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Habakkuk-Detailed Outline
Habakkuk 1:1 Introduction
Habakkuk 1:2-4 Prophets Complaint of unchecked Violence in Judah
Habakkuk’s initial lament is seen. How long must I call for help; but you do not hear. He sees evil all around. Evil is rampant; justice never prevails. Evil has learned to subvert the law meant to curb it. It is perverted.
Habakkuk 1:5-11 The Lord’s Answer-Chaldean Instrument of Punishment
Habakkuk 1:5 God’s first response. An announcement of God’s judgment against his people for their sins is given. Not only is God about to act but also he identifies the nation through which he will act…the Chaldeans. Habakkuk is to know this is not an accident of history. Obviously this is hard for Habakkuk to believe
Habakkuk 1:6-11 A description of Chaldean (Babylonian) army is given. They are invincible, ruthless. Army is compared to three predators: leopard, wolf, and eagle. All bring violent death to their prey. Violence has become a way of life for them. Yet, they are guilty men, whose strength is their god. God will allow them to flourish for a while, but they will become intoxicated by their own power. Then God will intervene. God’s response is not exactly what Habakkuk hoped to hear.
Habakkuk 1:12-2:1 Chaldean’s More wicked than the Judean’s
Habakkuk 1:12-1:13 Habakkuk’s second lament is given. He heard the words, but they don’t make sense to him. How can God appoint a nation to punish one who is more righteous than the punishing nation? The questions become more urgent. Begins with an affirmation of faith. He knows that God is from everlasting, the Holy One. He knows that God can choose a foreign nation as his instrument of judgment. He does not know how God, who is of purer eyes than to behold evil, can stand by silently while evil runs unchecked.
Habakkuk 1:14-20 Presses his argument with metaphor of fish. Countrymen are like fish swimming aimlessly, without direction. (That’s how God made them). Chaldeans are like fishing boats. Captain gathers up the fish, rejoices in his catch. Fish are helpless against his powerful boat and nets. Question: Does he get to fish indefinitely?
Habakkuk 2:1 Habakkuk takes his stand and awaits God’s response.
Habakkuk 2:2-4 The Lord’s Answer-Faith Will be Rewarded
God’s second response is given. God tells him to write the vision. A full answer is coming (that’s His answer). If the answer seems slow in coming, wait for it. It will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk wanted to know right then...God will act in His own time. In the mean time, the righteous must live by faith. Habakkuk was living in the time between promise and fulfillment. Must learn patience and trust in a God who grants fulfillment.
Habakkuk 2:5-2:20 Five Curses for Disobedience
Habakkuk 2:5 Message is addressed to the arrogant man…most likely the Babylonian emperor. Ultimate message is that sin is doomed to destruction. God is still in control.
Habakkuk 2:6-8 A first curse is seen. Ruler is compared to unscrupulous moneylender. He plunders nations but eventually he will be plundered. Day will come when the instrument of judgment is judged.
Habakkuk 2:9-11 A second curse is seen. Woe to the person who builds his house in a high but unprotected place. Search for security but their behavior can only lead to loss of security. Nothing they can do will be able to secure themselves.
Habakkuk 2:12-14 Third curse is seen. Woe to him who builds a town on blood and iniquity. Babylonians were trying to build an empire that would cover the earth. Habakkuk has a different vision: The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:15-17 Fourth curse is given. Woe to those who through drunken orgies bring shame upon themselves. They will reap contempt, not glory. The Lord’s cup will be theirs to drink. Those who act violently will reap violence. Those who terrorize will feel terror
Habakkuk 2:18-19 Fifth curse is given. Woe to those who practice idolatry. Idols can be fashioned of metal, overlaid with gold or silver. Nonetheless, they are man’s creation! What’s to be gained from worshiping the work of one’s own handiwork?
Habakkuk 2:20 The Lord is in His temple. In contrast to impotent idols, the Lord rests in His temple. The earth must wait upon the Lord
Habakkuk 3:1-3:16 A Vision of Divine Judgment
Habakkuk 3:1-2 The Hymn of Habakkuk: He remembers the Lord’s name and His past deeds. Prays to make them known again
Habakkuk 3:3-16 Vision of God in which enemies are defeated. God’s glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His glory was like the sunrise. God’s power is revealed in judgment -- plagues, pestilence. His power covers the earth – earthquakes and volcanic upheavals. He is lord over rivers and streams. He created the sun and moon and controls their order. Interruption of created order accompanies judgment. Purpose of His coming will be to crush the leader of the land of wickedness. He is angry with the nations’ abuse of power. He will deliver His people, save His anointed.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 The Triumph of Faith
Habakkuk’s response is given. After thinking all this through, Habakkuk has reason to rejoice. Even if deliverance is delayed, he is convinced it will happen. That assurance enables him to wait with patience. Habakkuk understands judgment is inevitable. But he also knows after judgment will be restoration. God has all events under his control. This understanding will enable Habakkuk to endure afflictions. Because of the covenant he could rejoice in the Lord. God’s presence is real and dear to him.

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