Posted by: Jo | October 13, 2017

They Are A Law To Themselves

“They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honour.”

(Habakkuk 1: 7)

Why01This week, the study my husband and I do together every morning, featured the book of Habakkuk and in the first chapter, the prophet is complaining to God at the state of the world as he sees it. As we read the first chapter I felt I was echoing Habakkuk’s words. He was horrified at what he was witnessing, at what was happening around him and I could relate to every word he said.  I too had cried out to God when I first heard of the senseless shooting of innocent people at a fun music concert and then the constant stream of persecuted refugees fleeing their own countries in flimsy boats was heart breaking to watch on the news. This is what Habakkuk cried out to God;

“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?  Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and conflict abounds.” (Habakkuk 1:2)

Habakkuk felt free to complain to God and God answers him and in his answer, I found an inkling of what the real problem was then and still exists in our own century. Why02The answer comes in these words;

“They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honour.” (Habakkuk 1: 7)

As I have noted before in my blogs, I often come across a phrase used in our everyday speech that comes from Scripture and can remember my parents talking about some arrogant person who didn’t think he needed to obey any laws and consequently did what ever he chose to do and they would shake their heads and mutter, “he acts like he is a law to himself”.  God explains to Habakkuk that the evil perpetuated in his time and of course in our present time is done by those who have abandoned God’s law and allowed their own evil selves to be the ones they honour, honouring God and his righteousness, totally ignored.

The giving of the law by the Heavenly Father was always intended to be a gift to God’s people, not a burden of commands to burden them down, but a liberating pattern for all God’s family to live by, a protection from being caught up in evil practices, a guideline for living at peace with one another. The prophet, Isaiah, learnt what happened when we live by God’s righteous laws;

“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)

Why03At the end of the book Habakkuk is changed. He has learnt to trust that God is in control and will eventually work out all things for his glory and the closing verse is a good one for us all. Like Habakkuk we need to remember the Mighty God we serve and as we trust him he will give us the strength to follow him and to live by faith in him, despite what is raging around us.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3: 19)


  1. love these comments, Jo. Have just archived them for future reassurrances!


  2. Yes, Jo, we too are feeling depressed by the dreadful things happening in the world at present – but your words bring us back to the realisation that there are plenty of “righteous”, good people like yourself out there, and that righteousness brings us quietness and confidence forever. Thank you for being so positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’d think we would have learned since Habakkuk’s time. Maybe with God’s help we will eventually. Thanks again Jo for your usual thought provoking blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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