September 30, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
The book of Habakkuk is the third in our series on the minor prophets. The book consists mainly of a dialogue between the prophet and God. Habakkuk begins with a lament, and then a complaint. God replies, but Habakkuk is not satisfied, and he continues to debate. The issue at hand is that of unexplained human suffering.
Habakkuk asks God “why?” and “how long?”
Why do the poor and lowly experience so much injustice and oppression?
How long will the righteous suffer?
Why isn’t God doing something to stop it, to change things, to bring justice?
In the midst of the debate, in chapter 2, there is a section that focuses on those who are causing such suffering. They plunder the poor and weak, and carry their wealth away. Their towns and homes are built on bloodshed; they encourage others to drunkenness and then take advantage of them.
The third chapter is a poetic hymn, a description of …