April 10, 2016
Habakkuk: From Doubt to Faith
Chaldeans Used to Punish Judah
1 The [a]oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw.
2 How long, O Lord, will I call for help,
And You will not hear?
I cry out to You, “Violence!”
Yet You do not save.
3 Why do You make me see iniquity,
And cause me to look on wickedness?
Yes, destruction and violence are before me;
Strife exists and contention arises.
4 Therefore the law is [b]ignored
And justice [c]is never upheld.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore justice comes out perverted.
5 “Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days—
You would not believe if [d]you were told.
6 “For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
That [e]fierce and impetuous people
Who march [f]throughout the earth
To [g]seize dwelling places which are not theirs.
7 “They are dreaded and feared;
Their justice and [h]authority [i]originate with themselves.
8 “Their horses are swifter than leopards
And [j]keener than wolves in the evening.
Their [k]horsemen come galloping,
Their horsemen come from afar;
They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.
9 “All of them come for violence.
[l]Their horde of faces moves forward.
They collect captives like sand.
10 “They mock at kings
And rulers are a laughing matter to them.
They laugh at every fortress
And heap up rubble to capture it.
11 “Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on.
But they will be held guilty,
They whose strength is their god.”
12 Are You not from everlasting,
O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die.
You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge;
And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.
13 Your eyes are too pure to [m]approve evil,
And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
Why do You look with favor
On those who deal treacherously?
Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up
Those more righteous than they?
14 Why have You made men like the fish of the sea,
Like creeping things without a ruler over them?
15 The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook,
Drag them away with their net,
And gather them together in their fishing net.
Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net
And [n]burn incense to their fishing net;
Because through these things their [o]catch is [p]large,
And their food is [q]plentiful.
17 Will they therefore empty their net
And continually slay nations without sparing?
God Answers the Prophet
2 I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply [r]when I am reproved.
2 Then the Lord answered me and said,
“Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That [s]the one who [t]reads it may run.
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It [u]hastens toward the goal and it will not [v]fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
4 “Behold, as for the proud one,
His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his [w]faith.
5 “Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man,
So that he does not stay at home.
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
And he is like death, never satisfied.
He also gathers to himself all nations
And collects to himself all peoples.
6 “Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him,
Even mockery and insinuations against him
And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his—
For how long—
And makes himself [x]rich with loans?’
7 “Will not [y]your creditors rise up suddenly,
And those who [z]collect from you awaken?
Indeed, you will become plunder for them.
8 “Because you have looted many nations,
All the remainder of the peoples will loot you—
Because of human bloodshed and violence [aa]done to the land,
To the town and all its inhabitants.
9 “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house
To put his nest on high,
To be delivered from the hand of calamity!
10 “You have devised a shameful thing for your house
By cutting off many peoples;
So you are sinning against yourself.
11 “Surely the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the rafter will answer it from the [ab]framework.
12 “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
And founds a town with [ac]violence!
13 “Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts
That peoples toil for fire,
And nations grow weary for nothing?
14 “For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.
15 “Woe to you who make [ad]your neighbors drink,
Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk
So as to look on their nakedness!
16 “You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor.
Now you yourself drink and [ae]expose your own nakedness.
The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you,
And utter disgrace will come upon your glory.
17 “For the violence [af]done to Lebanon will [ag]overwhelm you,
And the devastation of its beasts [ah]by which you terrified them,
Because of human bloodshed and violence [ai]done to the land,
To the town and all its inhabitants.
18 “What profit is the [aj]idol when its maker has carved it,
Or [ak]an image, a teacher of falsehood?
For its maker trusts in his own handiwork
When he fashions speechless idols.
19 “Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, ‘Awake!’
To a mute stone, ‘Arise!’
And that is your teacher?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
And there is no breath at all inside it.
20 “But the Lord is in His holy temple.
[al]Let all the earth be silent before Him.”
God’s Deliverance of His People
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to [am]Shigionoth.
3 God comes from Teman,
And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah.
His splendor covers the heavens,
And the earth is full of His praise.
4 His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
And there is the hiding of His power.
5 Before Him goes pestilence,
And plague comes [aq]after Him.
6 He stood and surveyed the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered,
The ancient hills [ar]collapsed.
His ways are everlasting.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan under distress,
The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.
8 Did the Lord rage against the rivers,
Or was Your anger against the rivers,
Or was Your wrath against the sea,
That You rode on Your horses,
On Your chariots of salvation?
9 Your bow was made bare,
The rods of [as]chastisement were sworn. Selah.
You cleaved the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw You and quaked;
The downpour of waters swept by.
The deep uttered forth its voice,
It lifted high its hands.
11 Sun and moon stood in their places;
They went away at the light of Your arrows,
At the radiance of Your gleaming spear.
12 In indignation You marched through the earth;
In anger You [at]trampled the nations.
13 You went forth for the salvation of Your people,
For the salvation of Your anointed.
You struck the head of the house of the evil
To lay him open from [au]thigh to neck. Selah.
14 You pierced with his own [av]spears
The head of his [aw]throngs.
They stormed in to scatter [ax]us;
Their exultation was like those
Who devour the oppressed in secret.
15 You trampled on the sea with Your horses,
On the surge of many waters.
16 I heard and my [ay]inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
[az]For the people to arise who will invade us.
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no [ba]fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord [bb]God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.