Running and Reading One   interpretation   given   to   this   text   is   that   Habakkuk   was   to   write   God’s   word   in   letters   so   large that   they   would   be   plain   enough   to   read   even   while   running.      Anyone   can   appreciate   that   the   jouncing which   occurs   during   running   makes   it   virtually   impossible   for   the   runner   to   hold   a   book   steady   enough   to focus   his   eyes   on   the   words.      For   words   to   be   read   while   running,   their   letters   would   have   to   be   very large,   like   those   on   a   billboard.      However,   this   would   make   the   book   too   heavy   and   unwieldy   to   carry while running. Another   interpretation   conceives   of   the   runner   as   a   messenger   who   must   hurry   to   inform   others of   important   news.      When   a   person   acts   upon   a   story,   he   is   said   to   “run   with   it.”      Yet,   he   can   hardly   be expected to “run with” what he does not understand.
Regardless   of   the   interpretation,   readers   may   come   away   from   this   text   with   the   same   four conclusions.      First,   that   God’s   word   is   written   down   in   a   book   means   that   it   is   essentially   changeless .     God’s   revelation   does   not   rely   solely   for   its   perpetuation   and   distribution   on   oral   transmission.      This   is significant.      Since   oral   transmission   depends   on   the   memories   and   honesty   of   fallible   speakers   and listeners,   its   contents   can   change.      The   truthfulness   and   consistency   of   what   is   not   recorded   cannot be   verified.      Yet,   once   words   are   written   down   and   published,   so   that   people   can   consult   them   and become   familiar   with   them,   any   effort   to   change   them   is   exposed.      People   might   disagree   about   what the   Bible   means,    but   not   about   what   it   says .      If   a   thousand   literate   people   read   the   same   verse   of the   Bible   out   loud,   they   will   all   speak   precisely   the   same   words.      What   the   Bible   said   2,000   years   ago   is what it says now and it always will say.
Second,   Habakkuk’s   text   suggests   that   God’s   word   is   permanent ;    it   cannot   be   lost.      When   Peter said   that   “the   word   of   the   Lord   abides   forever”   (1   Pet.   1:25),   he   was   referring   to   the   Bible.      It   is practically   impossible   to   find   and   destroy   all   the   copies   of   a   book.      This   fact   was   amazingly   illustrated by   the   discovery,   beginning   in   the   1940’s,   of   the   Dead   Scrolls.      Though   they   were   1,000   years   older   than the   oldest   existing   Old   Testament   texts,   they   contained   parts   of   every   Old   Testament   book,   except one.  Third,   this   passage   calls   attention   to   the   fact   that   God’s   word   is   accessible .      The   sound   and memory   of   spoken   words   quickly   fade,   but   once   spoken   words   have   been   recorded   and   published, they are available to anyone who can read, and, virtually anyone can learn to read. Fourth,   this   verse   is   indicative   of   the   fact   that   God’s   word   is   clear .      Of   course,   it   is   only generally   true   that   the   Bible   is   simple   and   plain.      Since   the   Bible   challenges   people   on   every   intellectual level,   from   children   to   scholars,   this   means   that   everyone   will   find   some   parts   of   the   Bible   difficult,   and some   easy,   to   understand.      The   Bible   acknowledges   that   it   can   be   difficult   to   understand   some   parts of   it.      Peter   said   that   Paul   wrote   what   was   “hard   to   understand”   (2   Pet.   3:16).      On   the   whole,   however, the   theme,   contents,   and   storyline   of   the   Bible   are   plain   to   the   understanding   of   the   average   person.     Even   those   who   do   not   believe   in   the   inspiration   of   the   Bible   can   understand   what   the   Bible   says.     Therefore,   when   people   do   not   obey   what   the   Bible   says,   it   is   not   because   they   cannot   understand   what   it   says;   rather,   it   is   because   they   do   not   really   believe    what   it   says.      In   His   parable   of   the   sower, Jesus   said   that   those   who   are   saved   are   those   “who   have   heard   the   word   in   an   honest   and   good heart” (Lk. 8:15).  Thus, the first prerequisite for salvation is not a sharp wit, but an honest heart .
“    the   Lord   answered me   and   said:      “Write   the vision    and    make    it    plain    on tablets,    that    he    may    run    who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2 - NKJV).
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Running and Reading One   interpretation   given   to   this   text   is   that   Habakkuk   was   to write   God’s   word   in   letters   so   large   that   they   would   be   plain   enough   to read   even   while   running.      Anyone   can   appreciate   that   the   jouncing   which occurs   during   running   makes   it   virtually   impossible   for   the   runner   to   hold a   book   steady   enough   to   focus   his   eyes   on   the   words.      For   words   to be   read   while   running,   their   letters   would   have   to   be   very   large,   like those   on   a   billboard.      However,   this   would   make   the   book   too   heavy   and unwieldy to carry while running. Another   interpretation   conceives   of   the   runner   as   a   messenger who   must   hurry   to   inform   others   of   important   news.      When   a   person acts   upon   a   story,   he   is   said   to   “run   with   it.”      Yet,   he   can   hardly   be expected to “run with” what he does not understand.
Regardless   of   the   interpretation,   readers   may   come   away from   this   text   with   the   same   four   conclusions.      First,   that   God’s word   is   written   down   in   a   book   means   that   it   is   essentially changeless .        God’s    revelation    does    not    rely    solely    for    its perpetuation   and   distribution   on   oral   transmission.      This   is significant.      Since   oral   transmission   depends   on   the   memories and   honesty   of   fallible   speakers   and   listeners,   its   contents   can change.        The    truthfulness    and    consistency    of    what    is    not recorded   cannot   be   verified.      Yet,   once   words   are   written   down and   published,   so   that   people   can   consult   them   and   become familiar   with   them,   any   effort   to   change   them   is   exposed.     People   might   disagree   about   what   the   Bible   means,    but   not about   what   it   says .      If   a   thousand   literate   people   read   the   same verse   of   the   Bible   out   loud,   they   will   all   speak   precisely   the   same words.      What   the   Bible   said   2,000   years   ago   is   what   it   says   now and it always will say.
“    the   Lord   answered me   and   said:      “Write   the vision    and    make    it    plain    on tablets,    that    he    may    run    who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2 - NKJV).
Second,   Habakkuk’s   text   suggests   that   God’s   word   is permanent ;    it   cannot   be   lost.      When   Peter   said   that   “the   word   of the   Lord   abides   forever”   (1   Pet.   1:25),   he   was   referring   to   the Bible.      It   is   practically   impossible   to   find   and   destroy   all   the copies   of   a   book.      This   fact   was   amazingly   illustrated   by   the discovery,   beginning   in   the   1940’s,   of   the   Dead   Scrolls.      Though they    were    1,000    years    older    than    the    oldest    existing    Old Testament   texts,   they   contained   parts   of   every   Old   Testament book, except one.  Third,   this   passage   calls   attention   to   the   fact   that   God’s word   is   accessible .      The   sound   and   memory   of   spoken   words quickly   fade,   but   once   spoken   words   have   been   recorded   and published,   they   are   available   to   anyone   who   can   read,   and, virtually anyone can learn to read. Fourth,   this   verse   is   indicative   of   the   fact   that   God’s   word is   clear .      Of   course,   it   is   only   generally   true   that   the   Bible   is simple   and   plain.      Since   the   Bible   challenges   people   on   every intellectual    level,    from    children    to    scholars,    this    means    that everyone   will   find   some   parts   of   the   Bible   difficult,   and   some easy,   to   understand.      The   Bible   acknowledges   that   it   can   be difficult   to   understand   some   parts   of   it.      Peter   said   that   Paul wrote   what   was   “hard   to   understand”   (2   Pet.   3:16).      On   the   whole, however,   the   theme,   contents,   and   storyline   of   the   Bible   are   plain to   the   understanding   of   the   average   person.      Even   those   who   do not   believe   in   the   inspiration   of   the   Bible   can   understand   what the   Bible   says.      Therefore,   when   people   do   not   obey   what   the Bible   says,   it   is   not   because   they   cannot   understand    what   it says;   rather,   it   is   because   they   do   not   really   believe    what   it says.      In   His   parable   of   the   sower,   Jesus   said   that   those   who are   saved   are   those   “who   have   heard   the   word   in   an   honest   and good   heart”   (Lk.   8:15).      Thus,   the   first   prerequisite   for   salvation   is not a sharp wit, but an honest heart .