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The fourth woe is described at Habakkuk 2:15 in these words: “Woe to the one giving his companions something to drink, attaching to it your rage and anger, in order to make them drunk, for the purpose of looking upon their parts of shame.” This suggests the dissolute, wayward state of the modern world. Its immorality, supported even by permissive religious bodies, has descended to new lows. Plagues, such as AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, are on the rampage earth wide. Instead of reflecting “the glory of Jehovah,” the me-first generation of today plummets further into depravity and toward the execution of God’s judgment. “Satiated with dishonor instead of glory,” this delinquent world is about to drink from the bowl of Jehovah’s rage, which represents his will toward it. ‘There will be disgrace upon its glory.’—Habakkuk 2:16.

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A prelude to the fifth woe sternly warns against the worship of carved images. Jehovah has the prophet pronounce these powerful words: “Woe to the one saying to the piece of wood: ‘O do awake!’ to a dumb stone: ‘O wake up! It itself will give instruction’! Look! It is sheathed in gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.” (Habakkuk 2:19) To this day, both Christendom and so-called heathendom bow to their crucifixes, Madonnas, icons, and other likenesses of man and beast. None of these can awake to save their worshipers when Jehovah comes to execute judgment. Their overlays of gold and silver pale into dead meaninglessness in comparison to the magnificence of the eternal God, Jehovah, and the glories of his living creations. May we extol his peerless name forever!

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Yes, our God, Jehovah, is worthy of all praise. With a feeling of deep reverence for him, let us heed that stern warning against idolatry. But listen! Jehovah is still speaking: “Jehovah is in his holy temple. Keep silence before him, all the earth!” (Habakkuk 2:20) The prophet doubtless had Jerusalem’s temple in mind. However, we today are privileged to worship in a far grander spiritual temple arrangement, where our Lord Jesus Christ is installed as High Priest. Here, in the earthly courtyard of that temple, we meet, serve, and pray, rendering to Jehovah the honor that is due his glorious name. And what joy we have in rendering heartfelt worship to our loving heavenly Father!

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https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2000084?q=rulers+in+history&p=par#h=1

 

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