The prophet Habakkuk penned this book in approximately 605 B. C.
This was about the time the Babylonians came into power. Very little
is known about him, except his work in this book.  The theme of the
book is the mystery of providence. Habakkuk was troubled over the
sinful world going unpunished. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, Habakkuk was
well preserved. Paul referred to Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 4. Romans
1:17 "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to
faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." It was these
two Scriptures which influenced Martin Luther greatly, and he started
the protestant reformation.

     We will now begin the verse by verse study in Habakkuk 1:1 "The
burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see."

     The word "burden" lets us know that Habakkuk was troubled by what
he saw around him. The statement "did see", possibly, means that
Habakkuk had a vision from God.

     Habakkuk 1:2 "O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not
hear! [even] cry out unto thee [of] violence, and thou wilt not save!"

     This is a plea to God to hear his prayers. He sees the injustice
around him, and does not understand why God is not punishing those
involved. We have all, at some time or other, cried out "how long?".
It appears from this, that Habukkuk had prayed many times to God to do
something about the moral decay of Judah. It appears, that those who
pretended to belong to God {Judah} had strayed very far away, and
Habakkuk had prayed so much about the seriousness of the problem, he
had begun to doubt that God was hearing his prayers.

     Habakkuk 1:3 "Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause [me] to
behold grievance? for spoiling and violence [are] before me: and there
are [that] raise up strife and contention."

     From this it appears, that Habakkuk was in the ministry. He was
like a watchman. He saw all the evil and warned the people, yet God
had not punished them. He is asking God, why He allows him to see all
of the wrong, if God is not going to change it. Habakkuk is a
righteous man, living in a society that has gone mad. He is
questioning how God can know of these sins and abominations, and not
do anything about them. I personally look at society today, and wonder
why God has not thundered in judgement against our society. This
strife and contention is speaking of those rebellious who are not
keeping God's law. Perhaps, those that question God's law are some who
should know better, because they are the leaders of the people.

     Habakkuk 1:4 "Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth
never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous;
therefore wrong judgment proceedeth."

     Not only are the wicked people not keeping God's law, but they
are attacking the righteous. They are actually opposed to those who
have taken a stand for God. The law which had governed even their
civil law is unequal. Habakkuk is disappointed that justice is no
longer part of their society.

     Habakkuk 1:5  "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and
wonder marvellously: for [I] will work a work in your days, [which] ye
will not believe, though it be told [you]."

     Up until this Scripture, Habakkuk had been complaining to God. In
this Scripture, we see an answer to Habakkuk from God. Habakkuk is
living for God in the middle of those who do not.  During Habakkuk's
lifetime, God will take care of this situation. God will work so
quickly and marvellously, that it will be difficult for Habakkuk to
believe. God will use a heathen nation to bring the chastisement upon
His people. Those of God's children who are living in sin, will not
expect their punishment to come through a heathen nation. God can use
whoever He wants to, however.

     Habakkuk 1:6 "For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, [that] bitter
and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land,
to possess the dwellingplaces [that are] not theirs."

     The Chaldeans are even more evil than Judah. God always begins
His judgement with the house of God. It is the chastisement God has
judged, that will come upon them. It is just Babylon, {Chaldeans} that
it comes by. They were a very cruel army. We must remember, that God
sent them.

     Habakkuk 1:7 "They [are] terrible and dreadful: their judgment
and their dignity shall proceed of themselves."

     At the time they attack Judah, they have become very powerful.
There seemed to be no one who could stop them. They will not be aware
that God sends them to attack Judah.

     Habakkuk 1:8 "Their horses also are swifter than the leopards,
and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall
spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall
fly as the eagle [that] hasteth to eat."

     They are a mighty world army, and they have many horses. They
will sweep across this little land quickly, bringing destruction along
the way. The comparison to "evening wolves" speaks of their ferocious
nature. Jeremiah 5:6 "Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay
them, [and] a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall
watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn
in pieces: because their transgressions are many, [and] their
backslidings are increased."

     Habakkuk 1:9 "They shall come all for violence: their faces shall
sup up [as] the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the

     The mention of the "east wind" is speaking of an ill wind. The
"supping up" is just speaking of total destruction. The "gathering as
of sand" speaks of the large number of people taken. Romans 9:27
"Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the
children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be

     Habakkuk "1:10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes
shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for
they shall heap dust, and take it."

     The Chaldeans who came had no respect for kings, or princes. They
were treated the same as all the other people. The walls, or the
fortress, was no problem to them. They went through the land with such
destruction they left piles of dust. They took the valuable things and
burned all the rest. They left nothing of any help to the people. They
were such a powerful army, that they were almost impossible to stop.
God had moved away from His people, and left them to defend
themselves.  They were no match {in the physical} for these Chaldeans.

     Habakkuk 1:11 "Then shall [his] mind change, and he shall pass
over, and offend, [imputing] this his power unto his god."

     It was God's judgement on His people that allowed this heathen
army to succeed. They were so arrogant, they gave no credit to God,
but instead said their false gods had helped them conquer. The sad
thing about this army that came sweeping through, was they went beyond
the limits God had set for them.

     Habakkuk 1:12  "[Art] thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God,
mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for
judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for

     This is a request from Habakkuk to God for the covenant people.
He knows in his heart, that God will stop this onslaught, before they
destroy God's people. Habakkuk is recognizing God in His might in
this. He knows that God can stop this chastisement, if He will.
Habakkuk is speaking for himself, and for all of the others who had
not bowed their knee to Baal. Sometimes, when the chastisement of God
comes upon a people, some innocents get hurt in the process. This was
the case here. Habakkuk knows they need to be chastised for their
unfaithfulness to God, but he believes God will stop, before they are
destroyed. Hebrews 12:5 "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which
speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the
chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:"
Hebrews 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son whom he receiveth."

     Habakkuk 1:13 "[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and
canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal
treacherously, [and] holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth [the
man that is] more righteous than he?"

     Habakkuk is reminding God, that the Chaldeans {Babylonians} are
more evil than God's unfaithful family. He is questioning God about
using such an evil people to chastise His people. Habakkuk is
reminding God, that He is holy and cannot look upon sin without
destroying it. Habakkuk is questioning the wisdom of God overlooking
the Babylonian's sins, and punishing His own people who are
comparatively less sinful.

     Habakkuk 1:14 "And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the
creeping things, [that have] no ruler over them?"

     Habakkuk is appealing to God to see the merciless way they are
coming and sweeping away God's people, as a fishermen catches fish in
his net without discrimination. The creeping things and fish have no
one to take their part. Habakkuk thinks God's people do no longer have
Him to take their part.

     Habakkuk 1:15 "They take up all of them with the angle, they
catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they
rejoice and are glad."

     This is just saying, that this army of the Chaldeans has taken
whole nations before them, without sparing anyone. The net of a
fisherman catches everything in front of the net. The army rejoices
over the capture of all these people, as a fisherman does when he has
a large catch of fish.

     Habakkuk 1:16 "Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn
incense unto their drag; because by them their portion [is] fat, and
their meat plenteous."

     These Chaldeans {Babylonians} do not even recognize the fact that
God has helped them make this catch. They thank their false gods for
their victory, by burning incense to them.

     Habakkuk 1:17 "Shall they therefore empty their net, and not
spare continually to slay the nations?"

     As soon as they have caught one group, they go out with their
net, again, and catch another. This is the way of this evil army. They
go from one nation to another taking the people captive, and killing
those who are not useful to them. They are never satisfied. They have
in mind conquering the whole world. As if God is not aware of this,
Habakkuk reminds Him.

                        Habakkuk 1 Questions

1.  Approximately when was the book of Habakkuk penned?
2.  What is the theme of this book?
3.  What greatly troubled Habakkuk?
4.  What Scripture Paul wrote, is the same as Habakkuk chapter 2 verse
5.  What influenced Martin Luther so much, that he started the
    protestant reformation?
6.  What does verse 1 reveal about Habakkuk's message?
7.  What is verse 2 pleading with God about?
8.  Habakkuk had prayed many times for God to do what?
9.  In verse 2, it appears, that Habakkuk had begun to doubt what?
10. Habakkuk was, probably, in the ____________.
11. Habakkuk was a ____________ man, who lived in a society gone mad
    with sin.
12. What does the author wonder about our society today?
13. These evil people are actually __________ to those who have taken
    a stand for God.
14. When does God say He will take care of this situation?
15. What will be unexpected about the chastisement God sends upon His
16. Who does God raise up to chastise His people?
17. What kind of army were the Chaldeans {Babylonians}?
18. Their horses are swifter than __________.
19. Quote Jeremiah chapter 5 verse 6.
20. They shall gather the captivity as the __________.
21. How will they treat the kings and princes?
22. Who does this army give credit for their victory to?
23. What is Habakkuk requesting in verse 12?
24. God can stop this ___________ if He will.
25. Quote Hebrews chapter 12 verses 5 and 6.
26. What is Habakkuk reminding God of in verse 13?
27. What are the men compared to in verse 14?
28. What is Habakkuk complaining about the army God sent, that is
    compared to a fish net?
29. What do these Babylonians {Chaldeans} have in their mind to do?