Overview: Habakkuk

The book of the prophet Habakkuk He lived during the final decades of Israel’s southern kingdom and it was a time of injustice and idolatory He saw the rising threat of Babylon on the horizon and that was not good news for anybody But unlike the other prophets, Habakkuk does not accuse Israel, he doesn’t even speak on God’s behalf to the people Rather all of his words are addressed personally to God, and the book tells about Habakkuk’s personal struggle, his journey of trying to believe that God is good when there is so much evil and tragedy in the world And so Habakkuk’s words are actually poems of lament and they are very similar to the laments you find in the book of Psalms The poet lodges a complaint and then draws God’s attention to suffering or injustice in the world, demanding that God do something and knowing about this lament form is actually the key to understanding the design and message of this short book Chapters 1 and 2 are framed as a back and forth argument between Habakkuk and God and the prophet lodges 2 complaints to which God offers 2 responses His first complaint is that life in Israel has become horrible The torah is neglected, resulting in violence and injustice, and it’s all being tolerated by Israel’s corrupt leaders And Habakkuk he’s crying out asking God to do something but nothing seems to change But then all of a sudden God responds, He says that He’s very aware of the corruption of His own people Israel and that He’s summoning the armies of Babylon to bring down His justice on Israel and very similar to the message of Micah or Isaiah, God says he will use this terrifying empire to devour Israel because of their injustice and evil But Habakkuk has a problem with this answer and so he offers his second complaint He says Babylon is even worse than Israel, they are more corrupt, they are more violent they’ve deified their own military power, they treat humans like animals, gathering them up like fish in a net he says, they devour nations and people groups in order to build their own empire And so Habakkuk says, how can you, a holy good God use such corrupt nations as your instruments in history? He demands an explanation. In fact, he depicts himself as a watchman on the city walls, waiting for God’s response, which eventually comes. God tells Habakkuk to get out some tablets, chisel and write down what he sees and hears. It’s a vision about an appointed time in the future, that even though it may seem slow in coming, it will eventually come In fact God says that the righteous person will live by their faith in this hope and vision So what is this divine promise that Habakkuk is supposed to write down? It’s that God will bring Babylon down God says that the violence and oppression of the nations creates this never ending cycle of revenge And that God will use this cycle to bring about the rise and fall of nations The fact that God might for a time use a corrupt nation like Babylon does not mean that He endorses everything that they do He holds all nations accountable to His justice and so Babylon will fall along with any other nation that acts like them. God’s promise is then elaborated by a series of 5 woes that describe the kinds of oppression and injustice that is perpetrated by nations like Babylon The first 2 target unjust economic practices, like how wealthy people would charge ridiculous interest just to keep poor people in debt And so they build their wealth through crooked means The third woe is a critique of slave labour, treating humans like animals and threatening them with violence if they don’t produce. The fourth woe targets the abuse of alcohol by irresponsible leaders. While people are suffering under their bad leadership, they’re partying and wasting their money on sex and booze. And the last woe exposes the idolatry, the engine that drives such nations They have made money and power and national security into their gods, offering these allegiances at all costs And so people become slaves to their own national empire. Now the practices described here aren’t unique to Babylon, but that’s part of the point. Given the human condition, most nations eventually become Babylon And so this is how God’s answer to Habakkuk in this book becomes God’s answer to all later generations to anyone who lives in a world ruled by other Babylons But it leaves the question hanging – is God going to let this cycle, the rise and fall of Babylon-like empires go on forever? And that question is what chapter 3 is about. We’re told that this is a prayer of Habakkuk and it begins by Habakkuk pleading with God to act now in the present, like He has in the past in bringing down corrupt nations And what follows is a very ancient poem It first describes a powerful terrifying appearance of God It’s very similar to the opening poems of Micah and Nahum And similar to the appearance of God at Mount Sinai in the book of Exodus There’s cloud and fire and earthquake When the creator shows up to confront human evil, everybody will be paying attention. Habakkuk then goes on to describe this future defeat of evil as a future exodus. So just like God came as a warrior and He split the sea in His battle against Pharaoh, Habakkuk says that God will once more bring His judgment down on the head of the evil house. So Pharaoh, like Babylon, has become here an archetype of violent human nations. But at the same time we’re told that when God confronts evil, He will save His people and His anointed one. It’s a reference to the king from the line of David And so in this poem, the exodus story of the past has become an image of the future exodus God will perform He will once again defeat evil and bring down the Pharaohs and the Babylons of this world He’ll bring justice to all people and rescue the oppressed and the innocent And it’s this hope that enables Habakkuk to conclude the book with hopeful praise that even if the world’s falling apart with food shortage or drought or war or whatever he will choose trust and joy in the covenant promises of God. And so Habakkuk by the end of this book becomes a shining example of how the righteous live by faith Habakkuk recognises just how dark and chaotic the world and our lives can become and he invites us into a journey of faith, of trusting that God loves this world more than we do and that He will one day deal with its evil and that’s what the book of Habakkuk is all about.

100 Replies to “Overview: Habakkuk

  1. Habakkuk is my most favorite book in the entire Bible: "כי תאנה לא תפרח……ואני אעלזה בה׳" and I shared what I learned 40 years ago in a small group fellowship activity. Now with this illustrated analysis of the literary structure of Habakkuk, it became so comprehensive to understand the role of the book in His salvation plan.

  2. As I was seeking help to understand the more complex books of the Bible, I found this gem. May God bless you for this venture!

  3. That was amazing! Love everything about it the story the illustration the pace. God breathed and blessed. Thank God soo much for this and thank you too for being obedient and you.

  4. What this commentary fails to point out is that Habakkuk is a prophecy
    about the Time of the End Babylonians aka the USA.

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  6. One of my favorite prophets; likewise Joshua, Moses, Esdras, King Jehu, Salomon, Micah, Elisha, Elias, and Ciro, the Great and King Saul, very underrated I guess.

  7. I sort of feel like Habbakuk sometimes, praying for God to save us from the evil and corruption I see in this world, but I know every corrupt nation eventually faces justice!

  8. God uses Tim Mackie (and coworkers) so brilliantly! I just learned about the Read Scripture series from our pastor this weekend. What an excellent resource.

  9. Gods word calmed me whenever I was scared or afraid or alone god is the good shepard and the savior praise be to god

  10. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

  11. IM a recent convert. i accepted jesus as my lord and savior i love what u guys do w scripture! so helpful keep up the great work guys. lmk if i can help, im a musician

  12. Repent from your sins people, and be born again, believing is not enough, we need to repent, because that is real faith, Jesus loves us tho, that is why he gave himself on the cross, for our sins, repent and let us accept the Lord Jesus,
    You wont regret it.
    He changed my life,
    Let him do the same to you.

  13. May God richly increase you for this great project.. Your overview on the books have been so helpful to me.. It makes it easier to study…. May God continue to use you for his glory

  14. the Jews of then sound just like the Jews of today. very scary that they have not changed one bit. maybe even gotten worse. but this time around God will not Use Babylon or Rome to Destroy Israel but Jesus Christ will Destroy Modern Israel and defeat the Antichrist.

  15. What does soon mean? When is God going to punish the wicked and save the innocent? What is taking so long? Also, any female prophets?

  16. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! As a believer, I always dismissed reading the bible out of frustration I would misunderstand and from poor teaching discouraging reading outside of church. However, you have presented God's word in such a coherent way that moves me to fully read it from cover to cover rather than in fragments. Not only that, but you have helped me understand why God allows certain things politically and historically- something I struggled to understand at risk of becoming a nihilist while in college.

    I could never understand God's allowance of oppression and injustice and sometimes desired his Old Testament temperament for today's evildoers. I did not understand that He was still as merciful as he's been in this New Testament and through such misunderstanding I have been able to relate to your description of these prophets and their biblical testimony. I feel closer to them and thus closer to God. So, thank you for all you do! May peace and love be multiplied unto you from your sister in Christ.

  17. This book is not preached enough. I never even heard of it growing up. Appreciate your videos. Love the motion/animation in all of them, but it seemed to stand out more to me in this video for some reason.

  18. I agree. But with the forcing of slavery at one time it reminds me of America. I think this is the greatest country on earth.

  19. Why is it that we want to politicize what the Scriptures say? We need to internalize these messages for our own lives. Sure, we can make comparisons to national governments as modern-day Babylons, but when we do that, we push blame on entities and forget about our personal responsibilities as sinners in this world. How do we amend ourselves to God? We need to act as Habakkuk did at the end of this book. We need to look to our Holy God as our leader, not the human ones He puts on their temporary thrones. We need to be in constant conversation with Him, to wait for and discern our Shepherd's voice when He replies, and then to be obedient to Him when He corrects us–just as Habakkuk did. That is the message of this book.

  20. Job 23:12 (KJV)
    Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips;
    I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
    Meaning : No Bible No Breakfast
    Every day feeding on the Word of God Everyday without Fail ,
    spiritual strength vitality.
    Eternal Priorities
    Seeking First The Kingdom of God

  21. Hmm just curious, when Babylon came to Israel, what will they do to the prophet? Will Babylon spare his life?

  22. Wow. My first understanding of Habakkuk and I remember that nothing is new under the sun. The description of Babylon is some of our world today – 2019.
    Thank you for the reminder, live by faith, look to God, be joyful in terrible times, serve God who loves the world and his children more than we understand.

  23. Please do a video on devine enointment.. or anointment.. i dont know how to spell that word lol but what it really means? and who all have been anointed by god. I think that would be super cool.

  24. This is fantastic! Habakkuk is my favorite story in the Bible, and I was hoping to find a simple overview of it. This is perfect. Thank you so much for making this!

  25. É tão estranho perceber que você vive em um ambiente tão hostil para sua própria vida e que você só demorou para reparar nisso pq não parou para olhar espiritualmente.

  26. When Habakkuk hears that God would use Babylon, he's got that "Say WHAAAAT?!" mentality. But at least God clarifies it, as far as He allowed Himself to, with the further purpose of His plan.

  27. It is both fascinating and frightening how this book describes the downfall of all Civilizations from Babylon to our own present day.

  28. thank you. If your mission is to make the bible more accessible, relevant and understood, then good for you because it worked for me.

  29. You mean usury,, like the u.s. does? And slavery, like the u.s. did? And the prison industrial complex, like the u.s. does? Or like a war mongering nation, like the u.s. is? Kinda like Babylon huh?

  30. I find the five woes intriguing! Though I believe they have alternate interpretations. Specifically Habakkuk 4:15 reads "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!". The passage does not by any means restrict the fourth woe to the aristocracy but speaks of the misuse of alcohol as a means to a wicked end; as a means to the weaknesses of thy neighbor.

    “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10)


    "There is so much in life to rejoice over that there shouldn’t be a day that goes by where you don’t rejoice for something. The fact that you’re living and breathing is a blessing from Me, and every breath you take is an opportunity to worship Me for the life I gave. Worship is expressed through many avenues such as thanksgiving, spending time with Me, rejoicing, singing songs and so forth. It is the act of living for Me in the activity you’re doing. These avenues of worship are blessings I have given you and they stem from the greatest blessing in life – Me. The fact that you have Me is worth far more than gaining the entire world. Therefore, what need is there to feel grief? This does not mean you will not feel sorrow in life for life is full of situations that invoke it. But to remain in sorrow even though every issue in life has a solution, there is a problem. If I say I will, then consider it done. If I say done, then trust and believe in My promise as Habakkuk had to. Unlike temporary happiness, I am a true joy which no man can take away.

    Instead of meditating on the bad that has happened in your life, why not rejoice over the good? Grief brings forth illness upon your body whereas rejoicing brings forth health and healing. Find something daily to thank Me for. Make your heart get into the attitude of rejoicing and you will see miracles happen in situations you thought were impossible to overcome. The enemy knows this very well and despises seeing Christians rejoicing. He will throw many obstacles to make you doubt, question and even complain. This is when you rejoice harder, because sooner or later the miracle will come."

  32. The things God revealed to Habakkuk is what Jesus revealed to John in the book of Revelation, they are mirror images of each other.

  33. Amen! Gods Glory will one day fill the earth. Rejoice and find strength in the Lord. Like Habakkuk, we must wait in faith, no matter how hard life becomes.

  34. I recently had the same type of dream to read Habakuk after wondering why Joshua killed so many kingdoms on his way to the " land of milk and honey" promised by God to the Israelites. I learned anew that the "Righteous should live by Faith"Who are we that judges God's methods?

  35. Phew…that made it so much more clear. Thanks a million for the time you took to lay this out. Your ministry is a blessing to the Kingdom.

  36. America is Babylon! Just think the merchants would not morn if isreal didn't buy their goods but America they would.

  37. Can't stop watching your presentation man. It's awesome. You guys are genius! God bless you abundantly!! 🙏🏿🙏🏿

  38. So you're saying nothing's changed. Its exactly what the self called elite do today, only on a higher scale since we think we're free, but we're not . God Bless.

  39. "All because God uses corrupt and evil people/organizations doesnt mean he endorses what they do."
    You have to sit and think on that for a moment. Thats a very weighty statement if you think about it. It sheds a light of understanding on alot of things going on.

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