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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Habakkuk 1

 

 

Verses 1-11

1:1-2:5 HABAKKUK COMPLAINS AND GOD ANSWERS

First complaint and answer (1:1-11)

Despite Habakkuk's zealous preaching and fervent prayer, Judah shows no sign of improvement. All around him the prophet sees violence, lawlessness, injustice and all sorts of other social evils. Knowing God is holy and just, he asks God how long will he allow this wickedness to go unpunished (1:1-4).

God replies that he is preparing the Babylonians (Chaldeans) to punish Judah. God has not told the Judeans about this, because he knows they would not believe him. They would not believe that he would use such a wicked nation to punish his own people (5-6). Then follows a description of the Babylonians that demonstrates the ruthlessness of their sweeping conquests. Arrogant and powerful, they do as they wish regardless of laws, justice, kings or armies (7-11).


Verse 12

Second complaint and answer (1:12-2:5)

Habakkuk replies to God by asking a further question. If Judah is God's people for ever, and if God is holy, how can he use Babylon to punish Judah when the Babylonians are more wicked than the Judeans (12-13)? It seems to Habakkuk that God has the same standards as the Babylonians. They treat the people of nations as if they were no better than fish in the sea - there to be caught for the fisherman's enjoyment (14-15). The Babylonians' power is their god. Their appetite for conquest will never be satisfied. They will go on killing and plundering (16-17).

Having made his complaint, the prophet awaits God's answer (2:1). The answer is that the greed, pride and violence of the Babylonians will be the means of their downfall. Some time may pass before the judgment falls, but it certainly will fall. Wickedness always brings defeat in the end, just as moral uprightness always leads to victory. There is a message in this for the Judeans also: the greedy are never satisfied, but the righteous find genuine contentment in their loyalty to God (2-5).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/habakkuk-1.html. 2005.

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