Habakkuk 1:1 - 2:1

This is a small Old Testament book that I feel we ignore too easily. I came back to this book not too long ago and I was amazed at how this book provides us with an important and interesting dialogue between Habakkuk and God. In this book Habakkuk really struggles to understand and see God’s goodness amid all the wickedness he was seeing around him. In his distress and frustration, he called out to God.

The first problem Habakkuk brought before God in verses 1 to 4 of chapter 1 is that Israel had become so unjust and corrupt, and he wondered where God was in all of this. He also wondered why God was not doing anything to set things right. In verses 5 - 11 God answers Habakkuk and says that He will use the Babylonian army as an instrument of judgement on Israel on His behalf. God goes on to describe just how terrible this judgement will be by the hands of the Babylonians. God even mentions that the Babylonians would wrongly ascribe the victory over Israel to their false gods.

This is where Habakkuk brings his second problem to God. In verses 12 - 17 Habakkuk mentions how much he hates that God would use an even more unjust and corrupt nation to bring Israel to justice. First Habakkuk had a problem with the fact that he felt God was not bringing judgement on Israel. God answers this problem by telling him that judgement is on its way. Now Habakkuk has a problem with “HOW” God was going to bring judgement because the Babylonians were even more unjust and corrupt than the people of Israel. Because Habakkuk knew that God was a holy God - that God’s eyes were too pure to look on and tolerate such wickedness - he could not understand why God would do this.

Habakkuk brought two important problems before God, God replies to one of these problems, then in chapter 2 verse 1 Habakkuk says that he will wait on God’s reply. He expected an answer from God, and he was going to wait on it. What I love is that even in his distress and frustration, Habakkuk came before God with the correct attitude. What I love even more is that Habakkuk expected God to correct him. He was not bringing these problems before God because he thought God was wrong or that God needed to explain Himself. I believe he brought these questions before God because he did not understand what God was doing but he knew that God is always right, and he wanted God to correct him in his thinking and confusion.

As I read Habakkuk 1:1 - 2:1 I am reminded that even when things are not going the way they should, God does not look on idly. These confusing moments are not a sign that God has abandoned us in any way. It is ok for us to have doubts about what is happening around us and it is ok to sincerely (not in disbelief) question God in order for us to grow in our understanding, but it is important for us to do what Habakkuk did when he did not understand something that was causing him great concern - he went to God with his problems and expected to hear from God in God’s timing. A lot of the time we do not expect an answer from God. Other times we expect an answer (in a demanding way) but on our schedule. Let us not take this attitude against God but let us come before God and seek to know Him and His will with a humble spirit, knowing and understanding that He has all the answers and believing that His answers are sufficient.

1 Comment

Glenda McMinn - June 29th, 2021 at 12:58am

So my favourite passage in the Bible. A simple yet powerful book. Well written. Thanks foe sharing!