A joyful fisherman – fishing for fish

Habakkuk 1:15 GNB

‘The Babylonians catch people with hooks, as though they were fish. They drag them off in nets and shout for joy over their catch!’

Image by fikret kabay from Pixabay

Fishing for Fish   

You will remember that in the last session I asked you whether you had done any fishing. 

  • So remind me, Are you, or someone you know, perhaps a keen fisherman?

It amazes me the patience men and a few women exhibit. They will spend hours on end alongside a river or the shoreline with a rod and reel fishing, hoping that a fish would bite. As I mentioned the last session I lack the perseverance to spend time in that way.

Again in this study, our verse focusses on fish and fishing. We saw in the last study how Habakkuk likened people to fish. Here in this verse, he follows up on that picture by referring to Judah’s enemy as evil fishermen.

Gone fishing

Once again I am about to give you some indication of my age. Two of the old-time greats, the crooner Bing Crosby and the trumpeter Loius Armstrong, recorded a duet song entitled Gone Fishin. The one complains that when he calls, the other is never at home and the notice on the door inevitably states “Gone Fishing

Photo by Matt Hardy from Pexels

I love the story from a book, source unknown, that says, A lady giving her testimony commented, “Jesus said, ‘I will make you fishers of men’ and I have been fishing for men ever since.”

Habakkuk pictures Nebuchadnezzar and his army as fishing in the sea of the Middle Eastern world. Their intention being the capture of people, as if their opponents were fish and the army was taking control. In particular their fishing expedition is to catch all the inhabitants of Judea, good or bad, big or small, without exception.

Our adversary has the same goal in mind. He wants to capture us and take control.

  • Are you perhaps on the hook of some habit which you cannot break free of?

Share it with someone you can trust for prayer backing to break the habit.

Satan’s Fishing expedition

A skirmish took place in the heavenlies when Satan sought to usurp God’s authority and was banished to our world (Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:18: Revelation 12:7-9). Since his banishment, along with his band of rebellious angels he has concentrated on seducing mankind to live lives apart from God. Let’s make sure he doesn’t get away with it in our lives.

Like the Babylonians, the devil and his cohorts rejoice at their catch when they are able to seduce men and women to disobey the principles of God contained in the Word. More particularly, they want us to reject the Saviour whom God sent to set us free from his bondage.

At times, his enticements are so desirable that it is easy to be tempted. 

  • Is there an area in your life where you battle to resist Satan? Again, ask for some prayer support. There is no Christian who doesn’t do battle with Satan on a daily basis. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23 CEV). Even Jesus was tempted. He just didn’t fall.
  • Do you feel as if the evil one has you on his hook and you cannot break free? Christ came to rescue us from satan’s power over us. “No, in all these things we have complete victory through him (Christ)who loved us! “(Romans 8:37 GNB)

Bad fisherman

My wife Shirley and I recently watched a movie entitled ‘Blue Miracle’ involving a group of orphans who served as the crew to a deep sea fisherman. They were participants in a competition to catch the biggest blue marlin. On the second day of the competition, they caught a large marlin on their line but lost it when two of the youngsters fell overboard and had to be rescued.

The good news is that the devil may have us on the line and he may be trying to reel us in but Jesus is available to rescue us if we allow Him to. You see our enemy is a bad fisherman.

Satan is a bad fisherman! Jesus is our safety raft. Share on X

Our adversary IS poor at fishing

Never forget he is a defeated foe. Defeated by Christ on the cross of Calvary.

”We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death.” (Hebrews 2:14 CEV.)

“Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.” (1 John 3:8 CEV.)

If you are on the devil’s line or if you know of a family member or friend who has been caught by him won’t you pray this prayer.

Prayer :

Gracious Heavenly Father I realise that I/ that …………………. has/have been caught in Satan’s net. I praise You that You have provided the means of our being set free when You sent Your Son Jesus into the world to be it’s Saviour. Thank You Jesus’ for the sacrifice you made on my/…………..behalf. Now I ask that I/that …………………/ may be set free from bondage to Satan and live life in the future to Your glory under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


If you haven’t yet read the background to the prophecy, please do. It will benefit you throughout this series of studies.

Or would you rather be a fish? – Big Fish or little fish?

Habakkuk 1:14 CEV

‘You have made people like the fish in the sea, like the sea creatures that have no ruler.’

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Have you ever caught a fish?

  • Have you ever gone fishing? What was your experience?

A neighbour here at our retirement village is very keen on fishing. However, I have only participated in a fishing trip twice. On the first occasion, as a youngster I was taken fishing at the seashore near Gordon’s Bay in the Western Cape, by two uncles. They loaned me a rod but sadly I lacked the patience to persevere, caught nothing, gave up, and instead explored the rock pools.

Years later I was invited by a colleague to minister at his church in Sinoia (Zimbabwe). At one point over the weekend, we went fishing at the Kariba Dam. I caught two angelfish whilst my colleague, a keen fisherman, caught nothing.

Mankind likened to fish

The late Bing Crosby had a popular tune entitled ‘Swinging on a star’. In the song he asks whether you would like to swing on a star or be a … and he goes through various creatures. In one of the verses he asks, ‘or would you rather be a fish’. He describes a fish and concludes  though he’s slippery, he still gets caught.’

In Habakkuk’s second complaint to God about the use of the Chaldeans to punish Judah, the prophet likens all men to fish – speechless and helpless, with no power to resist who therefore soon get caught.

  • Can you recall an occasion when Satan has tricked you into believing that you have no power to resist?

‘He [Habakkuk) compares the world to the sea; men to fishes; Nebuchadnezzar to a fisherman’ (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary), constantly casting his nets and capturing his prey.

Big fish eat little fish

We live in a society today where the big fish eat the little fish, and the even bigger fish eat the big fish. The same was true of Habakkuk’s day. Babylon was gobbling up the smaller nations, and God was seemingly not taking any action to establish justice.

  • Can you think of a present-day example of this in practice?
  • Into which group would you place yourself – big fish or little fish?

Scripture teaches us that God is not blind to the evil in our world. God constantly warns evil-doers throughout Scripture.

“They have left the true road and have gone down the wrong path by following the example of the prophet Balaam. He was the son of Beor and loved what he got from being a crook…These people are like dried up water holes and clouds blown by a windstorm. The darkest part of hell is waiting for them.” (2 Peter 2:15,17 CEV)

Fish without a ruler

Habakkuk asked the Lord why He had made people like fish and other sea creatures, apparently without a ruler.

‘You have made people like the fish in the sea, like the sea creatures that have no ruler.’ over them.

Mankind, in general, may be likened to fish without a ruler because without Jesus in their lives they are a law unto themselves. We continue to see clear evidence of this during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown protocols. Despite numerous appeals by our state president here in South Africa, many folk still refuse to wear masks covering both nose and mouth, to sanitise their hands regularly, to keep their social distance, and avoiding mass gatherings. 

  • Is it the same in your country? Share in a comment below, and tell us where you live. 

Many who have opened their lives to Jesus as their Saviour have yet to yield to him as their Lord.  They still fail to allow His Holy Spirit to guide and direct their words and actions.

  • Is there perhaps an area of your life where you are still very much in control?
  • Can you honestly say Jesus is Lord of your life? If not why not? How can you rectify this?

God has made us for Himself and we are incomplete until we are complete in Him - St Augustine Share on X

Please join me in prayer:

Gracious Heavenly Father I realise that there are areas in my life where Jesus is not Lord of my words or my actions. Please forgive me. Holy Spirit, please help me to be so guided and directed by you that Jesus is seen to be, not only my Saviour, but also Lord of my life. These things I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Don’t forget to tell me what country you’re from. I’d love to know.


If you haven’t yet read the background to the prophecy, please do. It will benefit you throughout this series of studies.