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July 27 – Habakkuk 1

We’re on a tour of the minor prophets for the rest of the summer: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. You can join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!

Habakkuk was written right before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Its message is hope and comfort for God’s people.

Habakkuk 1

The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.
I am raising up the Babylonians,
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
    to seize dwellings not their own.
They are a feared and dreaded people;
    they are a law to themselves
    and promote their own honor.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
    their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
    they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind
    and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
    and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
    by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
    guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
    My God, my Holy One, you will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
    you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
    like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
    he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
    and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
    and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
    destroying nations without mercy?

SOAP Note

The Complaint Department | Kathy Page

Scripture

Habakkuk 1:2-4, 6, 12-13

Observation

Habakkuk (he who embraces). Habakkuk was a man who sought answers. Like the book of Jonah, Habakkuk deals with the personal experiences and emotions of the prophet himself.  But, while Jonah tried to run from God, Habakkuk ran to God; God called on Jonah, but Habakkuk called on God; Jonah concluded with folly, but Habakkuk concluded with faith.  Habakkuk chapter 1, I believe, is one of the most remarkable sections in Scripture as it contains an extended dialog between Habakkuk and God. And what is the conversation with God? Complaints. Saddened by the violence and corruption he saw around Him and upset by the fact that God didn’t judge sin in Judah (vv2-4), Habakkuk cries out to God why the wicked in Judah were not being punished. He couldn’t understand why a just God would allow such evil to exist.

God answers Habakkuk saying He would use the wicked Babylonians to punish the people. Habakkuk once again cries out to God with complaint #2 (vv12-13)– The Babylonians were even more violent and depraved than the people of Judah – how could God allow this?

Application

Habakkuk was not the first Old Testament prophet to ask God the why and how questions. God does not fear questions—even hard, searching questions- especially when a person asks them with a spirit of respect, as Habakkuk did; ( vv12-13 – see the names he uses when he is crying out to God, these are reverent names).  We have been where Habakkuk has been.  We wonder why, why the evil, why the injustice, why is God not moving? We all grapple with these questions.  Although the process was not easy, Habakkuk trusted God.  Faith grows stronger when we deliberately release our anxieties, remembering that the Sovereign Lord is our strength and that His plans are best, no matter how unreliable life may feel at the moment.  Our past, present, and future all belong to the Lord.  Our times-our very lives- are in His hands. Trust Him.  His answers may not be what we expect. However, trusting in the Sovereign Lord leads to quiet hope, not bitter resignation.

Prayer

Father, no matter how much I don’t understand what is going on in this world, no matter how uncomfortable it may seem, or how hard things get, I will not give up.  For You, God, are the same God who spoke life into Your creation and into me.  I trust You, Father.  I know You are in control, for You know the beginning and the end.  I have nothing to fear.  My future, the future of this world, are all in Your Almighty hands.  I choose to trust You and lean on You, not my understanding, for I know You will direct my path.  My life and times are indeed in Your hands.  All is well. In Jesus’ Name.

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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