Habakkuk: Introduction – Purpose

The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

Habakkuk 1:1

Habakkuk is truly such a wonderful, precious little book to read. It has grown to become my favorite of the minor prophets. I did a study on this little book several years ago during a very troubling time in my life . The Lord spoke to my heart through this book in such a gracious, magnificent way. I was not only comforted, but I was also corrected in my outlook. As I was finishing up the study on Romans 12, I was trying to search out where the Lord would have me turn to next. I really wanted to study Ruth or Philippians, but the Lord kept nudging me to this little book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk takes place in a time in Israel’s history with many similarities to our own time on earth. I trust and pray that you may take comfort in this little book and allow the Lord to speak to your heart through His ever-abiding, unfailing Word so timely for our generation. I am eager to gain a fresh look at this study of Habakkuk, the prophet that did see.

Each of the names of the minor prophets gives us the theme of the book. Habakkuk’s name means “to embrace.” In this book we have two types of embraces, one of comfort and one of acceptance. In chapter 1, Habakkuk makes a complaint before God. He argues that wickedness abounds in Judah and questions God as to why He allows the wickedness to continue. God responds by explaining that He will use the Babylonians to punish Judah for its wickedness. This doesn’t quite satisfy Habakkuk. Habakkuk proceeds to make a complaint as to why God is going to give victory to a nation even more wicked than Judah. Habakkuk sets himself upon a watchtower to see what the Lord’s answer will be. Habakkuk is determined to get an answer. He wants to know why wickedness prevails on earth. He wants to know why blessings are seeming to be poured upon the heathen. He wants to know why he may have to endure the same punishment here on earth as the rest of the wicked in Judah. He wants an answer. And boy does he get one. The Lord corrects Habakkuk’s view on life. He opens up his eyes to let him gain a preview of some of God’s greater plan. After this vision, Habakkuk was able to truly see with spiritual eyes. As the Lord embraces Habakkuk to comfort him concerning the eternal life he’s been given through faith, Habakkuk embraces the trials and afflictions of life, knowing now the just do not live by sight but by faith.

The Bible is a book unlike any other. It is a spiritual Book. You can’t grasp spiritual truth by intellect. The Word of God is beyond man’s understanding. Every Born-Again Believer should be striving to act more like a citizen of heaven than a citizen of earth. We should endeavor to have the Holy Spirit shape our desires and thoughts. In our study of the 12th chapter of Romans, we experienced Paul’s discourse on the spiritual nature of the member as part of a local church. The prophesy of Habakkuk instructs us on the spiritual outlook on the course of human events.

I’m excited to see what the Lord will teach us through this wonderful little book. We need the right outlook on events in the world. In these times of uncertainty, churches need to stand firm in courage and boldness, not stumble and falter in weakness, fear, and apathy. No Born-Again Believer should live a life of worry for the future. We have an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for US! Habakkuk gave glory to the Lord! Let’s all join in together with Habakkuk in singing the final chorus of his song –

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.
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.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

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