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.
14 The people you put on this earth are like fish or reptiles without a leader. 15 Then an enemy comes along and takes them captive with hooks and nets. It makes him so happy 16 that he offers sacrifices to his fishing nets, because they make him rich and provide choice foods. 17 Will he keep hauling in his nets and destroying nations without showing mercy?
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