Habakkuk was a prophet and a philosopher. He was disturbed about the intense wickedness of Judah. But in contrast to his contemporary,e.g Jeremiah, he is more concerned with God’s seeming reluctance to judge, than with the failure of his people to repent. Destruction, violence and disregard of God’s law flourish unchecked – see Chapter 1:2-4,despite the prophet’s ardent plea for God to intervene.
God replies to Habakkuk that he need not wait long for His answer. The fierce, ruthless Chaldeans, the (Babylonians) will be God’s chastening rod to scourge Judah before Habakkuk’s very eyes – see Chapter 15:6. Rather than lifting the prophet’s burden, this answer adds to it, for Habakkuk is vexed by a second, even thornier problem: How can God, whose eyes are too pure to look on wrong stand by silently while a wicked bloodthirsty nation swallows up a righteous people – see Chapter 1:13. The prophet seeks a place of solitude to await God’s answers-see Chapter 2:1.
The answer comes in one of the grandest declarations in the scripture. The just shall live by faith. The righteous will be preserved in the day of trouble, because they have depended upon God and are in turn dependable. Certain and swift retribution will be the lot of the haughty invaders who will learn the emptiness of tyranny and the vanity of idolatry-see Chapter 2:6-19. The answer concluded with a command for universal silence before the sovereign Lord-see Chapter 2:20.
Assured that righteousness will triumph, the prophet lifts his heart in prayer that God will again do a mighty work as He had done in the Exodus and at Mount Sinai- see Chapter 3;2-13. After picturing the majestic splendor of the Omnipotent, Habakkuk reaffirms his confidence in the God of his salvation in one of the most moving confessions in Holy Bible-see Chapter 3:17-19.
OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF HABAKKUK:
The title of the book-chapter 1:1
Problem: god has not judged moral depravity of Judah – chapter 1:2-4
God’s solution: the Chaldeans will judge Judea-chapter 1:5-11
Problem: why are the wicked used to punish the more righteous-chapter 1;12-17.
God’s solution-chapter 2;1-20.
The righteous Remnant to be preserved-Chapter 2:1-5
The Chaldeans doom assured-Chapter 2:6-19
The certainty of retribution-Chapter 2:6-8 and 15-17
The Folly of Plundering-Chapter 2:9-11
The Emptiness of Tyranny-Chapter 2;12-14
The vanity of Idolatry-Chapter 2:18-19
The sovereign Lord is Ruling-Chapter 2:20.
The prophet’s response to God’s solution-chapter 3;1-19.
A prayer for God to work as in days of Old-Chapter 3;1-4
A description of God’s revelation in the Exodus experience- Chapter 3;3-15
A Confession of complete confidence in God -Chapter 3:16-19.