Manasseh (son of Hezekiah) reigned for 55 years and filled Jerusalem with innocent blood (2 Kings
Amon(son of Manasseh) reigned for 2 years and was slain by his servants (2 Kings 21:19-26).
Josiah, (son of Amon) was one of the great reforming kings, keeping a great Passover, reigning for 31
years. He was killed in battle with the King of Egypt (2 Kings 22:1; 23:29-30).
Jehoahaz (son of Josiah), reigned for 3 months and was deposed by the Egyptians (2 Kings 23:31-33).
Eliakim (another son of Josiah), had his name changed to Jehoiakim by the Egyptians. During his reign
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem. Jehoiakim became his servant. (2 Kings 23:34-24:1).
Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son, reigned for three months (2 Kings 24:8).
Mattaniah was the final king of Judah (yet another son of Josiah), who had his name changed to
Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:17-25:7).
Note: Additional details for the Kings are found in (2 Chron 33:1-36:13).
Into which of these seven Kings of Judah does Habakkuk fit as to his time of writing? Manasseh’s reign seems too early as the Chaldean’s had not come to power in his time. Does what Habakkuk saw fit into the time of Josiah’s reforms and the keeping of the Passover (2 Kings 23)? Most likely he wrote during the reign of Jehoiakim, before the first invasion by the Babylonians (2 Kings 24:1).
Our emphasis in this part of our study is on:
God Himself… Silent, Speaking and Sovereign.
In Part 2 our emphasis will be on:
The Prophet Habakkuk. Through his prayers he reveals his heart. He has observed the Condition of God’s people, their Preservation causes him deep exercise, and finally he anticipates their Deliverance.
HABAKKUK-the Chaldeans! Used for the Correction of Judah, judged for their own Unrighteousness!
God is Silent-but He has heard! Chapter 1:1-4 Vs 1-2. The prophet cries! You can almost feel the aching heart… “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear”. Vs 3-4. The prophet sees! Habakkuk observes the moral and spiritual decline in Judah and longs for an answer. As far as he is concerned God is silent. As we have noted, he writes before the Chaldean (Babylonian) Captivity on Judah (2 tribes). The Northern Kingdom of Israel (10 tribes) had already gone into Assyrian Captivity just over 100 years before. What does he see? Violence, iniquity, grievance, strife and contention, law slacked (powerless, JND), no judgment, wicked compasses the righteous and wrong (perverted, JND) judgment goes forth.
God has Spoken-but men will not believe it! Chapter 1:5-11 With a questioning spirit, the prophet laments inaction and silence on the part of God to the condition of his day. What he has failed to understand is that God, having observed the scene, already has the solution. The answer is not from within Judah, nor another reforming king like Josiah, but from without! V 5. Among the heathen! A Gentile nation will provide the solution. But God says… I will work in your days! Not now:
Fiery Serpents as in the days of Moses.
Famine as in the days of the Judges (Naomi & Ruth).
Blasting and mildew as in the days of Amos (Jeroboam son of Joash).
V 6. But… the Chaldeans. God says I will raise up the Chaldeans! Habakkuk knew something of their character (1:12-17). Having heard such terrible tidings Habakkuk pleads his case (1:12-17). He then waits in the tower to see what God will say (2:1). This is possibly an act of soul rather than a literal tower!
God is Sovereign-but righteous altogether! Chapter 2:2-20 V 2. And the Lord answered! He has been waiting. Message for the prophet and for the people. V 3. He must be taught there is a time factor. Still waiting, not now for God to hear… speak… but for the prophecy to have its fulfilment. V 4. He must also be taught that there is a trust factor. He had said in chapter 1:12, “…we shall not die…”. Key verse: Habakkuk 2:4. “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him (the Chaldeans): but the just shall live by his faith” (the righteous in Judah). The just shall LIVE! Note: This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament!
Romans 1:17. Emphasis here is on Just!
Galatians 3:11. Emphasis here is on Faith!
Hebrews 10:38. Emphasis here is on Living!
(Following the Hebrew order: but the just, by his faith, shall live). Although God will use the Chaldeans, as an instrument of chastisement or correction against Judah, chapter 1:12, He will eventually judge them with five woes! These woes are from God, but they are spoken or chanted by the nations that experienced the cruelty of the Chaldeans (2:6). The reason for the five wows on the Chaldeans is as follows:
Plundering (2:5-8). The Chaldeans had a pride and an insatiable demand, “…enlargeth… cannot be satisfied… gathereth unto him… heapeth unto him all people”! All these express their attitude.
Covetousness (2:9-11). Unjust gain.
Bloodthirstiness (2:12-14). Blood… act of taking life. Iniquity… injustice and unrighteousness.
Treatment of her Neighbours (2:15-17). Intoxication for immoral purposes.
Idolatry (2:18-20) Previous 4 woes end with FOR! This one ends with a BUT! Climax to it all! Notice that verse 18 begins with a question??? The answer is obvious! Dumb idols! No worth! No value!
The Lord is in His Holy Temple, Heaven? Earth silent waiting His judgment! Believers silent to hear His voice!