Habakkuk’s ministry was during the last days of Judah before the Babylonian invasion. Habakkuk is struggling with understanding the plans of the Lord so he takes his concerns to God. “Why do You…cause me to see trouble?” “For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.”
Habakkuk can’t understand why God is allowing all of this wickedness to occur. So the Lord responds – “For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and nasty nation…” to bring judgement against Judah. But Habakkuk questions how the Lord can use people more wicked than Judah to judge Judah. The Chaldeans lived in the southern part of Babylon and were known for their cruelty. Habakkuk asks, “Shall they therefore…continue to slay nations without pity?”
The Lord says He will judge the wicked in His perfect timing. The proud who walk in their own evil ways will be destroyed, “But the just shall live by faith.” The Lord is reminding Habakkuk not to worry about what he sees but to trust the Lord and walk by faith. So Habakkuk submits to the Lord in prayer. He remembers God’s goodness and sovereignty over the world and His protection over His people. Habakkuk says, “I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Next we meet Zephaniah whose ministry is during the reign of Josiah. He pronounces judgment against Judah for turning their backs on the Lord and turning to the worship of false gods. Zephaniah also says He will judge those “who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, the Lord will not do good, nor will he do evil.” At the end of the Story Jesus will also have a word for complacent or lukewarm people – “‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth…Therefore be zealous and
repent’“ (Revelation 3:15-19).
As Charles Spurgeon says, “Religion cannot long be lukewarm; it will either die out or it will kindle and set you
all on fire.“ In order to be on fire for the Lord you have to know the Lord. In order to know the Lord you have to read and understand His Word. So keep reading! 🔥
(Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Zephaniah 1:1-2:7)