Who was Habakkuk? What does Habakkuk’s book teach?

Habakkuk was a prophet who probably lived in the years before the exile in Babylon. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Habakkuk but he recorded a conversation he had with God. This conversation is in Habakkuk’s book.

We have no information about Habakkuk’s life. The Bible only says that he was a prophet who was very angry with all the injustice he saw happening. Habakkuk clearly had a very special relationship with God because he asked questions and God answered directly.

Habakkuk’s ministry as a prophet lasted indefinitely, before the people of Judah were conquered by the Babylonian empire. In his day, injustice and wickedness reigned in Judah. ​​This probably indicates that Habakkuk prophesied after the reign of Josiah, the last God-fearing king of Judah, a few years before the country’s conquest.

Look here: according to the Bible what is Babylon?

Habakkuk’s complaints

Habakkuk was not afraid to express his doubts and complaints to God. He questioned why God allowed injustice and violence to dominate his country ( Habakkuk 1: 2-4 ). Didn’t God care about the evil practiced against the righteous?

God responded to Habakkuk with the announcement of a great punishment. He would bring the Babylonians against the people of Judah, to punish their wickedness ( Habakkuk 1: 5-6 ). The Babylonians were very violent and cruel and would have no mercy. They would raze the earth.

See also: is it a sin to question God?

At that answer, Habakkuk was horrified and questioned how it could be fair ( Habakkuk 1:13 ). Babylonians were even worse than Jews and also deserved punishment. In addition to being violent, cruel and unjust, the Babylonians were still idolatrous. If Judah was to be punished, why did Babylon succeed and remain unpunished?

When God answered, He ordered Habakkuk to record the answer, to serve as a sign of things that were going to happen ( Habakkuk 2: 2-3 ). God’s answer was valid not only for Judah and Babylon, but also for all who are wicked.

God explained that the success of bad people is only temporary. But God takes care of those who are faithful to Him ( Habakkuk 2: 4-5 ). Violent nations would be ruined and those who profited from injustice and crime would not escape punishment. Idolaters would not receive answers or protection, because only God has all the power.

Sometimes God seems to delay responding to injustice. The unjust are left with a feeling of security and become more daring in their wickedness. But in the end, God always brings justice. We have the guarantee that God will act.

Find out here: why does God allow injustice?

Habakkuk’s Prayer

After hearing God’s answers, Habakkuk prayed to God, confessing his faith in him. He remembered the glory of God and His great power, the way He had destroyed His enemies when they tried to harm those in need ( Habakkuk 3: 13-14 ).

These memories helped Habakkuk to hope. He knew that God would respond and bring salvation to His people. The problems in the present were no reason to give up on God ( Habakkuk 3: 17-18 ). Faith in God was Habakkuk’s joy.


by Abdullah Sam
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