The short book of Habakkuk is a recording of Habakkuk’s complaints to God and God’s response. Habakkuk is looking around at the evil people of the world (specifically Assyria and Babylon) and seeing them rise to power. He notes that the law has become paralyzed and the wicked outweigh the righteous (1.4). God’s response reminds us “his ways are not our ways” when he says, “I am doing work that you would not even believe if I told you” (1.5).
Habakkuk had a little bit of a “Jonah” mentality but what we have to understand is that God held his people to his standard – a higher standard. They were his special people and if they wanted to be blessed, then they themselves needed to become righteous. As Jesus says, “…to whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12.48). God reminds Habakkuk and us that no matter what is going on around us that the “righteous will live by faith” (2.3).
Habakkuk closes his book with a prayer noting God’s might as he has ultimate power over evil. This power will continue through Christ as his anointed one (3.13). He ends rejoicing in the Lord taking joy in God’s salvation and strength.