Today's Daily Bread
INTRODUCTION TO HABAKKUK
Habakkuk was a prophet who lived just prior to the Babylonian conquest. His prophecy shows how he struggled with the matter of God's judgment, not just individually, but on behalf of his people. He took his questions to God in prayer, and in this way learned God's sovereign judgment and salvation plan, not just for his people Israel (Judah), but for the world and in all history. His prophecy is a beautiful example of how one man with such questions-even complaints-sought God in the matter, and how he submitted himself and his people into the hands of their Judge. There God's glory was revealed. Paul when writing about the gospel quoted Habakkuk 2:4, "the righteous will live by his faith."
LOOK AND WATCH
First, why do you make me look at injustice? (1-4) Habakkuk brought a compelling issue to the Lord. It seemed to him that injustice abounded. He saw it every day. But where was the Lord? Based on what he was looking at, it seemed to Habakkuk that the Lord did not listen, that God tolerated wrong and that his word in the law was powerless.
Second, God's response (5-11). God answered by telling Habakkuk to watch and be amazed, and by opening his will to the prophet. He was raising up the Babylonians to execute his judgment on sin. The Lord is patient, but his judgment is sure and swift. He does not tolerate wickedness forever.
Third, then why do you tolerate the treacherous? (1:12-2:1) Habakkuk could accept that the Lord is the judge and had ordained such a punishment for Israel, but why the Babylonians? They were far more wicked than the people of Israel. There was no answer that the prophet could see, but he did as the Lord commanded. He would be like a watchman, looking and seeking God in the matter.