The author of the book is none other than Habakkuk himself and was written between 612 and 589 B.C.
The book was written to Judah and God’s people everywhere.
A recap on history would be helpful to understand the setting in which Habakkuk was written. Israel had fallen 100+ years prior to this, to the then world power — Assyria. NOW….Assyria had fallen, just as Nahum prophesied. Egypt and Babylon were both contending for THE spot as THE World Power. In 605 B.C., at the Battle of Carchemish, Babylon became THE World Power as it defeated Egypt. During that battle the wonderful King Josiah of Judah was also killed. NOW everyone fell under the authority of Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar. As we have read, Babylon attacked Judah three times before it completely felt Babylon’s destructive power.
Habakkuk is written as a dialogue between him and The Lord. He asks God the REALLY hard questions, just like you and I do when our world seems all upside down. He asks questions like: “Why, God why?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “Why do good people suffer?” “Why are people starving and others have too much?” “Why do natural disasters occur and hurt so many people?” “Where is God in the hurt, pain, destruction, cancer, diseases, and so many things we simply can not explain?” Habakkuk knew that Judah would fall to this rising power (Babylon). This was very troubling for Habakkuk who was a worker in the temple as a Levitical Caretaker. Habakkuk questioned how could God let a wicked nation like Babylon triumph over a nation like Judah? What good could come of that?? Why does God seem indifferent in the face of evil? Why do evil people seem to go unpunished? This book in many ways makes me think of Job’s questions to God during all he went through. We learned in Job that in the light of God’s love and HIS complete character, his questions did not need answering because God was the answer. God was ALL He needed, ALL HE would ever need. Job’s questions did not change….his attitude in light of our awesome God changed.
This book is a classic case of one’s attitude during tough times. We will witness Habakkuk go from being troubled to finding great strength in the Lord. His situation did not change but through a conversation with God – Habakkuk’s attitude changed. God will always give us what we need during times of trouble – HIMSELF!! God is always more than enough. Precious things may be taken away from us during our lifetime, but God’s provisions are always more than we could ever think to ask…..HIS provisions are always on time and always exactly what we need…..more than what we need.
Habakkuk concluded his book with a prayer of triumph. Unlike Job, God answered his questions and Habakkuk was given a new understanding of God’s power and love. Habakkuk REJOICES in who God is and in what He will do!!
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; HE makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” (3:18-19)
Sharing HIS love,