This short book may be combined with Nahum for a one-hour study session.
Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read the entire book. Orientation Habakkuk is book #35 of 39 in the Old Testament, and the 8th book of the Minor Prophets. For more information see the Bible Overview page.
Synopsis Habakkuk struggles in his faith when he sees men flagrantly disregard God's laws without fear of the consequences. He wants to know why God allows this to go on unpunished.
Habakkuk has a vision of a conversation with God. He pleads with God, wondering how long he must beg for help (1:2). God replies that, instead of rescue, he is sending the Babylonians (1:6). This is not the sort of help Habakkuk had in mind, and he protests (1:13).
God assures Habakkuk that after the Babylonians punish Judah, they themselves will be punished. Meanwhile, the job of the faithful is to live by faith (2:4). Habakkuk trusts in God's reputation (3:2) and he will trust in God no matter what. He will be strong and sure (3:19) as the Babylonians approach.
Discussion points Arguing with God is a biblical tradition. Compare these who argued with God:
What does it reveal about God, given that He will allow Himself to be questioned by his followers?
Connections New Testament writers quote Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. Does the concept of living by faith provide a preview of the gospel message to come?
Habakkuk also shows up in a book of the Apocrypha. In the legend of Bel and the Dragon, Habakkuk is transported by an angel from his home in Judah to Babylon, where he brings a bowl of stew to Daniel while he is trapped in the lion's den.
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 9 2014
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