Habakkuk’s Prayer (Habakkuk 3)

Scripture Text:

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Habakkuk 3

1. What’s your favorite spot from which to view the sunrise? How often do you go there? What do sunrises bring to mind for you?

2. “It’s always darkest before the dawn” – To what would that saying refer in your life these days?

3. What popular song typified your teenage years? What memory does your favorite song bring to mind?

4. Why can the once woeful Habakkuk afford to be so joyful? How has his situation changed? How long after chapter 1 and 2 do you suppose it was written?

5. How is verse 2 related to the rest of this  psalm-like prayer? How is verse 2 related to the promise of chapter 2:2 – 4? How are wrath and mercy related?

6. How does reciting God’s marvelous deeds in the past anticipate God’s future deliverance “in our day” (verse 2)?

7. To what historical events do the poetic allusions refer in verses 3 – 5 (see Exodus chapter 7 – 12)? In verses 6 and 7 (see Exodus 19:16)?

8. In verses 8 – 10, what do you see poetically depicted?

  • the creation of the world?
  • the parting of the Red Sea?
  • the crossing of the Jordan River?

9. Compare verses 8 – 10 with Psalm 74:12 – 17 and Psalm 77:16 – 19. What similar images do these prayers use to evoke awe for God’s mighty works? What other images (from nature, warfare or whatever) have a similar impact on you?

10. What is Habakkuk’s response to the poetic and dramatic vision of verses 3 – 15? Why is his heart racing? What evidence does he have for rejoicing? How does he get his sure-footed confidence?

11. What does Habakkuk’s irrepressible joy (verses 17 – 19) mean in the context of injustice (chapter 1:2 – 4)? Of God’s use of wicked Babylon (chapter 1:12 – 17)? Of expectation (chapter 2:2 – 4)?

12. This hymn-like chapter stirred up vivid memories in Israel of God’s might and mercy. When has God worked mightily and mercifully in your past? In your present, where do you want God to renew His mercy and work mightily again?

13. What new meaning would Habakkuk bring to the belief “It’s always darkest before the dawn”? In what area of your life is God’s power dawning? Where are you still waiting in the twilight for the sun to rise?

14. What things are barren in your life, as in Habakkuk’s day (verse 17)? Are you ready to yet rejoice in the Lord, anyway? Why or why not?

15. What promise does verse 19 hold for your present situation? For your future?

16. What other key verse(s) are you prepared to “write down”, “run with”, or “wait for” (chapter 2:2 – 3)?

17. Do you really believe God has the power described in this poem? Or is this just poetic exaggeration?


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