Habakkuk (619-610 BC) has been called "the doubting Thomas of the Old Testament." He seems to be trying to solve a problem more than with just delivering a message. We can learn a valuable lesson from Habakkuk, for when he was faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem, he eventually took it to the Lord, instead of just giving up all hope and apostatizing as some would do. "Oh, what's the use?" many would say, but not Habakkuk. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah and could see "the handwriting on the wall" for Judah. The rising power of the Chaldeans was his problem. Even though Judah was a nation of God, he saw that God must and would punish their sins, and that there was no way Judah could escape the wrath of God. But then, when he saw the Chaldeans, he could see they were worse than the Jews. His problem: How could God punish a nation by a less righteous nation? How Habakkuk took his problem to God, and there found his answer, is the theme of the book. The key verse of Habakkuk, 2:4, is " the just shall live by his faith." Turning to the New Testament, this theme can be found in Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38. Habakkuk appears to be wanting to understand everything. Instead he must trust God. When he learned this lesson, he learned that God could be trusted.
God showed Habakkuk that if the Babylonians (Chaldeans) were going to be His instrument to punish Judah, that He would return kind for kind and heap punishment upon their heads in due time. Also, as Babylon would be overthrown, so God's ultimate purpose for His people would eventually be realized. When our hearts fail us for fear, just remember Habakkuk. He tells us that God is still on His throne and there is no one that can thwart His purposes (See II Chron. 20:6; Job 9:12; Isa. 14:24,26,27; 43:13).
The book opens with a sob, and closes with a song of rejoicing.
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