Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Prophets: The books of Israel’s prophets who announced the downfall of Israel’s kingdom and the hope of its restoration after the exile.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Poetry: A condensed form of writing that uses metaphorical imagery and creative language to engage the reader’s imagination and emotions.
Prophetic: A type of Israelite poetry employed by the prophets to warn and accuse Israel of covenant violation, and to announce future hope.
Habakkuk struggles to understand God's goodness in the midst of such evil and injustice in the world.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Habakkuk, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Habakkuk, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.
The book of Habakkuk is a compilation of the prophet's laments, not an accusation against Israel and its sin or a message to the people on God's behalf like some of the other prophetic books. Instead, Habakkuk questions God's goodness because he sees so much injustice, evil and tragedy in the world. He's also concerned because God plans to send Babylon, an intensely evil nation, to judge Israel.
Throughout the book, we see that Babylon is an example of any nation that exalts itself above God and practices injustice, violence and idolatry. In the end, God reminds Habakkuk and every generation that God will deal with evil. We can continue to love and trust His timing and plan as we remain faithful to Him.
Israel has become violent, unjust and corrupt, and Habakkuk asks God to intervene. God replies that He will use a terrifying empire to judge Israel.
Habakkuk hates that God would use an incredibly violent and corrupt nation like Babylon to judge Israel. God replies that all nations will be accountable.
Habakkuk lists five woes perpetrated by Babylon. However, most nations eventually perform these same violent, unjust and idolatrous injustices because of the sinful human condition.
God Will Act
Habakkuk pleads for God to act and end corrupt nations. God's powerful appearance illustrates that when He eventually confronts human evil, everyone will pay attention.
The book of Habakkuk ends by comparing the ancient exodus and a future exodus when God defeats evil, brings justice and rescues all the oppressed.