Habakkuk’s Words

Habakkuk 1:2-4 – Habakkuk’s First Complaint: Why Does The Evil In Judah Go Unpunished?
Habakkuk 1:5-11 – God’s Answer: The Babylonians Will Punish Judah
Habakkuk 1:12-2:1 – Habakkuk’s Second Complaint: How Can A Just God Use The Wicked Babylonians To Punish A People More Righteous Than Themselves?
Habakkuk 2:2-20 – God’s Answer: Babylonia Will Also Be Punished, And Faith Will Be Rewarded
Habakkuk 3 – Habakkuk’s Prayer: After Asking For Manifestations Of God’s Wrath And Mercy

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One Reply to “Habakkuk’s Words”

  1. Habakkuk prophesied during the time of Jeremiah, just before the southern kingdom was swept away to exile. The book is unique as it provides a dialog between Habakkuk and God where Habakkuk has two complaints and God answers these complaints followed by Habakkuk’s prayer in chapter 3.

    Habakkuk’s first complaint centers around the corrupt leaders of his day, “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?” (Habakkuk 1:3). I imagine many people who were doing their best to be devout Jews during Habakkuk’s time felt the same way, this was their question. This answer is not one I believe he expected, or hoped to hear, “For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told” (1:5), he continues to explain that the wretched Babylonians are going to be raised up against them with God’s blessing! This is a hard answer to hear, but one that we should pay attention to.  Instead of God saying he would clean house, raise up righteous leaders, he lets them know they will all be swept away by the ruthless Babylonian empire. My response might be something along the lines, “Great! Sorry I asked! Never mind, we’ll sort this out!” Next thing you’ll tell me is that Iran is taking over the world, invading our country and completely overturning our government. Yes, there is corruption, but let’s figure this out! God’s answer is final. The Babylonians are coming, let the people know.

    Complaint #2: “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?” (1:13). The Lord’s reply is brief and firm: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (2:3). Habakkuk records five “woes” from the Lord:

    1. Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! (2:6)
    2. Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin! (2:9)
    3. Wo to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice! (2:12)
    4. Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies! (2:15)
    5. Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ (2:19)

    God is fully aware of the ones who have misled his chosen people, those who extort, seize power by violence, those who are drunk with pornography and worship idols. The Lord sees it all and is not pleased, to say the least.

    Habakkuk’s Prayer (chapter 3) pays tribute to God for his great works and mighty deeds and ends with this majestic thought, one worth reading over and over again:

    Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
    though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
    though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18

    Yes, Lord, I will be joyful and praise your name even when it seems all is lost. During this time in my life, as my wife and I are in transition from one phase to another, we will rejoice in the Lord because your ways Lord are far better than ours. Take away any idols that have invaded our minds. Give us only a desire to serve you with all we have and for the rest of our time on earth, however days we have left.

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