For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 (NIV)
Read: Romans 15:1-13
Consider: All Scripture is given by God for our instruction and encouragement and can contain examples or warnings for us to follow or heed. Yet knowing this it is all too easy to ignore large chunks of the Bible. The inevitable result of this is that our view of the Bible and God is skewed.
The Book of Habakkuk is one of the twelve Minor Prophets and was written around 608-605BC. Habakkuk has a real problem which is mirrored in our day. He sees injustice and violence around him and what he wants to understand is why God is allowing the wicked to prosper?
The outline of the book is:
1:2-4 Habakkuk’s first question
1:5-11 God’s answer
1:12-2:1 Habakkuk’s second question
2:2-20 God’s answer
3:1-19 A prayer
The specific questions Habakkuk puts to God are ‘Why do you tolerate violence, injustice and wrongdoing?’ and ‘Why do you tolerate treacherous people, in particular the Babylonians?’ When we look at Habakkuk in more detail in future posts we might be surprised by God’s answers to these questions. These types of questions are still relevant today when we see the same violence, injustice and wrongdoing taking place in our generation. As Christians we want to understand what is happening and why. However, the lessons from Habakkuk are that God’s way of doing things is different to how we would do it and his timing for doing things is different to ours; these are still relevant to us today.
We might think that as the book of Habakkuk only consists of three chapters that its impact on the Christian church would be small. Despite being such a short book, Luke (reporting Paul speaking at Pisidian Antioch) and the Apostle Paul quote from Habakkuk on three occasions; in Acts 13:41 (quoting Habakkuk 1:5), Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11 (quoting Habakkuk 2:4). It is clear that Paul knew the book of Habakkuk well and felt comfortable using quotes from this book.
Pray: Father, help us to read Habakkuk with a open mind and an open heart. May we learn more about what you think about wickedness and how you will deal with it in your time and in your way. Amen
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