Habakkuk, Prophet to Judah
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. How much time do you spend waiting? Think about it. Waiting for a traffic light to turn green, waiting in line at the post office, waiting to check your bags at the airport, waiting for coffee at the drive-thru, waiting for a phone call, waiting for a birthday, waiting on someone else. Why do we wait? We know something is coming.
A major factor in waiting is faith—”the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). This is precisely what the prophet Habakkuk addressed. He found himself in a period of waiting, first for judgment and then for revival. All around him, people were oppressed and violence escalated. “How long, Lord, must I call for help?” Habakkuk asked. “Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?”
God answered Habakkuk. God was going to raise up the Babylonians, and they would hold captive the people of Judah. Habakkuk prayed again. Yes, Judah deserved to be punished, but the Babylonians were even more wicked than Judah; how could God, in essence, bless them? God answered Habakkuk. He said the Babylonian captivity would not last forever. After some time, God was going to rescue His people and punish the Babylonians.
Habakkuk lived at a time when evil seemed to be everywhere. By faith, he trusted God's promise that God would deliver His people. Injustice, violence, and wickedness surround us today, but we can live by faith and trust that Jesus will return to make all things right. Those who are in Christ are waiting for the fulfillment of Christ’s return. Until then, we live by faith. (See Hebrews 10:35-38.)
Habakkuk, Prophet to Judah
“How long, O Lord?” Habakkuk (huh BAK kuk) prayed. “How long will I cry to You for help and You do not hear me?” Habakkuk had told God about all the violence that was happening in Judah, but nothing seemed to change. Was God even listening?
“Why do You let bad things happen? People are ghting and stealing. The bad guys always win,” Habakkuk said. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
God was listening. He heard Habakkuk’s prayers, and He knew what was happening. God answered, “Look around you. Watch! I am doing something amazing, something you wouldn’t believe if I told you.”
Then God told Habakkuk what was going to happen. God was raising up enemies—the mighty Babylonians. No one could stand in their way. Their army would be strong and fast, like hungry eagles that swoop from the sky to catch little mice in a eld. The Babylonians were going to come and take God’s people captive. God’s people would be prisoners!
Would this really happen? God’s people would be punished for their sin—and Habakkuk wanted the evil in Judah to stop—but the people of Babylon were evil too. In fact, they were even more evil than the people of Judah!
“Why do it this way, Lord?” Habakkuk asked. Then he waited. He stood and watched, waiting for God to answer his question.
God answered, “Write down what I show you. I’m going to show you what will happen in the future. I promise it will happen. Be patient and wait for it. If you are righteous, you will live by faith.”
“It may seem like evil people are winning now, but they won’t win in the end,” God said. “They can build strong buildings, but I can send re to destroy them. They worship idols, but can a man-made statue save them? No, it can’t even talk.”
God knows how to deal with evil people like the Babylonians. He promised Habakkuk that the people’s captivity in Babylon wouldn’t last forever. God was going to bring His people back to their land.
Habakkuk prayed. He asked God for revival. People had forgotten about God. They didn’t care about sin. They didn’t pray. Habakkuk wanted that to change! He wanted people to wake up—to love God and hate sin.
“You have done so many amazing, powerful things in the past. Please do it again so everyone will know You. I know we don’t deserve anything good, but be merciful to us,” Habakkuk said.
Habakkuk began to praise God for His power. He knew who God is and what He had done. God had saved His people in the past, and Habakkuk was con dent that God would do all He said He would do. Yes, the Babylonians were going to come. Life for the people in Judah would be very hard for awhile. But Habakkuk had faith, and he would wait for God to keep His promise—for the day to come when God would rescue His people from the Babylonians.
Finally Habakkuk said, “Even if the trees and vines do not produce fruit, even if nothing grows in the elds, and even if there are no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the barns, I will be glad because of the Lord. I will rejoice in God who saves.”
Christ Connection: Habakkuk lived at a time when evil seemed to be everywhere. By faith, he trusted God’s promise that God would deliver His people. Injustice, violence, and wickedness surround us today, but we can live by faith and trust that Jesus will return to make all things right.