Book type: Prophets (Minor)
No. of chapters: 5
Key character(s): God, Habakkuk, Babylonians.
Brief description: Habakkuk – A pilgrimage from doubt to faith.
01) A prophet perplexed: why does God permit injustice? (1:1-17)
02) A prophet perceiving: the righteous shall live by faithfulness (2:1-20)
03) A prophet praying & praising: a psalm of confidence is the prayer response to revelation (3:1-19)
Habakkuk means “embrace”, “ardent embrace” or “wrestler” in Hebrew.
Why would a good God who controls the world allow the righteous to suffer & the wicked to proper? God knew his people had failed him, by why did God use the Chaldeans [Babylonians] as an instrument of chastisement? Habakkuk argued that a wicked Judah was more righteous than a wicked Chaldea.
Habakkuk may have been a contemporary of Jeremiah during the time of Judah’s decline.
The book is designed to answer the following questions:
01) How could God use such a wicked instrument as the Chaldeans to execute his purpose?
02) Cold the divine purpose be justified in such events?
03) Why do the wicked seem to triumph while the righteous suffer?
01) God’s government is moral. In the outcome God will turn the worst to a good end. This does not completely solve the problem of suffering & evil, but it provides a part of the right response to a harsh reality.
02) Tyranny is suicide. Evil carries in it the seeds of its own destruction.
03) “The righteous shall live by faith [faithfulness]” (Habakkuk 2:4). Faithfulness is steadfastness & trustworthiness. The “righteous” are not morally perfect but persistently faithful, even amid perils & perplexity.
The Book of Habakkuk is relevant today since injustice & violence so often plague Christians.
[Source: NIV Disciple’s Study Bible]
Habakkuk 1:2 (ANIV)
How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Habakkuk 2:4b (ANIV)
…but the righteous will live by his faith —