Old Testament Survey

Lesson 39Habakkuk

We continue our survey of the Old Testament and our survey of the Minor Prophets. In this lesson, we will finish our look at the prophets of Judah with a quick survey of the book of Habakkuk.


Habakkuk is the only Minor Prophet to actually record a dialogue with God about the injustices of this world and why God seems to allow them. Quoting again this week from The (Old Testament) Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (written in 1978, over thirty years ago), we observe references to the very questions that we ask ourselves today. It reads:

"Planet Earth may look marvelous from a satellite, but for those who live on the dusty globe, things tend to look rather grim. Increased turmoil, rising terrorism, mounting tragedies, unprecedented trauma, increasing pollution, deepening trials, and unparalleled tensions cast dark shadows over earthlings. The world looks more and more like some ominous black sphere with a very short fuse, a time bomb sizzling to explode.

"It is little wonder thinking people begin to ask questions. Why is there so much oppression? Why all the injustice? Why do evil men prosper? Why do the righteous suffer? Why doesn’t God clean up this mess? Why? Why? Why?"

We will examine these as well as other questions that Habakkuk asked God; and we will also examine God’s response:

Read the book of Habakkuk and consider the following questions:

  1. For a better understanding of the times when Habakkuk was a prophet, read the following passages and note what insight it provides us into the evil and unrighteousness that existed:
    1. 2 Kings 23:36 through 2 Kings 24:7
    2. 2 Chronicles 36:5-8
  2. During this time of shedding innocent blood and all of the detestable things that were happening in the Temple and in the nation of Judah, what questions did Habakkuk ask of God? (see Hab. 1:2-3, and Hab. 1:13)
  3. How does God answer Habakkuk? (see Hab. 1:5-11)
  4. What else does God say to Habakkuk in all of Chapter 2?
  5. In Habakkuk 2:4, what does God tell Habakkuk about the righteous?

Walvoord and Zuck’s book also summarizes Habakkuk’s message:

"In the dark days of Jehoiakim’s reign just before the Babylonian Captivity, the Prophet Habakkuk penned an unusual message of hope and encouragement for God’s people. Though doubts and confusion reign when sin runs rampant, an encounter with God can turn those doubts into devotion and all confusion into confidence.

"Habakkuk’s book begins with an interrogation of God but ends as an intercession to God. Worry is transformed into worship. Fear turns to faith. Terror becomes trust. Hang-ups are resolved with hope. Anguish melts into adoration.

"What begins with a question mark ends in an exclamation point. The answer to Habakkuk’s ‘Why?’ is ‘Who!’. His confusion, ‘Why all the conflict?’ is resolved with his comprehension of who is in control: God!"

We can take hope and comfort from Habakkuk’s message. Hope that no matter how lost or confused the world around us might seem, God is very much in control. His plan for all eternity is being worked out, and we as people of faith need to continue to trust in Him.

May this be a time that you come to know God and His Son Jesus in ways that you have not known Him before. May your faith and trust in God and His Son Jesus continue to grow as you study His Holy Word.

Have a great week everyone, and thanks for studying with us.

In Christ,



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