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Book 35 of 39 in The Old Testament


Habakkuk, a prophet (Ch.1:1) is troubled about the forthcoming Judgment on Judah. In the first place, at the continuing evil that he sees in the land; and then he is troubled at the prospect of God punishing Judah by a nation more wicked than they. God’s replies to Habakkuk are seen in the chapter outline below.

Author & date

Nothing is known of  Habakkuk outside of this book

There is no firm consensus as to its dating, but the usual view is that it was at the time of  days of king Jehoiakim of Judah. Shortly before the days of the Babylonian exile.


A. Habakkuk’s dialogue with God. Ch1:1-2:20

  1. Cycle 1: The problem of God’s silence Ch.1:1-11
    1. Habakkuk: why is evil permitted?  Ch.1:1-4
      • The cry
      • The observation of Judah’s sin
    2. God: I will work Ch.1:5-11
      • The certainty of judgement
      • The Chaldeans the instrument
  2. Cycle 2: The problem of God’s method. Ch.1:12-2:20
    1. Habakkuk; why use  a more wicked nation? Ch.1:12-2:1
      • Acceptance of faith
      • Astonishment of faith
      • Attitude of faith
    2. God: for an appointed time Ch. 2:2-20
      • The vision, plain and certain
      • Five woes against the Chaldeans

B. Habakkuk’s Prayer Ch.3:1-19

  1. Petition Ch.3:1-2
    1. Faith’s surrender
    2. Faith’s supplication
  2. Psalm Ch.3:-15
    1. Faith recalls God’s presence Ch.3:3-7
    2. Faith recognises God’s power Ch.3:8-11
    3. Faith realises God’s purpose Ch.3:12-15
  3. Habakkuk’s answer Ch.3:16-19
    1. Faith’s acceptance Ch.3:16
    2. Faith’s Defiance Ch.3:17-18
    3. Faith’s Confidence Ch.3:19


a. Lessons from Habakkuk

After having posed two questions to God, and receiving the answers, Habakkuk was satisfied. This is seen plainly in his prayer of chapter 3.

We can summarise the lessons for us as follows:

  1. God is NOT unawares of our circumstances.
  2. We only see in part, God sees the whole.
  3. God has a plan of what He will do, and just as important WHEN He will do it.
  4. Looking at God’s past blessings and dealings with us should encourage us to have confidence in God, that He knows what He doing.
  5. The Just shall live by faith, not sight.
  6. To accept by faith God’s appointments we can:
    1. Rest in the day of trouble
    2. Rejoice in the Lord
    3. Joy in the God of our salvation
    4. Be sure footed in our ways despite outward circumstances.