Habakkuk prophesied during the reign of Josiah. Josiah tried to bring reform to Judah but the people did not make any real change. They were at the temple on the Sabbath and would attend the feasts but would be back to their old ways as soon as they went out the gate.

Habakkuk saw the sins the people were committing and went to God wanting Him to do something. God’s reply is that He is about to send the Chaldeans to bring judgment on Judah. This shocks Habakkuk. The Chaldeans are far worse than the people of Judah. How could God use them? After questioning God regarding this Habakkuk determines to wait on the Lord for His answer in Chapter 2.

This is wisdom we can learn from. God’s ways are not our ways. Often with our prayers we try to direct God and expect Him to answer according to our plan. It is always better to seek understanding and God’s will when we lay our petition before the Lord and wait for His answer. God always has the greater perspective.

The answer comes quickly. God responds with five woes. As we read these we realize that the people were worse sinners than Habakkuk thought. We have a tendency to overlook the seriousness of our sins and judge more harshly the sins of others. This was also a problem Jesus dealt with. He said, “And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 NASB

Jesus called those who did this, hypocrites. God told Habakkuk that pride had caused the people’s soul to be sick.

The tendency of our nature to judge the sins of others more harshly while giving ourselves a pass is based on pride. Pride blinds us and clouds our judgment. Verse 5 says that wine betrays by reinforcing pride. I have found that the more we repeat a certain sin the more blind we become to it. Often times it is a sin that is popular in the culture and we tend to rationalize it by calling it normal. But sin is not normal. It is common, but calling it normal is our way of making it okay.  

Reading Chapter 2 we might ask, were not these woes directed toward the Chaldeans? These woes are directed at sinners. God’s Word makes it clear that sin is falling short of God’s standard and all have sinned.

In Chapter 2 verse 4 we read that the one who is truly righteous will be living by his faith in God.

Pride causes us to get our eyes off of God and on ourselves. Soon we are thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. The remedy for this is to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto God.  We need to humble our tendency to be prideful and put our faith in God. The life we live will exhibit where we have put our faith by the things we say and do. If we put our faith in ourselves or the ways of the world around us we may well end up doing the very things that God is pronouncing woes against in Chapter 2.

Once Habakkuk realizes God’s judgments are true he surrenders his will to God’s will. He is no longer trying to save the world, or direct God, instead he is trusting that God has it all in control and He knows what He is doing. He is in essence saying “thy will be done”. He is living by faith


“…the righteous will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4b NASB

Pastor Dave