Bible Order: 2 Peter 1–3
Chronological Order: Jude 1, 2 Peter 1-3
New Testament Only: Revelation 15–16
The Book Of Habakkuk
Brothers, since we read the entire book of Habakkuk today I’m going to simply give you an excerpt from the introduction to this book in “Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee”.
“Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah have a great deal in common. Each one gives a different facet of the dealings of God with mankind. They show how the government of God is integrated into the government of men. They also show God’s dealings with the individual.
Another similarity is the fact that they come from approximately the same time period. In fact, they all could have been contemporaries, and the possibility is that they were. (It is difficult to nail down the specific dates of the prophets—and of many of the other Old Testament books. The reason, of course, is that the exact dates are not important.) At least we know that all three prophets fit into the period between the reigns of Kings Josiah and Jehoiakim, which would also be the time of the prophet Jeremiah. The northern kingdom had already gone into captivity, and the southern kingdom was right on the verge of captivity. After Josiah, every king in the southern kingdom was a bad king. Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah all fit into that period of decline.
Although there are similarities, these books also differ from each other. Nahum dealt only with Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. Nahum showed that God is just, righteous, and a God of love; yet He was absolutely right in judging that city.
Habakkuk approaches the problem from a little different viewpoint. He is a man with questions. He is disturbed about God’s seeming indifference to the iniquity of His own people. Habakkuk asks God, “Why don’t You do something?” In our day a great many folk feel as Habakkuk did. They are asking, “Why doesn’t God do something? Why doesn’t He move into the affairs of men and stop the violence and injustice and suffering?”
God answered the question for Habakkuk by informing him that He was preparing a nation, Babylon, to punish Judah and to take her into captivity—unless she changed her ways. Well, if you think Habakkuk had a problem before, you can see that he really had a problem then! Habakkuk asked, “Why will You use Babylon—a nation that is definitely more wicked, more pagan, and more given over to idolatry than Your own people—to punish Judah?” God reveals to Habakkuk that He was not through with Babylon but would judge her also. This is God’s method.
This book is very important in its relationship to the New Testament. It is generally conceded that the three great doctrinal books of the New Testament are Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews, all of which quote from Habakkuk. In fact, Habakkuk 2:4 is the background of their message: “The just shall live by his faith.” So this little book looms upon the horizon of Scripture as being important. Don’t let the brevity of it deceive you. Importance is not determined by how much you say but by what you say.”
McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 8/20/11)