Justice Is a Joke
11-4 The problem as God gave Habakkuk to see it:
God, how long do I have to cry out for help
before you listen?
How many times do I have to yell, “Help! Murder! Police!”
before you come to the rescue?
Why do you force me to look at evil,
stare trouble in the face day after day?
Anarchy and violence break out,
quarrels and fights all over the place.
Law and order fall to pieces.
Justice is a joke.
The wicked have the righteous hamstrung
and stand justice on its head.
God Says, “Look!”
5-11 “Look around at the godless nations.
Look long and hard. Brace yourself for a shock.
Something’s about to take place
and you’re going to find it hard to believe.
I’m about to raise up Babylonians to punish you,
Babylonians, fierce and ferocious—
grabbing up nations right and left,
A dreadful and terrible people,
making up its own rules as it goes.
Their horses run like the wind,
attack like bloodthirsty wolves.
A stampede of galloping horses
thunders out of nowhere.
They descend like vultures
circling in on carrion.
They’re out to kill. Death is on their minds.
They collect victims like squirrels gathering nuts.
They mock kings,
poke fun at generals,
Spit on forts,
and leave them in the dust.
They’ll all be blown away by the wind.
Brazen in sin, they call strength their god.”
Why Is God Silent Now?
12-13 God, you’re from eternity, aren’t you?
Holy God, we aren’t going to die, are we?
God, you chose Babylonians for your judgment work?
Rock-Solid God, you gave them the job of discipline?
But you can’t be serious!
You can’t condone evil!
So why don’t you do something about this?
Why are you silent now?
This outrage! Evil men swallow up the righteous
and you stand around and watch!
14-16 You’re treating men and women
as so many fish in the ocean,
Swimming without direction,
swimming but not getting anywhere.
Then this evil Babylonian arrives and goes fishing.
He pulls in a good catch.
He catches his limit and fills his creel—
a good day of fishing! He’s happy!
He praises his rod and reel,
piles his fishing gear on an altar and worships it!
It’s made his day,
and he’s going to eat well tonight!
17 Are you going to let this go on and on?
Will you let this Babylonian fisherman
Fish like a weekend angler,
killing people as if they’re nothing but fish?
1The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
The Lord’s Answer
5 “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,[a]
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
9 they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes[b] advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
My God, my Holy One, you[c] will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
destroying nations without mercy?