In this short book of three chapters, Habakkuk spoke freely to God and God answered him. God even answered his second complaint and showed him visions about the future. Note how patient God is. Note Habakkuk”s final response in chapter three towards the end. Note the change in Habakkuk’s attitude. He changed from looking at the physical realm to that of the spiritual as he encountered God’s reality.
Habakkuk 1 New Living Translation (NLT)
1 This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.
2 How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
3 Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
4 The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.
The Lord’s Reply
5 The Lord replied,
“Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed![a]
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn’t believe
even if someone told you about it.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,[b]
a cruel and violent people.
They will march across the world
and conquer other lands.
7 They are notorious for their cruelty
and do whatever they like.
8 Their horses are swifter than cheetahs[c]
and fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their charioteers charge from far away.
Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey.
9 “On they come, all bent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind,
sweeping captives ahead of them like sand.
10 They scoff at kings and princes
and scorn all their fortresses.
They simply pile ramps of earth
against their walls and capture them!
11 They sweep past like the wind
and are gone.
But they are deeply guilty,
for their own strength is their god.”
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 O Lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal—
surely you do not plan to wipe us out?
O Lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us,
to punish us for our many sins.
13 But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil.
Will you wink at their treachery?
Should you be silent while the wicked
swallow up people more righteous than they?
14 Are we only fish to be caught and killed?
Are we only sea creatures that have no leader?
15 Must we be strung up on their hooks
and caught in their nets while they rejoice and celebrate?
16 Then they will worship their nets
and burn incense in front of them.
“These nets are the gods who have made us rich!”
they will claim.
17 Will you let them get away with this forever?
Will they succeed forever in their heartless conquests?
Habakkuk 2 (quoted in parts only)
1 I will climb up to my watchtower
and stand at my guardpost.
There I will wait to see what the Lord says
and how he[d] will answer my complaint.
The Lord’s Second Reply
2 Then the Lord said to me,
“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
3 This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.
13 Has not the Lord of Heaven’s Armies promised
that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes?
They work so hard,
but all in vain!
14 For as the waters fill the sea,
the earth will be filled with an awareness
of the glory of the Lord.
Habakkuk 3 (quoted in parts only)
This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk[a]:
2 I have heard all about you, Lord.
I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger,
remember your mercy.
16 I trembled inside when I heard this;
my lips quivered with fear.
My legs gave way beneath me,[e]
and I shook in terror.
I will wait quietly for the coming day
when disaster will strike the people who invade us…
17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[f]
able to tread upon the heights.