THROUGH THE DARK TUNNEL
Robert C. Newman
Author: named Habakkuk, otherwise unknown
Place: Judah, shortly before Babylonian captivity
Date: prob about 605 BC, reign of Jehoiakim
Setting: rampant sin in Jewish society
HabakkukÕs First Complaint to God: (1:2‑4)
How can you let such evil in society go unpunished?
Picture of Jewish society of time cast in general terms
Certainly resembles much in our society today
GodÕs First Answer: (1:5‑11)
I'm not: I'm sending invaders to destroy that society!
Explicit reference to Chaldeans = Babylonians, but characteristics fairly general for world conquerors
Could God raise up Communism or some other invader or disaster to destroy our society?
HabakkukÕs Second Complaint: (1:12‑2:1)
How can you let such wicked conquerors destroy those more righteous than themselves?
Babylonians certainly more wicked than Israelites, though possibly not when different level of light taken into account; but many righteous in Israel will also suffer.
Communists, etc. more wicked than us, though perhaps not when different level of light taken into account; if some such happens to U.S., many righteous will suffer.
GodÕs Second Answer: (2:2‑20)
Depend on me; the wicked (including conquerors) will get what they deserve & the righteous what they hope for.
Doesn't deal with question of relative levels of light, but with response of wicked and righteous.
Problem of Delay (2:2‑5)
Wicked become arrogant (Eccl 8:11; Lk 18:7‑8)
Righteous must live by faith/faithfulness
Woes to Wicked (6‑20) ‑ appears to be generalized so as to have application both to wicked in Israel and wicked Babylonian conquerors; and to wicked in our society
Plunders (6‑8): to be plundered
Unjust (9‑11): to get justice
Greedy (12‑14): to lose all
Seducers (15‑17): to be overwhelmed by violence
Idolaters (18‑20): to be confronted by real God
HabakkukÕs Response of Prayer & Trust (3:1‑19)
Calls on God to Intervene (2)
God's Intervention (3‑15)
Uses imagery from Exodus, from theophanies
Divine Warrior motif
Looks to end of age
Habakkuk's Response (16‑19)
Fear & trembling (16a)
Trust in face of calamity (16b‑18)
(the just will live by faith)
God is my strength & protection (19)
(not just a dark future, but a dark tunnel this side of a bright future)
How will we respond if such disaster comes upon us?