HABAKKUK:

THROUGH THE DARK TUNNEL

WITH GOD

Robert C. Newman

 

Introduction

 

            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?