Little is known of Habakkuk as a person since his name only appears in his book.
He is described in the book as “a prophet” who has a “burden”, or “oracle”. Various
musical references in Chapter 3 suggest that he may have been one of the official
prophets working in the Temple, and he was likely to have been a comtemporary of
Jeremiah. He was one of the minor prophets, with his writings appearing towards the
end of the Old Testament. The nature of his prophecy would indicate that is was written
prior to the invasion by the Babylonians.
Habakkuk’s message resonates with much of what we see and hear about today. He evidently
lived in a time of violence, when justice was hard to come by. The start of his message
echoes some of the heartfelt cries from the Psalms: “How long….”, and “Why…”.
Habakkuk 1, 1 - 11
Habakkuk’s first complaint and God’s answer
He sees the widespread strife and conflict, together with injustice. The coming of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) is foretold.
Habakkuk 1, 12 - 2, v 1
Habakkuk’s second complaint
God appears to be blind to the wrongs that are being committed, and how the unrighteous triumph over the righteous. However, he will wait to see God’s response.
Habakkuk 2, 2 – 20
God will act in due time to redress wrongs. God will have the last word, and the earth will “be silent before Him”.
Verses 1 – 2: his request (“Renew your deeds”), Verses 3 – 15: his experiences of God, Verses 16 – 19: his personal response.