Bible Study: Habakkuk

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3
Trial Trust Triumph
Violence Vision Victory
Weeper Watcher Worshiper
Closet Tower Sanctuary
Problems & Perplexity Principle & Prospect Prayer & Peace
Mind filled w/Questions Eyes filled w/Vision Lips filled w/Worship
  • Jeremiah tells us eleven times that God rose up early to speak through His prophets (Jer 7:25). Habakkuk was one of them.


  • 9th century B.C. – Jonah and possibly Joel – there were also Elijah and Elisha
  • 8th century B.C. – Hosea, Amos, Micah, Isaiah
  • 7th century B.C. – Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Jeremiah
  • 5th and 6th centuries B.C. – Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Ezekiel, Daniel
  • Nahum – coming destruction of Thebes and Nineveh (612-605 B.C.)
  • Habakkuk – prophesied between the destruction of Nineveh and invasion of Judah by Babylon (612-605 B.C.)
  • Zephaniah – before destruction of Nineveh (612 B.C.)
  • Reforms under Josiah had given way to the wickedness of the current time: social injustice, idolatry, covetousness, drunkenness. Habakkuk was burdened by the evil all around him.


  • Habakkuk’s perplexity. His name means “embracing.” He embraced God in prayer, by faith, and with songs of victory.
  • Book summarized by sighing (ch.1), seeing (ch.2), singing (ch.3); or questioning (ch.1), waiting (ch.2), rejoicing (ch.3).
  • 1:5 (quoted in Act 13:41)
  • 2:3 (quoted in Heb 10:37)
  • 2:4 (quoted in Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38)


This is a discourse between the prophet and his God. There is no action, no events which occur in the book. It is a man wrestling with great moral questions. Habakkuk is the only book which is solely a dialogue between a man and God. Both Jonah and Habakkuk open with a prophet’s perplexity and close with God’s solution. But the response of the two prophets is different.

Teaching of the Book

  • He is the God of the nations
  • He is holy
  • He is sovereign and does not always work as we think He should
  • He is faithful
  • He answers in His own time
  • He is in His holy temple and He Himself is the ultimate answer
  • He can be depended upon and rejoiced in, whatever the circumstances


I. Perplexity of Unanswered and Answered Prayer (ch.1)

  1. Israel’s Sin and God’s Silence (1:1-4)
  2. Israel’s Sentence and God’s Sovereignty (1:5-11)
  3. The Prophet’s Struggle and God’s Sanctity (1:12-17)

He cannot reconcile his concept of God with the message about the coming invasion and defeat at the hands of Babylon. He attests to God’s eternality, fidelity (Lord), relationship (My God), holiness.

II. A Principle to Live by and a Prospect to Look to (ch.2)

Seen as a Watcher on his tower, a writer of the vision, a waiter for the promise, a witness in his life, and a worshiper in the Sanctuary.

  1. The Watcher (2:1)
  2. The Writer (2:2)
  3. The Waiter (2:3-4)
  4. The Witness Against the Wicked and Their Woes (2:5-19)
  5. The Worshiper (2:20) – All called upon to “hush.” The Lord is in His holy temple.

III.  Peace and Praise by Faith (ch.3)

  1. Habakkuk’s Request – Prayer (3:1-2)
  2. Habakkuk’s Remembrance – Psalm (3:3-16)
    Selah (vv3,9,13)
  3. Habakkuk’s Resolve – Praise (3:17-19)

The words of 3:17-19 constitute not only beautiful Hebrew poetry but also a wonderful statement of confidence in God despite circumstances.

  • His Circumstances (v17)
  • His Commitment/Confession (v18)
  • His Confidence (v19)