Habakkuk chapter I: God’s judgment on Judah

In the previous article of this series we talked about the first protest of the prophet Habakkuk before God for the fact of all the evil that his eyes were seeing, the oppression of the righteous, the sin of Judah, etc. Now in these continuing verses (5-11) of chapter one, God answers the prophet’s protest, revealing to him the way He would judge sinful Judah.

Earlier we also saw how a true man of God has an impact on his heart when things are not going well in God’s people. And we must also share that quality, not show ourselves cold in the face of sin, but feel anguish for it and that desire for things to be done well and thus please God.

5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not their’s.

Habakkuk 1:5-6

Just in verse five, God begins His response to Habakkuk’s protest. Let’s look at verse five, God here is responding to the prophet afflicted by the evil of Judah, and is practically telling him to be calm, but to be astonished at all, because He would do a work in those days, that when it is told they were not going to believe it. This seems very good news for Habakkuk’s affliction, and it seems as if God would bring a revival or something, but the truth is that it is not about anything good, but that it is about the apocalypse unleashed on Judah.

Do you think that the Chaldeans, unless God allowed it, would have gone to attack Judah? No way. But precisely in these verses God is the one who is allowing the Chaldeans’ desire to crush Judah. We see the same thing in many parts of the Bible, God allowing His people to be scourged by their enemies, and all because of the evil of His people.

7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.

8 Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.

9 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.

Habakkuk 1:7-10

The Chaldeans would truly come for Judah, and this would be God’s just judgment for the evil of His people, bringing the enemy with all their troops, making their horses light as leopards, fierce as night wolves, and would come with all their evil, it would be a formidable triumph, there would be no failures, because it is about God Himself allowing this to happen.

The Chaldeans were a depraved, idolatrous nation and evil ran through their veins, and they were a nation that loved to conquer other nations, and now God Himself puts His Judah people in their hands.

Then he will pass like the hurricane, and will offend attributing his strength to his god.

Habakkuk 1:11

Can you imagine the end of this battle? The blood runs, thousands of soldiers of Judah are devastated, families, regardless of age; kings, rich, poor, all are trembling before the might of the Babylonian nation, and just then I can imagine their leader raising their hands and presuming that their gods have given them victory.

The Chaldeans themselves had a very large list of gods that the worshipped. They served Anat, which they knew as goddess of fertility and war. They served the sun, known as the god Shamash, among many other gods.

But what they had further away is that this victory was not given by any of their false gods, but by the true God, the God of Judah.

Follow this section of the book of Habakkuk closely, as we will follow up on its three chapters, deepening their prophecies and ultimately hope that these words in one way or another can also echo in our lives.

The refuge of the righteous comes from the Lord of hosts
My body and spirit may faint, but God strengthens my heart

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