Habakkuk: 'Tarry'

I woke up in the middle of my peaceful slumber last night thinking about Habakkuk (a book in the Old Testament) and how it related to my life. The verse is Habakkuk 2:3

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

It's hard to wait for a good thing to come, even though you are putting in your effort to make that good thing come. For some it is marriage, for others it is career success, having a child, resolution of health problems, for others it is yet another thing. This verse says this 'vision' (you can see in your mind's eye what you want) will come at an 'appointed time'. And 'at the end' (when the appointed time comes), 'it shall speak' (it will happen; no longer a vision, but present enough to be heard), 'and not lie' (it won't come under a cloak of deception or in some other form; you will recognize it and be able to obtain it).

Now to the good stuff. The word 'tarry' is used twice in the King James Version english translation of this verse. 'Though it tarry … it will not tarry'? What? That doesn't make sense. Well, of course it doesn't make sense. That is because the English translators translated two different words as the same word in English: 'tarry'.
  • The first 'tarry' in the Hebrew is mahahh. The sense of this word (from Strong's) is to hesitate, be reluctant, linger, delay. Meaning, something is moving, but moving slowly. It's taking its time getting to the finish line. It is hesitant, reluctant, but moving forward. There's a slow movement, and no immediacy.

For example, your friend with a  broken leg is supposed to visit you. She called and told you she was leaving right then. You have to wait a while for her, but she will arrive at the time she plans to arrive. She's just much slower than you when it comes to travel. You'll have to wait.
  • The second 'tarry' in the Hebrew is 'achar. The sense of this word (from Strong's) is 'to be behind': to procrastinate, hinder, be late, stay longer. This sense shows that the thing did not move forward as it should. It is late, and will not get to the finish line at its appointed time.
For example, your very fast runner friend called and said she was on her way to visit you. You know where she lives and that it would take her about 5 minutes, but she doesn't show up for half an hour. She's late. She did something else after calling you and left the house later than she said.

Back to the verse: you are waiting for that good thing to come. The Lord promises it will come at its appointed time, even 'though it tarry' (even though it will take a while). Because 'it will surely come, it will not tarry' (it will not be late). When the Lord promises good things, they might take longer than perhaps expected, and you will have to wait for them, but be assured these blessings do not come late. They come at their appointed time.

Comments

  1. I really liked this Stephanie! Wow, that is alot from just one very small verse in the scriptures. Thanks for the enlightenment. That really makes sense and is so very true! WE surely must be patient so often in our lives, even when our desires are righteous ones! Love you!!

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