Habakkuk prophesied in the kingdom of Judah some time before the destruction of Jerusalem. He prophesied the punishment of the kingdom of Judah by a Chaldean invasion, the captivity of the Jews and the fall of their oppressor, the Chaldean or Babylonian empire.
1. The prophets dilemma. In response to Habakkuks first question, God
presents him with an even greater stumbling-block. How can God, who is just and good, who
hates evil, send against his people a nation that he openly admits makes a god of its own
might? Will he let Babylon fish the sea of humanity for ever? Habakkuk 1:1-17.
2. Gods answer. The answer is "no". When the final scores are added up, only the man who trusts God and remains loyal to him will live. God will punish all mans arrogant pride. Woe betide those who greedily grab what belongs to others; who for selfish ends justify the cruellest means; who climb to power on the backs of others; who destroy and dehumanize; who give their worship to man-made idols. The lives of such men are forfeit whatever their nationality. Habakkuk 2:1-20.
3. The triumph of faith - Habakkuks prayer. The musical form of this prayer has led some to believe that Habbakkuk was a Levite, attached to the temple. Its focus is on God himself; God approaching from the mountains of the southern desert. God wrapped about with thunder and lightning in the storm of his wrath; God setting the world trembling with a glance. Habakkuk sees the inevitablility, the fury of judgement. Yet though it means the loss of every good thing in life, God is still to be trusted. The prophet will wait for the day when God deals with the invader. He will rejoice in God, though life is stripped of all that gives natural joy and satisfaction. Habakkuk 3:1-19.