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Summary of The Book of Habakkuk

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It is believed that the book of Habakkuk was written to Judah around the year 606 B.C., as Nineveh no longer exists, so it has to have been written some time after Nahum. There is nothing known about this prophet outside of this book, and it is believed that Habakkuk wrote the book himself, but it is uncertain. His name means "embraced" or could even be the name of an Assyrian flower. Also known as the prophet of the watchtower, he was one of the last prophets to write before the Babylonian captivity. Habakkuk was not written to prophecy to Judah or Israel about their destruction, but was written as if to God, with Habakkuk asking Him questions.
Among the complaints and questions that Habakkuk brings to God, the most prevalent is this: How can God allow evil to triumph over good? How can God use an evil nation to punish a good nation? Habakkuk feels as if God cannot, or will not hear his pleas and cries. Habakkuk sees strife in the world around him and it bothers him, because he doesn't understand why God would allow these things to happen to His own people. He wondered if God would ever allow justice to rule the world, and if so, when it would. This book is different than any of the other minor prophet books, as it is not God addressing His people through a prophet, but rather the prophet represents the people, and addresses (even challenges) God.
The people of Israel had been wicked, and God was once again punishing them for their heresies. It seemed to be a constant cycle with these people to fall away, fall into persecutions, and repent. In this instance, God used the Chaldeans, a wicked nation indeed, to punish the Israelites. Habakkuk's first question directed toward God is that of wondering why he sees the people of God ...

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God has answered all of Habakkuk's questions, and he now sees that God's actions are completely justified, however he is terrified of the power of God, and asks for mercy and hopes for compassion during the judgment time to come. Habakkuk hopes in God, and trusts in Him, and knows that whatever God does will be justified and righteous. Habakkuk's faith that the tribulations to come are necessary, and the way he accepts them (even though he himself will likely suffer from these things) is both notable, and admirable. Troublesome times come in all of our lives, we can not control that. What we can control however, is how we react, and the attitude we have during those darker times. Will we accept them the way that Habakkuk did, or will we let harder times turn us hard ourselves. "The same sun that melts the butter also hardens the clay." -Billy Graham.
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