Bible Commentary

Habakkuk: The Expectant Prophet

Habakkuk: The Expectant Prophet
Habakkuk
Tim Burden
01 February, 2010 1 min read

This exposition of Habakkuk highlights the prophet’s experience of waiting for God’s answer to his perplexity over the violence and injustice he saw all around. His comfort was found in a full appreciation of the sovereignty of God.

The commentary’s aim is to provide the same comfort to us. Several helpful definitions of God’s sovereignty are given and we are encouraged, as Habakkuk was, to realise God’s use of ‘dramatic irony’ in those he chooses to make use of.

Currid draws on his knowledge of Hebrew to give accessible explanations of words and phrases that Habakkuk used. His archaeological expertise is employed to enrich our grasp of the times in which Habakkuk lived and witnessed. I found his section on the dating of Habakkuk clear, concise and convincing.

Throughout, there are delightful and stirring illustrations from people’s lives to illuminate God’s sovereignty. These should fill us with optimism as they show God works in strange ways, of which we often only see the confusing tangle at the ‘back of the tapestry’.

This brings us to what Currid calls ‘the very crux and heart of the book’ (chapter 2, verses 2-3), the humble exercise of faith. Anyone looking for fresh light on these vital verses and the New Testament’s use of them may be disappointed, but this should not distract from the lesson here.

Following Habakkuk’s journey in God-fearing faith, Currid says: ‘After all is said and done, this is where Habakkuk has landed theologically: he is in greater awe of God than he is of the Babylonians.’

The application, made in the subsequent ‘Points to ponder’ section (which occur at the end of each chapter), tells us: ‘There comes a time when each of us, like Habakkuk, ought to acknowledge that God is God.’

God is more to be feared than any power, and trusted in more than any comfort. This book is predominantly refreshing and encouraging.

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