Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. When told, “Wait for it,” how do you respond? What’s tough about waiting for dinner? For a bus? For a buyer? For Christmas?
2. When are you “exhausted for nothing”? What was it you were striving after at the time?
3. What “revelation” is Habakkuk to write down? What aspects of it are described here (verses 2 and 3)?
4. Within the context of the book, who is “he” in verses 4 and 5? How are the righteous to live in contrast to “him”? In context, does this “living by faith” imply national deliverance or spiritual salvation? Explain your answer.
5. Find the five “woes” in verses 6 – 20. In verse 6a, who are “all of them” and who is “him”? What is the larger context for these woes (verses 14 and 20? How does this oracle answer Habakkuk’s original concern (chapter 1:12 – 17)?
6. What is the content of the first woe (verses 6 – 8)? What metaphor is used of Babylon? How has Habakkuk’s view changed?
7. What is announced in the second woe (verses 9 – 11)? What metaphor is used of Babylon?
8. Paraphrase the third woe (verses 12 – 14). What is the climax to the first three woes (verse 14)? How will destroying Babylon spread God’s glory?
9. How is the fourth woe different from the first three (contrast verses 6b, 9a, and 12a with 15a)? Do you read “drink” literally, or might this also refer to the drunkenness of power? What example of this do you see in Babylon’s onslaught of Jerusalem in 586 BC (see 2 Kings 25:8 – 21)?
10. What new theme does verse 18 introduce? How is that related to the fifth woe (verses 19 and 20)? What ironic point do you see here in idols silent before people and people silent before God? What is the climax of the whole “woe” section (verse 20) and of the “end” for which Israel is to wait?
11. Compare chapter 2:4 with Romans 1:16 – 18 and Galatians 3:10 – 14. What use does the apostle Paul make of this famous passage to speak a new word to a new generation? How is Paul’s emphasis like and unlike Habakkuk’s?
12. “God may seem to be late, but is invariably on time” – Would Habakkuk say that? Would you? How does God measure “time”?
13. Do you know someone who is “puffed up”? How can you “live by your faith” in his or her presence without also becoming “puffed up”?
14. What or who builds an empire today like Babylon – with stolen goods, unjust gain, bloodshed, is drunk with power and encourages others to do likewise? What would Habakkuk say to such a person or organization? What can you do to impact a world in which such things happen?
15. What help are the affirmations in verses 14 and 20 to you? What other “waters covered the sea” to God’s glory (see Exodus 14)? When will the Lord do this a “second time” (see Isaiah 11:9 – 11)? What final fulfillment of this prophecy do you see in Babylon’s fall at the end of history (see Revelation chapters 17 and 18)?