The Book of Habakkuk
James J. Barker
HABAKKUK IS WAITING ON GOD
- Last week we started our new
series in the book of Habakkuk.
- I gave two similar outlines
for the book of Habakkuk.
- THE PERPLEXED PROPHET WHO BROUGHT HIS PROBLEM
TO THE LORD (Chapter 1)
- THE WAITING PROPHET WHO RECEIVED THE
ANSWER FROM THE LORD (Chapter 2)
- THE REJOICING PROPHET WHO WAS
STRENGTHENED IN THE LORD (Chapter 3)
- HABAKKUK IS WONDERING (Chapter
- HABAKKUK IS WAITING (Chapter
- HABAKKUK IS WORSHIPPING (Chapter
- After we pray, we must wait
to hear from God. We know God will
- “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray
unto me, and I will hearken unto you” (Jer.
- “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew
thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jer.
- “In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for
thou wilt answer me” (Psalm
- “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He
shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Ps.
- “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him”
- “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my
expectation is from Him” (Ps. 62:5).
- “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of
their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so
our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that He have mercy upon us. (Ps.
- “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in
His word do I hope” (Ps. 130:5).
- “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and
not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa.
- “The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to
the soul that seeketh Him” (Lam. 3:25).
- “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower,
and will watch to see what He will say unto me…” (Hab. 2:1,
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WAIT UPON THE
The prophet Habakkuk went to
his watchtower to wait for God (2:1).
This was probably a place he went to
In the OT, prophets are
often compared to watchmen (cf. Isa. 21:8, 11; Jer. 6:17; Ezek. 3:17; 33:2, 3).
In the NT, pastors are God’s
watchmen (cf. Hebrews 13:17).
We never know how long we
will have to wait. In Jeremiah
42:7, we are told, “And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the
LORD came unto Jeremiah.”
In Daniel 10:3, we are told
Daniel was waiting “three whole weeks.”
Then the angel told Daniel, “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first
day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself
before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words” (Dan.
Oftentimes we must wait much
longer than that. But we must not
be anxious. We must learn how to
wait on God, and we must trust God.
- Andrew Murray wrote a good
book entitled, Waiting on God.
He wrote, “We are waiting on a God who
never could disappoint His people…We ought to make up our minds to this, that
nothing was ever so sure, as that waiting on God will bring us untold and
EXPECT AN ANSWER FROM GOD
said he would “watch to see” what God would say to him (2:1). We can expect to hear from God as we
read the Bible.
- Sometimes God impresses
something upon our hearts in an
- Sometimes God answers our
prayers by providentially ordering our circumstances. “The steps of a good man are ordered by
the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Ps.
- Habakkuk expected God to
answer him, and God did answer him (2:2).
- Habakkuk was instructed to
“write the vision” (i.e., God’s answer) plainly “upon tables (tablets)”
(2:2). This was a common method of
communication in Bible times.
- This vision was of such
importance that it was to be committed to writing. It was meant for us
- It was to be made so legible
- with large letters - “that he may run that readeth it”
- The message was good news -
God was going to deliver Judah from the Chaldeans.
THE VISION IS FOR AN APPOINTED TIME
time” (2:3) indicates that although the prophecy will not have an immediate
fulfillment, it will have a certain one.
- God has an “appointed time”
for the accomplishment of His purpose.
The fulfillment of His prophecies, promises, and visions will surely come
to pass according to His perfect schedule.
- Regarding the “appointed
time” (2:3), Charles Feinberg wrote, “Delay is only in the heart of man; God is
working the details according to His own plan. Patience was needed. The purpose of God cannot be hastened
nor can it be delayed. It comes to fulfillment at the appointed
- The “end” (2:3) spoken of
here is the realization of the prophecy in history. The immediate application relates to
God’s judgment on the Chaldeans, but it has a wider application - the second
coming of Christ.
- In Habakkuk’s day, Babylon
would be destroyed, but like all OT prophets, Habakkuk looked beyond his day to
the second coming of Christ.
- When Christ returns,
“MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT” (Rev. 17:5) will be destroyed. Babylon was an existing manifestation of
the satanic world system.
- In Hebrews 10:37, the Holy
Spirit applies this prophecy to the second coming of Christ. “For yet a little while, and
He that shall come will come, and will not
- Habakkuk 2:4
is one of the most important Scriptures in the Bible - “but the just shall live
by his faith.”
- It is quoted
three times in the NT - Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38.