Like many of you, I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the little book of Habakkuk this session. With just a little under 60 verses total, this poetic prophecy can easily be overlooked. Yet, its kernel truth is quoted three times in the New Testament and its themes are ones that are relevant thousands of years after it was written.
Unlike most prophecies, Habakkuk does not speak to his people relaying to them what God has told him to say. Instead, the prophet records a dialogue between him and God. We see an intimate relationship between a man and his God with questions that echo our own prayers. We also see God’s answers and, along with them, His heart.
Five common themes of the Bible weave their way through the three chapters. God’s wrath toward sin and evil is especially apparent. Though not a popular topic, the wrath of God is essential to his character. God would neither be just nor good if he allowed violence and wickedness to proper. In Habakkuk, we are reminded that the sin of mankind will not go unpunished. God IS just, and in his time, he will set the world right. He is also merciful. Whispers of God’s coming redemption also show up in this book.
Waiting on God and how we are to respond to him in our waiting is a theme we see often in the Bible. We will see it in Habakkuk as well. Along with that waiting comes the reminder of God’s faithfulness. God has always been faithful to keep His promises to His people. Centuries after Habakkuk wrote the following words, we can pray them as well, confident they will be answered:
“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”Habakkuk 3:1