New International Reader's Version

Habakkuk 1

1This is a prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received from the Lord. Here is what Habakkuk said.

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord

Lord, how long do I have to call out for help?
    Why don’t you listen to me?
How long must I keep telling you
    that things are terrible?
    Why don’t you save us?
Why do you make me watch while
    people treat others so unfairly?
Why do you put up with the wrong things
    they are doing?
I have to look at death.
    People are harming others.
    They are arguing and fighting all the time.
The law can’t do what it’s supposed to do.
    Fairness never comes out on top.
Sinful people surround those
    who do what is right.
    So people are never treated fairly.

The Lord Replies to Habakkuk

The Lord replies,

“Look at the nations. Watch them.
    Be totally amazed at what you see.
I am going to do something in your days
    that you would never believe.
You would not believe it
    even if someone told you about it.
I am going to send the armies of Babylon to attack you.
    They are very mean. They move quickly.
They sweep across the whole earth.
    They take over homes
    that do not belong to them.
They terrify others.
    They do not recognize any laws but their own.
    That is how proud they are.
Their horses are faster than leopards.
    They are meaner than wolves at sunset.
Their horsemen charge straight into battle.
    They ride in from far away.
They come down like an eagle
    diving for its food.
All of them are ready and willing to destroy others.
    Their huge armies advance like a wind out of the desert.
    They gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
    and make fun of rulers.
They laugh at all the cities
    that have high walls around them.
They build dirt ramps against the walls
    and capture the cities.
11 They sweep past like the wind.
    Then they go on their way.
They are guilty.
    They worship their own strength.”

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord Again

12 Lord, haven’t you existed forever?
    You are my holy God.
    You will never die.
Lord, you have appointed the Babylonians
    to punish your people.
    My Rock, you have chosen them to judge us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look at what is evil.
    You can’t put up with the wrong things people do.
So why do you put up
    with those who can’t be trusted?
The evil Babylonians swallow up
    those who are more godly than themselves.
    So why are you silent?
14 You have made people to be like the fish in the sea.
    They are like the sea creatures that don’t have a ruler.
15 The evil Babylonians pull all of them up with hooks.
    They catch them in their nets.
They gather them up.
    So they celebrate.
    They are glad.
16 They offer sacrifices to their nets.
    They burn incense to them.
Their nets allow them to live in great comfort.
    They enjoy the finest food.
17 Are you going to let them
    keep on emptying their nets?
Will they go on destroying nations
    without showing them any mercy?