THE PROPHECY OF HABAKKUK
The writer was probably a Levite and perhaps a temple singer, see Ch.3:19. Of his life we know nothing except that he seems to have been a contemporary of Jeremiah, and to have prophesied in the reign of Josiah, king of Judah.
The prophecy was written just prior to Nebuchadnezzar’s first invasion of Judah, and is a testimony to the righteousness of God in so dealing with His sinning people.
The book may be divided as follows:
1. Ch. 1:1-11. The prophet’s prayer and God’s answer of judgment.
2. Ch. 1:12-17. Habakkuk’s testimony to Jehovah.
3. Ch.2. Jehovah’s response to the testimony of His prophet.
4. Ch. 3. Habakkuk’s answer of faith.
THE PROPHET’S PRAYER AND GOD’S ANSWER OF JUDGMENT.
The sins of the people pressed heavily upon the heart of Habakkuk as God shared with him His own grief. It seems as though the Law was of no avail, and that the sinner could go on in his wickedness with indifference, Ch. 1:3-4. In response to his prayer the Lord foretells the coming Babylonian invasion, v.6, and the captivity, which would follow, v.9.
Because of his great success, Nebuchadnezzar would be filled with pride and credit it to his heathen god, v.11, but his day came as we know, for God will not give His glory to another.
HABAKKUK’S TESTIMONY TO JEHOVAH.
For such a calamity to come to God’s chosen people, it seemed so unlike His merciful character, but the prophet vindicates God by making mention of their wickedness, and that the Lord was using the heathen nation to chasten them, v.12.
JEHOVAH’S RESPONSE TO THE TESTIMONY OF HIS PROPHET.
God’s responded to the prophet’s word concerning Himself by giving a synoptic view of the future for His people. His Word is always very clear so that those who read may run to others with the News, Ch. 2:2. Briefly the view is as follows:
1. After the dispersion of Israel the Day of Grace would be ushered in when the “just shall live by faith”, v.4.
2. The dispersion of Israel is because of her sins, and it is of the Lord that she shall labor in the fire and weary herself for very vanity, v.13.
3. After Israel’s judgment ends Christ will return and “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea”, v.14.
HABAKKUK’S ANSWER OF FAITH.
When God reveals His will, one’s heart is encouraged even though there is nothing outward which helps. So it was with Habakkuk. He called upon the Lord because He had heard his speech, and asked Him to revive His work in the midst of the years, Ch.3:2. Then he uttered words, which so often express our confidence in God even to this day.
Although the fig tree should fail …., yet one should rejoice
in the Lord, and joy in the God of his salvation, vs.17-18. To those who learn
this lesson the peace of God which passeth understanding shall be their