The Message of Habakkuk: The Righteous Will Live by Faith

The Message of Habakkuk: The Righteous Will Live by FaithText: Habakkuk 2:4

In this series, we are going to do an overview of the Minor Prophets. The goal is to (1) understand the overall theme of each book and (2) see what lessons there are for us. In this lesson, we are going to see what we can learn from the book of Habakkuk.

Historical Context

  • No mention of the king(s) in power at this time – only clue in the text is the rise of the Chaldeans (1:6; 3:16); this refers to the Babylonian empire
  • The Babylonians defeated Nineveh/Assyria in 607 BC
  • They invaded Judah in 606 BC and took the first group of captives
  • This prophecy would have been shortly before the Babylonian invasion

Overall Theme: The Righteous Will Live by Faith

  • Quoted in the NT (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38) – this has always been the responsibility of God’s people
  • This comes in the context of Habakkuk questioning God – why God allows evil to go unpunished (1:2-4); why God was using a more wicked nation to punish His people (1:6-7, 13-15)
  • The point is to not blur the lines between God’s work and our responsibility – “Running the universe is God’s business. The righteous man has his daily tasks to fulfill…” (Jack P. Lewis)

Main Points

  • Desire for God to deal with sin (1:2-4) – he was describing the wickedness of his own people; people who are righteous have a sense of justice (cf. Job 21:7-9; Revelation 6:9-10)
  • Tendency to question God’s plan – He would deal with sin through the Chaldeans (1:5-6); they were more than capable of accomplishing the task (1:6-11; cf. Nahum 2:13-3:3)
  • The Lord is in His holy temple (2:20) – He is holy and is above the nations; this is why God must punish sin (1:2-4; 2:6, 9, 12, 15, 18); this is also why Habakkuk did not understand what God was doing (1:13)
  • Rejoice in God no matter what comes (3:16-19) – the last chapter is a psalm of praise for God; yet there was nothing now to do but wait for the invasion to come (3:16); even so, Habakkuk realized the need to rejoice because ultimately God would provide salvation (3:18)

Lessons for Us

  • We must live by faith – by obeying the gospel (Romans 1:16-17, 5); by not going back to the old law (Galatians 3:11-14) where there is no forgiveness (Galatians 3:10, 22, 26-27); by enduring to the end (Hebrews 10:36-39)
  • We must not question God’s actions/decisions/timing – He is wiser than us (1 Corinthians 1:25); pray for His will to be done (Matthew 6:10; 26:39)
  • Rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) – even in difficult times (Philippians 4:11-13) because of our hope (Hebrews 10:34)


  • Habakkuk reminds us of the need to live by faith – trust in God because He is holy and just
  • Instead of questioning God, we must serve Him as He has called us to and look forward to His promises

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Hope, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Road Trip.