“Why, God? Why?!”
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Can a person live in the objective case?
The prophet Habakkuk had a question mark for a brain. In the Old Testament book that bears his name Habakkuk analyzes the fallen creation around him, and then quizzes the sovereign God who reigns over him. He’s a man brazenly searching for answers. He struggles to understand why bad things happen—especially to God’s people. Do you ever wonder the same? Have you ever found yourself walking through life utterly confused by the sequence of current events, wondering Where is God? Do you have a question mark for a brain? If so, then you’ll without doubt find yourself relating to this prophet and his prophecy on a very personal level. “Why, God? Why?!” is a comprehensive guide to the book of Habakkuk that will help lead inquisitive minds, like yourself, into the imperative of faith.



Publié par
Date de parution 21 février 2023
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781664291881
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Copyright © 2023 Ron Metheny.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book is a work of non-fiction. Unless otherwise noted, the author and the publisher make no explicit guarantees as to the accuracy of the information contained in this book and in some cases, names of people and places have been altered to protect their privacy.
WestBow Press
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Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.
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Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.
Scripture marked (KJV) taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
ISBN: 978-1-6642-9187-4 (sc)
ISBN: 978-1-6642-9188-1 (e)
WestBow Press rev. date:  02/21/2023
• Historical Background: Judah, the Latter Seventh through Early Sixth Century BC
• A Man Named “Habakkuk”
Chapter 1     Trying to Understand God
• The Prophet’s First Question/Complaint (Habakkuk 1:2–4)
• The Lord’s Reply (Habakkuk 1:5–6)
• The Chaldeans (Habakkuk 1:7–11)
• Gospel Application
Chapter 2     Trying to Listen to God
• The Prophet’s Second Question/Complaint (Habakkuk 1:12–13)
• Fishers of Men (Habakkuk 1:14–17)
• Watching and Waiting (Habakkuk 2:1)
• God’s Timely Reply (Habakkuk 2:2–3)
• Living by Faith (Habakkuk 2:4–5)
• Gospel Application
Chapter 3     Songs of “Woe”
• Vae Victis—“Woe to the Vanquished!”
• “Woe” to the Wicked (Habakkuk 2:6a; cf. 2:6–20)
• The First “Woe” (Habakkuk 2:6b–8)
• The Second “Woe” (Habakkuk 2:9–11)
• The Third “Woe” (Habakkuk 2:12–14)
• The Fourth “Woe” (Habakkuk 2:15–17)
• The Fifth and Final “Woe” (Habakkuk 2:18–20)
• Gospel Application
Chapter 4     Habakkuk’s Prayer Song
• The Prophet’s Petition (Habakkuk 3:1–2)
• The Prophet’s First Theophany (Habakkuk 3:3–7)
• The Prophet’s Second Theophany (Habakkuk 3:8–15)
• The Prophet’s Response (Habakkuk 3:16–19)
• Gospel Application
• Whatever Became of a Man Named Habakkuk?
• Habakkuk’s Life Lesson
Selected Bibliography
Books of the Bible
Old Testament
Gen — Genesis
Ex — Exodus
Lev — Leviticus
Num — Numbers
Deut — Deuteronomy
Josh — Joshua
Judg — Judges
Ruth — Ruth
1–2 Sam — 1–2 Samuel
1–2 Ki — 1–2 Kings
1–2 Chr — 1–2 Chronicles
Ezra — Ezra
Neh — Nehemiah
Esth — Esther
Job — Job
Ps — Psalms
Prov — Proverbs
Ecc — Ecclesiastes
SS — Song of Solomon
Is — Isaiah
Jer — Jeremiah
Lam — Lamentations
Ezek — Ezekiel
Dan — Daniel
Hos — Hosea
Joel — Joel
Amos — Amos
Oba — Obadiah
Jon — Jonah
Mic — Micah
Nah — Nahum
Hab — Habakkuk
Zeph — Zephaniah
Hag — Haggai
Zech — Zechariah
Mal — Malachi
New Testament
Mt — Matthew
Mk — Mark
Lk — Luke
Jn — John
Acts — Acts of the Apostles
Rom — Romans
1–2 Cor — 1–2 Corinthians
Gal — Galatians
Eph — Ephesians
Phil — Philippians
Col — Colossians
1–2 Thess — 1–2 Thessalonians
1–2 Tim — 1–2 Timothy
Tit — Titus
Phlm — Philemon
Heb — Hebrews
Jas — James
1–2 Pet — 1–2 Peter
1–2–3 Jn — 1–2–3 John
Jude — Jude
Rev — Revelation
Citing the Bible
cf. — compare with
Gen 1–2 — Genesis chapters 1 through 2
Gen 1:2 — Genesis chapter 1, verse 2
v./vv. — verse/verses
ch./chs. — chapter/chapters
Grk — (original) Greek Language
Hb — (original) Hebrew Language
OT — Old Testament
ESV — English Standard Version (translation)
KJV — King James Version (translation)
Other Abbreviations
b. — born : designates date of person’s birth
e.g. — exempli gratia : a Latin phrase which means “for example”
Fig. — Figuratively
i.e. — id est : a Latin phrase which means “that is”
Lit. — Literally
r. — regnavit : a Latin term which designates the ruling period of a person in dynastic power
“The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.”
—Habakkuk 1:1 ESV
Historical Background: Judah, the Latter Seventh through Early Sixth Century BC
Have you ever been walking through life, utterly confused by the sequence of events taking place, wondering Where is God? If so, then you will definitely find yourself relating to Habakkuk on a very personal level. The first word that occurs in the original language of Habakkuk’s prophecy is the Hebrew word massa’ or “burden” (Lit. “a load to be lifted”; the ESV renders the term, “oracle”). It is interesting to note that the “burden” Habakkuk is forced to bear in this case is deeply rooted in the things he has witnessed in his lifetime. “The prophet saw” (v. 1), and he was troubled by all that he had seen. He is a prophet under pressure from the burdensome social issues that characteristically plagued his age. A certain sequence of catastrophic events had taken place leading up to and during the course of Habakkuk’s lifetime. This unfortunate sequence of events had left an indelible mark upon Habakkuk’s psyche. Scripture paints him as a man living in uncertain and questionable times, looking for answers.
The precise dating of Habakkuk’s “oracle” is, in and of itself, uncertain and questionable. Unlike most of the other prophets in the Old Testament, Habakkuk refrains from referencing the reign of a specific king (or kings) as one of his contemporaries. (This might be on account of the ignominy of the kings who ruled Judah at the time. Habakkuk presumably did not want his writing to be associated with the notoriety of these evil public figures).
Nevertheless the prophet does not leave the modern reader completely clueless as to the era in which he lived and wrote. Habakkuk kindly offers little hints here and there throughout his writing. These little hints, or historical allusions (cf. Hab 1:5–6, 12; 2:4, 17; 3:2; etc.), have helped modern exegetists to date the written prophecy of Habakkuk sometime around 607 or 606 BC (a year or two before the Battle of Carchemish , c. 605 BC; cf. Jer 46:1–12), which means that Habakkuk lived during a time of degradation for Judah. His prophecy is set against the background of the closing decades of the kingdom of Judah, and anticipates the rise of the Neo-Babylonian (“Chaldean ” ) Empire as the new world-power.
Here is a brief synopsis of the world events which came to affect Judah, during Habakkuk’s lifetime (For increased effect, read the following bullet points as if you are a contemporary of Habakkuk reading the major headlines of the day):
• The Kingdom of Samaria (Judah’s sister kingdom to the North) continues to suffer devastation in the aftermath of an Assyrian invasion and mass deportation (c. 722 BC). The Samaritans have endured a century long rule under a cruel and warlike nation (Assyria), whose administrative capital (Nineveh) lies nearly 400 miles to the east. Reports indicate that Samaria is essentially living in a state of subsistence, with little infrastructure, and no effective mode of governance. It is a defeated, enslaved and impoverished land.
• The Southern Kingdom of Judah (Habakkuk’s homeland) manages to maintain its autonomy (at the moment), but is plagued by internal and external strife: social injustice, religious syncretism, and political instability. The latter of which is marked by the recurrence of weak rulers and dubious foreign alliances (cf. Jer 2:18–19, 36–37). King Josiah—Judah’s last good king (640–609 BC), responsible for enacting religious reform in Judah during Habakkuk’s lifetime—dies from the result of battle at Megiddo in 609 BC (2 Chr 35:20–24). His untimely death leaves a vacuum of both morality and power. Josiah is succeeded by Jehoahaz (2 Ki 23:31–33), who reigns for only three months before being deposed by Pharaoh Necho II and deported to Egypt. Pharaoh Necho II then places Eliakim, one of Josiah’s sons, on the throne and changes his name to Jehoiakim (2 Ki 23:34). Powerless puppet regimes have now replaced strong, anointed kings over Judah. The national climate looks bleak for God’s covenantal people. The northern kingdom has already gone into captivity; the southern kingdom is right on the verge of captivity.
• The dominant power of the eighth and seventh centuries BC—the As

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