How to Study Habakkuk
As you read Habakkuk it is critical for you to know whether God is speaking or Habakkuk. Since the book is only three chapters long, read through Habakkuk and note in the margin when God speak or when Habakkuk speak. Try it on your own and then look at the Structure of Habakkuk chart for the segment divisions, which show who is speaking when.
An "oracle" can be translated "a burden." What is Habakkuk's burden; what is bothering him? Mark the key repeated word why and you'll discover the answer.
Read through Habakkuk 1 and mark every reference to Habakkuk in one color and every reference to the Lord (including personal pronouns) in another color. Then observe (and list, if you want) everything you learn about the Lord as a personality and what He is going to do.
The Chaldeans, another name for the Babylonians, invaded the southern kingdom of Judah three times. In 605 B.C., Daniel and many nobles were taken captive. Then in 597 B.C., Ezekiel and 10,000 others were taken captive. The final siege occurred from 588 to 586 B.C., when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. Mark every reference to the Chaldeans-and observe what they will do and what will happen to them. Also, from this point onward, mark nations.
Study the historical chart and notice the relationship between the time of Habakkuk's writing and the Babylonian invasion.
Mark every reference ,including pronouns, to the proud or haughty man. Then in your notebook, list what he is like and with whom he is contrasted.
Mark each use of woe and observe to whom the woe is going to come, why it will come, and what will happen when it comes. Is you want to, summarize this in your notebook.
Mark every reference to the Lord and record in the margin any new insights about Him.
Habakkuk's prayer is an intensely emotional poem. A statements is made and is followed by a similar statement that heightens the meaning or repeats the truth in another way. Read the prayer again, keeping its form in mind.
AS you read, ask the "5 W's and an H": Who is doing? To whom or what? When will it be done? Why will it be done? What specifically is going to happen? How? Observe everything you learn about the Lord from this chapter.
What does this chapter say about Habakkuk and his relationship to God? Record this in your notebook. Then compare what you write with 2:4. How is Habakkuk going to live? Have his circumstances changed?
Fill in the appropriate sections of Structure of Habakkuk, recording the theme of each paragraph, each chapter, and the book itself. Fill in any other information asked for on the chart. Also record the theme of each chapter in your Bible.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in Habakkuk
The nature of God's judgment - God used the Babylonians to judge the people of Judah (1:5-11; 2:2-20; Deut 28:49, 50; 2Kin 24:2; 2Chr 36:17; Jer 4:11-13; Ezek 7:24; 21:31; Mic 4:10; Acts 17:31; Rom 2:16; Rev 6:17)
Proper worship of God - God is not to be worshiped merely because of temporal blessings but for His own sake (3:17-19; Deut 28:1-14; Ps 97:12; Is 12:2; 41:16; 61:10; Luke 1:47; Phil 4:4; Rev 4:10-11)
Justification by faith - HUmans are saved through faith in God alone and not through works (2:4; Gen 15:6; Lev 18:5; Is 45:25; 50:8, 9; Zech 3:4, 5; John 3:36; Rom 1:17; 5:1; Gal 3:11; Col 1:22, 23; Heb 3:12-14; 10:38)