Summary of the Book of Habakkuk
Habakkuk wrote it approximately 612-589 B.C. just before the fall of Judah in the Southern Kingdom.
Key personalities are Habakkuk and the Babylonians.
As is true of the many other prophets, Habakkuk is a short book. The information in it was vital since it carried God’s message to His people. Its purpose was that Habakkuk was announcing a familiar message of judgment.
He was identifying the wickedness and sin of Judah before them. Habakkuk declared that God is the “Rock” (1:2) and that they would be judged.
Chapters 1-2 – Habakkuk poses some difficult questions to God. He was wondering why evil was prevailing and God told Him:
Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you (1:5).
All of the surrounding neighbors who were super powers at that time would fall in ruin as no one expected. Babylon was a growing empire that would rule over everything for a time.
In chapter two, God answers Habakkuk’s question. He urges everyone to be patient and ultimately trust in Him.
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith (2:4).
Chapter 3 – Habakkuk gives God the glory and praise for faithfully responding to his questions:
“O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy (3:2).
Habakkuk lived in Judah and was a contemporary of the prophets Nahum and Jeremiah. He preached during the last days of Judah before its fall in 586 B.C.
Habakkuk foresaw the doom that awaited Jerusalem and was troubled by two questions:
1. Why would God allow evil to exist in the nation of Judah?
2. How could God use a sinful nation like Babylon to punish Judah for its sins?
God answered Habakkuk and gave him far more than what he had asked – a vision of God Himself. This gave Habakkuk the courage to live through those dark days with a sense of focus and determination.
The theme of the Book of Habakkuk involves the sovereignty of God and the need for people to trust in Him.
Habakkuk also prophesized about the fall of the Babylonian Empire.
His book is the eighth among the Minor Prophets. The exact dates during which he wrote his book are uncertain, but it might have been during the reigns of King Josiah and King Jehoiakim.