Habakkuk: Week 3
The immediate application for the Proud Man was Nebuchadnezzar, and
the Five Woes applied to the Chaldean empire. However,
the Five Woes can also be applied to other nations, including the US. Who is
the Proud Man in US history? Historian Paul Johnson described Wilson as having
“a self-regarding arrogance and smugness, masquerading as righteousness, which
was always there and which grew with the exercise of power.”
The First Woe - Wealth through Debt
Wilson established the Federal Reserve - making US currency debt
denominated in dollars.
"Woe to him who amasses what is not his and makes himself rich with many loans!
How long will this go on?" Oh my, talk about the shoe fitting. So
what do we have to look forward to?
"Will not your creditors suddenly arise..."
"Because you have plundered many nations, the remnant of the people will
The Second Woe - Wealth through Injustice
"Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain." The motivation for the unjust
gain is key: "to place his nest on high and escape the hand of disaster!"
This is Mammon worship - putting your trust in money to deliver you, rather
than the Creator of all Wealth.
"the stones will cry out"
The Third Woe - Wealth through Destruction
"Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed" - the spoils of war seem
profitable. God even calls the spoils of Egypt "payment" for Nebuchadnezzar's
seige of Tyre to execute God's judgment.
The idea that destruction creates wealth is a persistent one.
It has been called in modern time the "Broken Window Theory".
"the labor of the people only feeds the fire" - this is the fundamental
fallacy of the broken window theory. War and other destructive behaviour
may increase wealth for a few - but destroys far more.
In God's kingdom, "They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the sea is full of
water." Isaiah 11:9
The Fourth Woe - Drugpushing and Human Trafficking
"Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor!" - a popular text in the
fight against predatory saloons in the 19th century.
"until they are drunk, in order to gaze at their nakedness!" -
Genesis 19:33-35, also
modern celebrities and politicians.
"Violence against Lebanon" - "Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us." Isaiah 14:8.
But also, Tyre and Sidon were the principal cities of Lebanon, against which
Nebuchadnezzar laid the seige.
Note, the refrain "because of the blood of men and violence against lands,
cities, and everyone in them." echos
The Fifth Woe - Idolatry
Wilson was “an ardent prophet of the state, the state indeed as it was known to
European scholars and statesmen… He preached it.” - historian Robert Nisbet.
While many modern people laugh at wooden idols, we have equally foolish
idols that ancient peoples would laugh at - mostly involving government
giving us "free" stuff that we ourselves provide!
"For its maker trusts in his own creation" - the popular idolatry
today is an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent government. Atheists
often say all gods are man made - are they right?
"Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awaken!’ or to silent stone, ‘Come alive!’" -
Wilson called the government a "living creature", "chocked and unable to
grow" by the "shackles of the Constitution".
also calls the One World Government at the end time the "Beast rising
from the sea".
"The LORD is in His holy temple" - the ultimate foolishness
of all idolatry.