Lord, you are not listening to me You are not answering my prayer The circumstances are getting worse since I started praying and not better.
Habakkuk was a praying prophet. Prayer is always a contemporary experience. Modern day people who pray are generally praying about contemporary experiences. These facts combine to constitute Habakkuk as a very contemporary book. It was relevant for the circumstances of his day and it is also relevant for praying people in this day or in any day.
The book of Habakkuk is actually the record of a conversation between God and the prophet about God answering prayer. Habakkuk accused God of not hearing and answering his prayer. Some writers describe Habakkuk as a Minor Prophet. This study presents him as a Major Pray-er The book of Habakkuk is the record of that conversation between God and Habakkuk about that supposed non-answer. Habakkuk is one of the best sources of information on prayer to be found in the Bible.
God told Habakkuk to observe what was happening in the nations of his world. This would help him to discover the activity of God and he would wonder marvelously. Habakkuk saw God as too holy, just, and pure to look on sin. But God showed him the sin of Babylon and Judah. Habakkuk decided to find a place upon a guard tower from which he could see God at work. He knew God would rebuke him for his accusation of no answer. The answer to Habakkuk's prayer was God's planned use of sinful Babylon as an instrument of judgment upon sinful Judah. God instructed Habakkuk to write a clear record of what he saw. Chapter 2 is that record
The third chapter of Habakkuk is a prayer/praise song. God has been found faithful in listening and answering prayers. That is the important thing which we hope to see and understand in this study. From this conversation between Habakkuk and God and the assurance which Habakkuk receives, we are taught so very much about the character and conduct of God, and about his response to the prayers of his people.
In chapter 3 Habakkuk closes his book with an extremely strong and meaningful statement of commitment to God. This dedication nullifies all that Habakkuk had said in his complaint of chapter 1 about God's non-answer to his prayer. And above all it reveals that Habakkuk did come to "wonder marvelously" at the greatness of God.
I close this study of Habakkuk with an addendum posing a hypothetical, but very important, question. Read the book and seek God's answer to the question.