Summary: From a short two-session in depth Bible Study on Habakkuk...
Nothing is really certain of the prophet Habakkuk. Even his name is a mystery
because it has no real Hebrew origin or meaning. It could be derived from an ancient
non-Hebrew word meaning dwarf or he could be named after a plant. One ancient
manuscript (the legend of Bel and the Dragon) references a person named Habakkuk as a
priest. The style is viewed by some to be in the lamentation/prayer style that was used
on the Day of Atonement which would also lead credence to the idea of Habakkuk being
a prophet of priestly origins.
Despite the lack of knowledge about the books’ author, we know that from
ancient times, Habakkuk has been a book that has not suffered the questioning of its
inspiration and inclusion with Scripture.
Habukkuk is different from many prophetic writings because it begins with a word
from the prophet rather than the Lord- Habakkuk cries out and God responds. It ends
with a Psalm which celebrates in God’s strength and righteousness.
Verses 1-4 HABAKKUK’S COMPLAINT- “GOD- CAN’T YOU SEE?”
The complaint suggests that Habakkuk has spent a great deal of time in prayer
seeking God’s response. He feels as if his call for help has gone unheeded. He feels as if
God has ignored the status of the nation.
He uses graphic words to get God’s attention:
Violence Injustice Wrong Destruction Strife Conflict
A PARALYZED Justice System
righteous surrounded by the wicked as justice is PERVERTED
In other words, his complaint is that things are rotten all over, and getting worse.
He reminds God that he is waiting for an answer to his prayers, but the answers seem
long in coming and he wonders aloud how much longer he will have to wait.
Habakkuk’s cry to God may seem similar to that of the disciples in the boat right
before Jesus calmed the terrible storm that they were in. “Lord, don’t you care that
we’re about to perish?”
Often, the devil points at the circumstances of life to try to mislead us about the
nature of God. He shouts, “God’s not doing anything.” He points at God and says, “See,
He doesn’t care about you.”
The truth is that God has not fallen asleep and forgotten about His people. The
truth is that God is quite concerned about each and every one of us. While the devil
tries to use circumstances to malign and slander God’s character and nature, our human
emotions sometimes tend to agree with Satan’s slanderous allegations and allow the evil
one to plant doubt and fear in our heart.
Verses 5-11: GOD’S RESPONSE: “I AM NOT IGNORING YOUR PROBLEMS!”
God’s response is that he is about to do something amazing. He is not inactive as
Habakkuk implies, but is already at work preparing the judgement of His people. He
states he is raising up the Chaldeans (who at this point of time were being formed into
the Babylonian Empire).
Why would Habakkuk be amazed at this? God had already stated that Habakkuk
would be amazed by what God was doing and would have trouble believing it.
First, the Babylonians were NOBODYs! The real threat the Jews
could see at this point was the nation of Assyria.