Habakkuk - A Final Warning To Judah
Habakkuk is one of only four Bible writers who referred to themselves as a prophet (others were Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Haggai). He certainly was a seer of things to come. At least twenty years before the fact, Habakkuk prophesied that the Chaldeans (Babylonians) would capture and destroy Jerusalem. Judah should have given heed and repented.
Habakkuk 1:1,2:1 - "The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. ...I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved."
Why Do You Show Me Iniquity, Spoiling And Violence?
No one knows for certain when the prophet Habakkuk lived, but historical statements in the book of Habakkuk suggest that he lived around 605 BC, shortly before Nebuchadnezzar began invading Israel and Jerusalem. Habakkuk would have witnessed the historic downfall of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire. Habakkuk cried to God for the meaning of those epic events. Impressively, God often answers sincere inquiries and grants prophetic wisdom.
Habakkuk 1:3-4 - "Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: ...the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth."
I Will Work A Work Which Ye Will Not Believe
Men underestimate the power of God. Nobody ever overstated God's abilities to perform. Whether it was calling down Babylonian armies to punish Judah, or raising Christ from the dead (Acts 13:30-41), God has more power than you can imagine.
Habakkuk 1:5-6 - "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces."
Them That Deal Treacherously
Habakkuk cried unto the LORD for justice against "them that deal treacherously." They "devour the man that is more righteous," "make men as fishes of the sea ...catching them in their net." Then, "they sacrifice unto their net." Evil men worship the evil devices that get them their power. Habakkuk simultaneously mourned Judah's sins and the fact that their enemies were overpowering them. Fortunately, God will eventually judge the enemies of His people, and offer to save His own.
Habakkuk 1:12 - "O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction."
Write The Vision, That He May Run That Readeth It
When God shows you something, write it down. If God is in a thing, it WILL come to pass. (You do not have to force a prophetic revelation to come to pass.) Whoever it was meant for will run with it.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 - "The LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
A Prophetic Curse For Drunkenness
Habakkuk sharply rebuked the people of Judah for their drunkenness, pride, covetousness, violence and corruption. They did not keep their homes, they had insatiable desires, and wanted more power over more people. God's people degenerated into a pathetic, shameful people. ANY people invite divine judgment on themselves for such living.
Habakkuk 2:15-16 "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! Thou art filled with shame for glory: ...the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee."
O LORD, Revive Thy Work In The Midst Of The Years"
Habakkuk cared more about affirming God's holiness than defending the nation of Israel. "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?" (1:13). But Habakkuk realized that God is more merciful than we are, so he appropriately asked God to revive the people.
Habakkuk 3:2 - "O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy."
Habakkuk Recalls Israel's Deliverance From Egypt
The prophet remembered the glory days of Israel, when God brought them out of Egypt, through Teman (Edom) and Mount Paran. He recalled the pestilences in Pharaoh's courts, how God opened the sea, and afflicted those who stood in the way. "Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people." Habakkuk trembled, because God was about to judge them sorely.
Habakkuk 3:16 - "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, ...when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops."
Although The Fig Tree Shall Not Blossom...
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation." EVERY believer in God should memorize and quote this regularly!
Habakkuk 3:19 - "The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."