The words of the prophet Habakkuk come from near the end of the seventh century b.c., at a time when the Babylonians were in power. He was deeply disturbed by the violence of these cruel people, and asked the Lord, “So why are you silent while they destroy people who are more righteous than they are?” (1.13). The Lord's answer was that he would take action in his own good time, and meanwhile “those who are righteous will live because they are faithful to God” (2.4).
The rest of the book is a prophecy of doom on the unrighteous, with a concluding psalm celebrating the greatness of God and expressing the undying faith of the poet.
Outline of Contents
Habakkuk's complaints and the Lord's replies (1.1—2.4)
Doom on the unrighteous (2.5-20)
Habakkuk's prayer (3.1-19)
This book features a dialogue between the prophet Habakkuk and God about suffering and justice, and concludes with a prayer in praise of the Lord's power and glory.