1 I am Habakkuk the prophet. And this is the message[a] that the Lord gave me.
Habakkuk Complains to the Lord
2 Our Lord, how long must I beg for your help before you listen? How long before you save us from all this violence? 3 Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice? Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere? 4 Laws cannot be enforced; justice is always the loser; criminals crowd out honest people and twist the laws around.
The Lord Answers Habakkuk
5 Look and be amazed at what’s happening among the nations! Even if you were told, you would never believe what’s taking place now. 6 I am sending the Babylonians. They are fierce and cruel— marching across the land, conquering cities and towns.
7 How fearsome and frightening. Their only laws and rules are the ones they make up. 8 Their cavalry troops are faster than leopards, more ferocious than wolves hunting at sunset, and swifter than hungry eagles suddenly swooping down.
9 They are eager to destroy,[b] and they gather captives like handfuls of sand. 10 They make fun of rulers and laugh at fortresses, while building dirt mounds so they can capture cities.[c] 11 Then suddenly they disappear like a gust of wind— those sinful people who worship their own strength.
Habakkuk Complains Again
12 Holy Lord God, mighty rock,[d] you are eternal, and we[e] are safe from death. You are using those Babylonians to judge and punish others.[f] 13 But you can’t stand sin or wrong. So don’t sit by in silence while they gobble down people who are better than they are.
2 While standing guard on the watchtower, I waited for the Lord’s answer, before explaining the reason for my complaint.[a] 2 Then the Lord told me: “I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance. 3 At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting— it will happen!
4 “I, the Lord, refuse to accept anyone who is proud. Only those who live by faith are acceptable to me.”[b]
2.1I. . . complaint: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2.4Only. . . me: Or “But those who are acceptable to me will live because of their faithfulness.”
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