Bible: Hab 1-3

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord

1:1 The following is the message 1  which God revealed to Habakkuk the prophet: 2 

1:2 How long, Lord, must I cry for help?

But you do not listen!

I call out to you, “Violence!”

But you do not intervene! 3 

1:3 Why do you force me to witness injustice? 4 

Why do you put up with wrongdoing? 5 

Destruction and violence confront 6  me;

conflict is present and one must endure strife. 7 

1:4 For this reason the law lacks power, 8 

and justice is never carried out. 9 

Indeed, 10  the wicked intimidate 11  the innocent. 12 

For this reason justice is perverted. 13 

The Lord Reveals Some Startling News

1:5Look at the nations and pay attention! 14 

You will be shocked and amazed! 15 

For I will do something in your lifetime 16 

that you will not believe even though you are forewarned. 17 

1:6 Look, I am about to empower 18  the Babylonians,

that ruthless 19  and greedy 20  nation.

They sweep across the surface 21  of the earth,

seizing dwelling places that do not belong to them.

1:7 They are frightening and terrifying;

they decide for themselves what is right. 22 

1:8 Their horses are faster than leopards

and more alert 23  than wolves in the desert. 24 

Their horses 25  gallop, 26 

their horses come a great distance;

like a vulture 27  they swoop down quickly to devour their prey. 28 

1:9 All of them intend 29  to do violence;

every face is determined. 30 

They take prisoners as easily as one scoops up sand. 31 

1:10 They mock kings

and laugh at rulers.

They laugh at every fortified city;

they build siege ramps 32  and capture them.

1:11 They sweep by like the wind and pass on. 33 

But the one who considers himself a god will be held guilty.” 34 

Habakkuk Voices Some Concerns

1:12 Lord, you have been active from ancient times; 35 

my sovereign God, 36  you are immortal. 37 

Lord, you have made them 38  your instrument of judgment. 39 

Protector, 40  you have appointed them as your instrument of punishment. 41 

1:13 You are too just 42  to tolerate 43  evil;

you are unable to condone 44  wrongdoing.

So why do you put up with such treacherous people? 45 

Why do you say nothing when the wicked devour 46  those more righteous than they are? 47 

1:14 You made people like fish in the sea,

like animals in the sea 48  that have no ruler.

1:15 The Babylonian tyrant 49  pulls them all up with a fishhook;

he hauls them in with his throw net. 50 

When he catches 51  them in his dragnet,

he is very happy. 52 

1:16 Because of his success 53  he offers sacrifices to his throw net

and burns incense to his dragnet; 54 

for because of them he has plenty of food, 55 

and more than enough to eat. 56 

1:17 Will he then 57  continue to fill and empty his throw net? 58 

Will he always 59  destroy 60  nations and spare none? 61 

2:1 I will stand at my watch post;

I will remain stationed on the city wall. 62 

I will keep watching, so I can see what he says to me

and can know 63  how I should answer

when he counters my argument. 64 

The Lord Assures Habakkuk

2:2 The Lord responded: 65 

“Write down this message! 66  Record it legibly on tablets,

so the one who announces 67  it may read it easily. 68 

2:3 For the message is a witness to what is decreed; 69 

it gives reliable testimony about how matters will turn out. 70 

Even if the message 71  is not fulfilled right away, wait patiently; 72 

for it will certainly come to pass – it will not arrive late.

2:4 Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion, 73 

but the person of integrity 74  will live 75  because of his faithfulness. 76 

2:5 Indeed, wine will betray the proud, restless man! 77 

His appetite 78  is as big as Sheol’s; 79 

like death, he is never satisfied.

He gathers 80  all the nations;

he seizes 81  all peoples.

The Proud Babylonians are as Good as Dead

2:6But all these nations will someday taunt him 82 

and ridicule him with proverbial sayings: 83 

‘The one who accumulates what does not belong to him is as good as dead 84 

(How long will this go on?) 85 

he who gets rich by extortion!’ 86 

2:7 Your creditors will suddenly attack; 87 

those who terrify you will spring into action, 88 

and they will rob you. 89 

2:8 Because you robbed many countries, 90 

all who are left among the nations 91  will rob you.

You have shed human blood

and committed violent acts against lands, cities, 92  and those who live in them.

2:9 The one who builds his house by unjust gain is as good as dead. 93 

He does this so he can build his nest way up high

and escape the clutches of disaster. 94 

2:10 Your schemes will bring shame to your house.

Because you destroyed many nations, you will self-destruct. 95 

2:11 For the stones in the walls will cry out,

and the wooden rafters will answer back. 96 

2:12 The one who builds a city by bloodshed is as good as dead 97 

he who starts 98  a town by unjust deeds.

2:13 Be sure of this! The Lord who commands armies has decreed:

The nationsefforts will go up in smoke;

their exhausting work will be for nothing. 99 

2:14 For recognition of the Lord’s sovereign majesty will fill the earth

just as the waters fill up the sea. 100 

2:15You who force your neighbor to drink wine 101  are as good as dead 102 

you who make others intoxicated by forcing them to drink from the bowl of your furious anger, 103 

so you can look at their genitals. 104 

2:16 But you will become drunk 105  with shame, not majesty. 106 

Now it is your turn to drink and expose your uncircumcised foreskin! 107 

The cup of wine in the Lord’s right hand 108  is coming to you,

and disgrace will replace your majestic glory!

2:17 For you will pay in full for your violent acts against Lebanon; 109 

terrifying judgment will come upon you because of the way you destroyed the wild animals living there. 110 

You have shed human blood

and committed violent acts against lands, cities, and those who live in them.

2:18 What good 111  is an idol? Why would a craftsman make it? 112 

What good is a metal image that gives misleading oracles? 113 

Why would its creator place his trust in it 114 

and make 115  such mute, worthless things?

2:19 The one who says to wood, ‘Wake up!’ is as good as dead 116 

he who says 117  to speechless stone, ‘Awake!’

Can it give reliable guidance? 118 

It is overlaid with gold and silver;

it has no life’s breath inside it.

2:20 But the Lord is in his majestic palace. 119 

The whole earth is speechless in his presence! 120 

Habakkuk’s Vision of the Divine Warrior

3:1 This is a prayer of Habakkuk the prophet: 121 

3:2 Lord, I have heard the report of what you did; 122 

I am awed, 123  Lord, by what you accomplished. 124 

In our time 125  repeat those deeds; 126 

in our time reveal them again. 127 

But when you cause turmoil, remember to show us mercy! 128 

3:3 God comes 129  from Teman, 130 

the sovereign 131  one from Mount Paran. 132  Selah. 133 

His splendor covers the skies, 134 

his glory 135  fills the earth.

3:4 He is as bright as lightning; 136 

a two-pronged lightning bolt flashes from his hand. 137 

This is the outward display of his power. 138 

3:5 Plague goes before him;

pestilence 139  marches right behind him. 140 

3:6 He takes his battle position 141  and shakes 142  the earth;

with a mere look he frightens 143  the nations.

The ancient mountains disintegrate; 144 

the primeval hills are flattened.

He travels on the ancient roads. 145 

3:7 I see the tents of Cushan overwhelmed by trouble; 146 

the tent curtains of the land of Midian are shaking. 147 

3:8 Is the Lord mad at the rivers?

Are you angry with the rivers?

Are you enraged at the sea? 148 

Is this why 149  you climb into your horse-drawn chariots, 150 

your victorious chariots? 151 

3:9 Your bow is ready for action; 152 

you commission your arrows. 153  Selah.

You cause flash floods on the earth’s surface. 154 

3:10 When the mountains see you, they shake.

The torrential downpour sweeps through. 155 

The great deep 156  shouts out;

it lifts its hands high. 157 

3:11 The sun and moon stand still in their courses; 158 

the flash of your arrows drives them away, 159 

the bright light of your lightning-quick spear. 160 

3:12 You furiously stomp on the earth,

you angrily trample down the nations.

3:13 You march out to deliver your people,

to deliver your special servant. 161 

You strike the leader of the wicked nation, 162 

laying him open from the lower body to the neck. 163  Selah.

3:14 You pierce the heads of his warriors 164  with a spear. 165 

They storm forward to scatter us; 166 

they shout with joy as if they were plundering the poor with no opposition. 167 

3:15 But you trample on the sea with your horses,

on the surging, raging waters. 168 

Habakkuk Declares His Confidence

3:16 I listened and my stomach churned; 169 

the sound made my lips quiver.

My frame went limp, as if my bones were decaying, 170 

and I shook as I tried to walk. 171 

I long 172  for the day of distress

to come upon 173  the people who attack us.

3:17 When 174  the fig tree does not bud,

and there are no grapes on the vines;

when the olive trees do not produce, 175 

and the fields yield no crops; 176 

when the sheep disappear 177  from the pen,

and there are no cattle in the stalls,

3:18 I will rejoice because of 178  the Lord;

I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!

3:19 The sovereign Lord is my source of strength. 179 

He gives me the agility of a deer; 180 

he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. 181 

(This prayer is for the song leader. It is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.) 182 

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