1
Habakkuk complains, and the Lord answers
1I am Habakkuk the prophet. And this is the message#1.1 message: Or “vision”. that the Lord gave me.
Habakkuk complains to the Lord
2Our Lord, how long must I beg
for your help
before you listen?
How long before you save us
from all this violence?
3Why do you make me watch
such terrible injustice?
Why do you allow violence,
lawlessness, crime, and cruelty
to spread everywhere?
4Laws cannot be enforced;
justice is always the loser;
criminals crowd out honest people
and twist the laws around.
The Lord answers Habakkuk
5 # Acts 13.41 Look and be amazed
at what's happening
among the nations!
Even if you were told,
you would never believe
what's taking place now.
6 # 2 King 24.2 I am sending the Babylonians.
They are fierce and cruel—
marching across the land,
conquering cities and towns.
7How fearsome and frightening.
Their only laws and rules
are the ones they make up.
8Their cavalry troops are faster
than leopards,
more ferocious than wolves
hunting at sunset,
and swifter than hungry eagles
suddenly swooping down.
9They are eager to destroy,#1.9 eager to destroy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and they gather captives
like handfuls of sand.
10They make fun of rulers
and laugh at fortresses,
while building earth mounds
so they can capture cities.#1.10 earth mounds … cities: Attacking armies often built earth mounds against city walls to make it easier for them to climb the wall and capture the city.
11Then suddenly they disappear
like a gust of wind—
those sinful people who worship
their own strength.
Habakkuk complains again
12Holy Lord God, mighty rock,#1.12 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock”, which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
you are eternal,
and we#1.12 we: Hebrew; one ancient Jewish tradition “you”. are safe from death.
You are using those Babylonians
to judge and punish others.#1.12 You … others: Or “You will judge and punish those Babylonians.”
13But you can't stand sin or wrong.
So don't sit by in silence
while they gobble up people
who are better than they are.
14The people you put on this earth
are like fish or reptiles
without a leader.
15Then an enemy comes along
and takes them captive
with hooks and nets.
It makes him so happy
16that he offers sacrifices
to his fishing nets,
because they make him rich
and provide choice foods.
17Will he keep hauling in his nets
and destroying nations
without showing mercy?
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