The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
5 “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
9 they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
My God, my Holy One, you will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
destroying nations without mercy?
We know almost nothing about this book. We don’t even know how to pronounce it.
1. The experience of Habakuk
The prophet looked around Israel and saw that things he never thought would fall apart were falling apart. There is a parallel to our own times. There have been a few times in history that were dark and evil. It could happen again.
2. The complaint of Habakuk
Habakuk is both courageous and honest in his complaints. Why do you let evil and injustice reign?
3. God’s answer
God answers by saying “Wait till you see what happens next…”
4. The important lessons
Why would this prayer be preserved in scripture? Why does God want us to read this and understand it? The reason we have the freedom is because of the grace of God.
a. Our relationship with God is based on His grace.
b. Our timetable is not God’s timetable
If there was no diaspora, the church would not have spread throughout the Roman Empire.
When China adopted communism, they kicked out all the missionaries. It was the best thing to happen to the church.
c. Although we cannot always trace His hand, we can always trust His heart
d. God’s delays are not God’s denials
Absence of God’s evidence is not evidence of God’s absence
Why do you believe God allowed this prayer to be a part of the Bible as a complaint to the Lord? What does this say about our own complaining to God?
- Why is questioning God an important part of our faith?
- Why do you believe bad things happen in life? What can we learn from them?
- What is surprising about how God answered Habakuk?
- What does this passage teach us about God’s eternal perspective?
- What are the lessons for you personally?