Have you ever watched the news and wondered if the world has gone mad? Violence in cities, schools, and even churches are on the rise, and it can be unsettling. Around 600 B.C., the prophet Habakkuk had similar concerns. Evil had become the norm in Judah, and he didnít understand why God was tolerating it.
The book of Habakkuk portrays a discouraged prophet who questions Godís actions and is searching for answers. Why doesnít God put an end to the violence and injustice in Judah? God answers that He will use the mighty Babylonians to chastise the people of Judah. Puzzled by Godís answer, Habakkuk struggles to understand His ways. Why does God use the evil Babylonians, who are far worse than the Jews, to bring judgement on Judah? God answers that He will use the Babylonians for His purposes, and in time they will be punished.
In the final chapter, Habakkuk finds peace with God and realizes that His ways are always best. He learns that the righteous must live by faith. (Habakkuk 2:4) Habakkuk concludes his book with a lovely psalm of praise. One of the greatest expressions of faith in the Bible, Habakkuk chooses to rejoice in God even if he suffers loss:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.† (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV)