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Habakkuk (630 B.C.) could be describing our world today. Wrongdoers prosper. Those in power ignore and violate the law with impunity. Wicked people hold down the righteous. But God’s response then is still the same today: He is in control. He will unfailingly work things according to His good and gracious purpose, and in His time. Have faith in the Word of Him Who cannot lie, and live by that faith.

BibleGateway: Habakkuk 1:1-2:4

ESV Text: Habakkuk 1:1-2:4

Habakkuk 1–2:4 (Listen)

1:1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk’s Complaint


  O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
  Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
  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.
  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


  “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.
  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.
  They are dreaded and fearsome;
    their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
  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.
  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   He1 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,2
    and his food is rich.
17   Is he then to keep on emptying his net
    and mercilessly killing nations forever?


2:1   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

And the LORD answered me:


  “Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so he may run who reads it.
  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.


  “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith.3

Footnotes

[1] 1:15 That is, the wicked foe

[2] 1:16 Hebrew his portion is fat

[3] 2:4 Or faithfulness

(ESV)


KJV Text: Habakkuk 1:1-17

The section starts at about 0:0 and ends at about 2:50

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     1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 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! 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. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

     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. 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. 7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. 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. 9 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. 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. 11 Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.

     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 correction. 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? 14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 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. 16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?(KJV)



KJV Text: Habakkuk 2:1-4

The section starts at about 0:0 and ends at about 0:46

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     1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.(KJV)


Hymn: TLH 381 :
I Know my Faith is Founded

Hymnary.org

Organ Audio

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1. I know my faith is founded
On Jesus Christ, my God and Lord;
And this my faith confessing
Unmoved I stand upon His Word.
Man’s reason cannot fathom
The truth of God profound;
Who trusts her subtle wisdom
Relies on shifting ground.
God’s Word is all-sufficient,
It makes divinely sure,
And trusting in its wisdom,
My faith shall rest secure.

2. Increase my faith, dear Savior,
For Satan seeks by night and day
To rob me of this treasure
And take my hope of bliss away.
But, Lord, with Thee beside me,
I shall be undismayed;
And led by Thy good Spirit,
I shall be unafraid.
Abide with me, O Savior,
A firmer faith bestow;
Then I shall bid defiance
To every evil foe.

3. In faith, Lord, let me serve Thee;
Though persecution, grief and pain
Should seek to overwhelm me,
Let me a steadfast trust retain;
And then at my departure
Take Thou me home to Thee
And let me there inherit
All thou hast promised me.
In life and death, Lord, keep me
Until Thy heaven I gain,
Where I by Thy great mercy
The end of faith attain.