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 is seen in the chapter outline below.
Author & date
The author is assumed to be Habakkuk in the days before the Babylonian exile
A. Conversation 1. Ch1:1-11
- Habakkuk- troubled by apparent indifference to wickedness Ch.1:1-4
- God- His silence does not mean indifference, but He was about to use the Chaldeans to punish the nation Ch.1:5-11
B. Conversation 2 Ch.1:12-2:20
- Habakkuk- troubled that God could use a more wicked nation to punish His people. Ch.1:12-2:1
- God- would save the just through faith; He would then punish the Chaldeans themselves Ch.2:2-20
C. Habakkuk’s Prayer Ch.3:1-19
On hearing God’s answer, and being satisfied Habakkuk pours out his heart in prayer;
- He pleads for God’s mercy Ch.3:1-2
- He speaks of God’s glory Ch.3:3-16
- He shows confidence in God Ch.3;17-19
a. Key verse
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Hab. 2:4
The latter part of the verse is quoted three times in the NT : Rom.1:17; Gal.3:11; Heb.10:38
b. Some lessons
1. Habakkuk went directly to God to speak of his concerns and poured out his heart to Him.
2. God is in control, and no matter how black things look we are to cling to God; Habakkuk’s name means embrace/cling.
3. God sometimes use the wicked to chastise His own people, but hasn’t forgotten their judgement, which will follow swiftly.