The Book of Habakkuk

Lesson 38


The Book:

The focus of Habakkuk’s prophecy is Babylon. Obadiah spoke of the fate of Edom, Nahum the fate of Assyria, and Habakkuk the fate of Babylon. Habakkuk speaks to God alone about a problem that bothered him relating to Jehovah’s government of the nations. The first part of book could be called a discussion between Habakkuk and Jehovah. The last part is a beautiful description of a visible appearance of God. Habakkuk wrote shortly after the fall of Nineveh in 608 B.C. The Chaldeans (Babylonians) were rising to power (1:6). He wrote concerning Judah.


The Central Message:

“The just shall live by faith” (2:4b)


The Structure of the Book:

  • The Burden-Chapter 1

  • The Vision-Chapter 2

  • A Prayer-Chapter 3


The Burden-Chapter 1

The structure comes from the first thoughts of each chapter. In chapter 1, Habakkuk was concerned and perplexed with the silence of God. Sin was abounding, and he cries to God (1:2-4), and God answers in verse 5-11. The prophet is wise to wait and “see what He will say and what I shall answer” (2:1).


The Vision-Chapter 2:

God gave to Habakkuk a wonderful vision in chapter 2 (note v.2). Herein we find two great pledges which God gives in verse 4 and 14. Verse 4 says: “Behold his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by faith”. Verse 14 says: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Verse 4 is so significant that it is quoted three times in the New Testament.


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.


Galatians 3:11

But no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.


Hebrews 10:38

Now the just shall live by faith


 Matthew 24:30

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.


Matthew 25:31

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of glory:


II Thessalonians 1:7

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.


Notice in 2:3 what the Lord say to Habakkuk, “the vision is for an appointed time, wait for it, and it will surely come.