I’ve always loved this book. It’s probably my favorite prophetic book.
Habakkuk starts off with a complaint, directed right at the Lord Himself. Some people think you have to watch your words around the Lord, that if you say something wrong you’ll offend Him. And maybe in some small way, these people are right. But, I’m persuaded that the Lord would rather you be honest with Him. Tell Him what’s chapping you, tell Him why you’re angry, frustrated, tired, doubtful, etc. The Psalmist does. Habakkuk does. God is big enough. He can handle you. The only caution I would give is that you don’t want to be dishonoring or full of pride–or else the Lord will swiftly deal with you.
Habakkuk’s complaint is about the injustices he sees, the violence that’s before him, the wickedness that seems to be prevailing. (Things aren’t much different in our country today if you just read the headlines.) But rather than the Lord smiting him dead, He answers him. The Lord says something to the effect of, “Habakkuk, listen up. I’m going to do the unbelievable. I’m going to raise up an even more wicked nation against your nation. I’m going to let these Babylonians wipe you out, and these Babylonians will be more confident in their own strength than ever before.”
To which Habakkuk replies, “Are You sure about that? I thought You were a just God who punishes wickedness. And You’re just going to let it reign and grow worse?!” Habakkuk resolves to keep an eye on this one.
To which God replies, “Write it down! I’m going to do it. And I want everyone to know about it. And just you watch Habakkuk. I’m going to judge the Babylonians shortly after I judge you in Judah. I will deal with ALL of this wickedness. Now everyone be quiet.”
And what do you know? History plays out exactly like the Lord said it would.
So Habakkuk and all the rest of us drop onto our knees, with our face to the ground, and worship Him, for He is powerful…and He is good…and He accomplishes all His plans…and He is our Savior and Strength.