I’m reading through Hakakkuk again, and it made me think of C J Mahaney’s Humility, which contains a great exposition of the book.

Here are some key points from Humility:

  1. There is inevitable suffering. CJM quotes from Carson’s How Long, O Lord: “The truth of the matter is that all we have to do is live long enough and we will suffer.” Furthermore, “we do not give the subject of evil and suffering the thought it deserves until we ourselves are confronted with tragedy.”
  2. Habakkuk is confused and complaining. “O Lord, how long shall I cry out for help, and you will not hear?” (1.2) See also, 1.3 and 1.4. God answers in 2.4: “The righteous shall live by faith.” God’s purpose will prevail (2.14, 2.20).
  3. God-centered prayer. Chapter 3.2: “O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear.”
  4. A focus on salvation, not suffering. See 3.13: “You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot.” Also see Matt 20.28: The Son of Man came… to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  5. Waiting quietly: “Waiting is not resignation; waiting is an active trust in God to provide fulfillment in His perfect timing, according to the His ultimate purpose of glorifying His Son.” (145)
  6. Humbly rejoicing. 3.17-18: Though the fig tree does not bud / and there are no grapes on the vines, / though the olive crop fails / and the fields produce no food, / though there are no sheep in the pen / and no cattle in the stalls, / yet I will rejoice in the LORD, / I will be joyful in God my Savior.
  7. Your response in suffering. “Here’s what Habakkuk learned: Those who know true joy in the midst of suffering are those who recognize that, in this life, our suffering is never as great or as serious as our sins.” A quote from JE: “How far less are the greatest afflictions that we meet with in this world… than we have deserved!”
  8. Conclusion. Hab 3.19: The Sovereign LORD is my strength; / he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, / he enables me to go on the heights. / For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.