Habakkuk 1 – Point and Counterpoint and Counter-Counterpoint


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Today’s PassageHabakkuk 1

I didn’t expect Habakkuk to open as it did, especially just coming from Nahum. Nahum’s prophecy begins with forceful, evocative statements of God’s strength and righteous judgment. Habakkuk, however, begins with a question, and he follows it with further questions. Where Nahum confidently asserts God’s strength against his enemies, Habakkuk asks, “Don’t you hear me, God? Why won’t you save us? What are you doing?”

Like most prophets, Habakkuk lives in troubled times. He protests to God, “Yes, destruction and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises” (3). If he were a psalmist, you’d characterize his song as starting on a note of disorientation, a discordant chord on the first beat to reflect the discord he sees around him. Comparisons to Psalm 13 come readily to mind: “How long, O Lord?…

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