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?