Habakkuk

The book of Habakkuk is one of the shortest of the Old Testament books but it contains some very important lessons for all of us. It answers the age old question, “ hy does !od not do something about all of the evil and oppression in the world" Habakkuk asked this question and received an answer. #ery little is known about this prophet. He lived in the days when his nation was steeped in sin. He prophesied during the rise and e$pansion of the %abylonian &mpire and knew too well that it was only a matter of time before she would overrun 'udah. He couldn(t understand how a nation as wicked as %abylon could prosper. In this book !od reveals that He is using %abylon for His purposes and that they will be subsequently punished for their sin. The book of Habakkuk is quoted in the )ew Testament several times. *ompare Hab +,- with .cts +/,01,0+ and Hab 2,/ with Heb +1,/3. The great verse, “The 4ust shall live by faith.5 Hab 2,0 is quoted in 6om +,+37 !al. /,++ and Heb +1,/8. It was this verse that came into the heart of the young monk 9artin :uther, as he was crawling up the ;ancta ;cala in 6ome and he went out to lead the great 6eformation. The <rophets *omplaint = +,+=0. e have here the perple$ity and burden of the prophet. He is burdened because of the sinful condition of 'udah. He lists their sins as that of violence, strife, contention, unfair 4udgement and the oppression of the poor by the rich. He had cried out to !od to bring the people to repentance and yet no answer seemed to be forthcoming. It seemed only that their destruction by %abylon was drawing nearer. The :ord(s .nswer = +,-=++. !od had heard his prayer and was sending an answer but not in the way that Habakkuk thought it would come. In fact, it was the very opposite. !od was working and moving and answering. He was sending the %abylonians in 4udgement >+,-=?@. Their terrible invincible character is portrayed in these verses. )othing could stop them, they were sent by the :ord. The <rophet(s 6emonstrance = +,+2=+3. The <rophet could not understand how !od could use the %abylonians who were even more sinful than his own people >+,+/b@. His questions were, Is it fair"5 “How can !od be 4ust and do this"5 “How could so perverse a nation be 'ehovah(s agency"5 .re we still not asking these same questions" *hapter one closes without an answer. On the atch=Tower = 2,+. The prophet prays and waits. He knows !od will answer his perple$ities. he becomes still and listens and !od speaks. e need to learn the lesson of waiting and listening. !od(s .nswer= !od has a message for him and for us >2,2@. !od gives him insight first into His long range solution to 'udah(s problems and foretold the coming of the 9essiah >compare 2,/ with Heb +1,/3@. In the meantime, “the 4ust shall live by faith.5 we will live e$pectantly of that day when “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the :ord, as the waters cover the sea. >2,+0@. !od told Habakkuk that even He would use %abylon as an instrument in His hands to chastise 'udah they too will be severely punished for their sins. He issues five “woes5 against them. +. oe to him that increaseth that which is not his = 2,? 2. oe to those that get rich by evil means = 2,A /. oe to those that build with money ill gotten = 2,+2 0. oe up the drunkards = 2,+-. oe to idol worshippers = 2,+A = !od concludes His answer by reminding Habakkuk that He is firmly in control = 2,+1. The <rayer of Habakkuk = chapter three. He prays for revival for his people. He prays that in wrath >the coming %abylonian invasion@ that !od will remember mercy. He then lifts up his voice in wonderful praise to !od for His goodness and His greatness. He reviews !od(s tender provision for 'udah when they came out of &gypt, went through the wilderness, and conquered *anaan.

+8@. . and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. he closes as one who has found the answer to all his questions.He concludes with triumphant faith >/. >2 Tim +. to them who are called according to His purpose. . who is filled with questions and perple$ities. He begins a victim of circumstances and ends re4oicing in spite of the circumstances >/. e will never have the answer to all our questions but we can triumphantly say. and the satisfying portion of his soul in !od Himself.+3=+A@. “I know whom I have believed.nd so we live by faith knowing that !od is working out His purposes in the world and will soon come to establish a kingdom of righteousness.+2@. This is the story of a man who had “a song in the night. )o matter what the circumstances are now he knows the end will be well and he re4oices. >6om 8.5 e too cannot understand everything but we can know that “all things work together for good to them that love !od. How great a difference there is in the opening and closing of this book. He begins as a man bewildered and confused.28@.