Dave Burnette's Commentary

Habakkuk Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Habakkuk
Date Penned: BC 612-589
Overview: For God's People to Move from Doubt to Faith (c 1-3)
Theme: Habakkuk's Doubt (c 1-2)
Message: Habakkuk's First Question (v 1-17)

Habakkuk: Chapter 1 Commentary
(1:1) Habakkuk lived in Judah during the reign of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23) He prophesied between the fall of Nineveh (the capital of Assyria) in 612 BC and the invasion of Judah in 589 BC. With Assyria in disarray. Babylon was becoming the dominant world power. This book records the prophet's dialogue with God concerning the questions, "Why does God often seem indifferent in the face of evil? Why do evil people seem to go unpunished?" While other prophetic books brought God's Word to people, this brought people's questions to God.

(1:2-4) Habakkuk was saddened by the corruption he saw around him. In response, he poured out his heart to God. Today injustice is still rampant, but don't let your concern cause you to doubt God or rebel against him, Instead, consider the message God gave Habakkuk and recognize God's long range plans and purposes. Realize that God is doing right, even if you do not understand why he works as he does. 

(1:5) God responds to Habakkuk's questions and concerns by stating that he will yet do unbelievable acts that will astound Habakkuk. When circumstances around us become almost unbearable, we wonder if God has forgotten us. But remember, he is in control. He has a plan and will judge evildoers in his time. If we are truly humble, we will be willing to accept God's answer and await his timing. God told the inhabitants of Jerusalem that they would be astounded at what he was about to do. The people would see a series of unbelievable events: Judah and Egypt would become vassal nations. Nineveh would be completely ransacked, and the Chaldeans (Babylonians) would rise to power. 

(1:6) The Chaldeans (Babylonians) who lived northwest of the Persian Gulf, made a rapid rise to power around 630 BC. They began to assert themselves against the Assyrian Empire, and by 605 BC had conquered Assyria to become the strongest world power. But they were as wicked as the Assyrians, for they loved to collect captives, were proud of their warfare tactics, and trusted in their idols and military strength.

(1:11) Babylon was proud of its military might, strategies, armies, and weapons. With no regard for humanity, the armies brought home riches, booty, slaves, and tribute from the nations they conquered. Such is the essence of idolatry - asking the gods they make to help them get all they want. While the essence of Christianity is asking the God who made us to help give us all we can in service to Him. The goal of idolatry is self-glory while the aim of Christianity is God's-Glory.

(1:13) Judah's forthcoming punishment would be at the hands of the Babylonians. Habakkuk was appalled that God would use a nation more wicked than Judah for Judah's punishment. But the Babylonians did not know they were being used by God to help Judah return to Him, and Babylon's Pride in its victories would be its downfall. Evil is self destructive, and it is never beyond God's control. God may use whatever unusual instrument he chooses to correct us or punish us. When we deserve punishment or correction, how can we complain about the kind of "rod" God uses on us? 

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Lords Timetable

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Habakkuk with Chapter 1. In our text today we see that Habakkuk was saddened by the corruption he saw around him and he poured out his heart to the Lord. In his prayer the Lord revealed His long-range plan an purpose. In making application we see that our plans and timetable are not always the same as the Lord. Today it seems injustice is rampant yet the Lord is still incontrol, He has a plan and timetable to perform His Will. How about you? Do you get frustrated when the Lord does not respond on your timetable? Let us learn from our text today and the prayer of Habakkuk to see that the Lord is in control and delivers justice on His Timetable.


Habakkuk 1

Habakkuk 1

 1The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

 2O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

 3Why 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.

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

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

 6For, 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 their's.

 7They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.

 8Their 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.

 9They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

 10And 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.

 11Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.

 12Art 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 correction.

 13Thou 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?

 14And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?

 15They 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.

 16Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.

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