Host Rev. AJ Espinosa studies Habakkuk 1-2:5.
“Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever?” Habakkuk boldly pours forth his complaint to God, but who is he talking about? It turns out that Habakkuk and Jonah have a lot in common: Jonah didn’t want God to give the Assyrians time to repent, and Habakkuk wants the Chaldeans to come overthrow the Assyrians right away.
But God says “If it seems slow, wait for it. […] The righteous shall live by his faith.” He assures Habakkuk that God’s righteous people—Israel—will not be wiped out; they will survive Assyrians. And in Jesus Christ, they do more than survive: they come back to life.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
3 Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4 So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.
The Lord‘s Answer
5 “Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
6 For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are dreaded and fearsome;
their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than the evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
9 They all come for violence,
all their faces forward.
They gather captives like sand.
10 At kings they scoff,
and at rulers they laugh.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they pile up earth and take it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
guilty men, whose own might is their god!”
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 Are you not from everlasting,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment,
and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors
and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?
14 You make mankind like the fish of the sea,
like crawling things that have no ruler.
15 He[a] brings all of them up with a hook;
he drags them out with his net;
he gathers them in his dragnet;
so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and makes offerings to his dragnet;
for by them he lives in luxury,[b]
and his food is rich.
17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net
and mercilessly killing nations forever?
2 I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith
2 And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.[a]
5 “Moreover, wine[b] is a traitor,
an arrogant man who is never at rest.[c]
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
like death he has never enough.
He gathers for himself all nations
and collects as his own all peoples.”
- Habakkuk 1:15 That is, the wicked foe
- Habakkuk 1:16 Hebrew his portion is fat
- Habakkuk 2:4 Or faithfulness
- Habakkuk 2:5 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll wealth
- Habakkuk 2:5 The meaning of the Hebrew of these two lines is uncertain
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org