Pick a version that suits you. I read them all but the one that made me reflect the most was The Message– instead of Woe- it said “Who do you think you are!” OUCH.
Habakkuk is clearly upset and confused, but what I like about this book is Habakkuk goes directly to the Lord with His questions. Why? Because He EXPECTS God to answer Him. Something to think about deeply about our relationship with the Lord. Do we expect to get an actual answer when looking for guidance or have a question? Habakkuk did, so guess what? The Lord answered him.
God’s first answer horrified Habakkuk. How could God use such bad people as a tool to punish his own people when He himself was perfect and Holy? It did not make sense! But in Chapter 2 can you picture Habakkuk waiting with such anticipation to hear a response from the Lord that he climbs the watchtower to wait. Ohhhh I can just picture Him looking up at the clouds or a sunset knowing God will answer!
And He does! He says Patience! I am in control, it occurs in my perfect timing according to my perfect plan, and then in verse 2 says But the Righteous will live by Faith! WOW. Living by faith means with all your Trust. This Scripture is so powerful it reminded me of the video clip at my church last year about Martin Luther. The Catholic Priest who started the Protestant Reformation, quoted Habakkuk scripture just before the Crusades which led to the reformation. We also see it quoted more than once in the New testament:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Rom 1:16-17)
Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” (Gal 3:11)
But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
By the way, you may have heard me say in the past when you read Woe, you better Woe! It is a huge Red Flag. Warning. Beware! There are 5 of them here so read them closely to see if you fall into any of them.
So in conclusion, the book Habakkuk is not about Habakkuk, it is about God. He appears in His Glory in Chapter 3, as He always does when one truly calls out to Him. Things to take away from in this short little 3 chapter book:
- God is control of the universe and that includes us. He is working out His own plan in His own time.
- We must trust God wholeheartedly knowing we always cannot see the big picture (like Habakkuk) but God knows it all.
- God does not promise a life without trouble, But He does promise us that we can trust in Him through the Highs and Lows.