How does Habakkuk react to devastating news?

Let’s start off today by thinking about how we react in the face of any devastating news or calamity.

What is your first reaction? Now let’s see Habakkuk react to God’s devastating news.

Habakkuk 1:12 CEV

“Holy LORD God, mighty rock, you are eternal, and we are safe from death. You are using those Babylonians to judge and punish others.”

These words remind me of the solid rock Jesus taught about in this parable: 

They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete” (Luke 6:48-49 NIV).

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How did Habakkuk React? 

As we look at Habakkuk’s reaction, let’s think for a moment about what confusing circumstances are throwing you into turmoil.

We all experience those times in our lives when we are confronted by situations that we really don’t know how to handle. Sometimes, we question how and why God has allowed these things to touch our lives. Perhaps, we ask “Why did God have to take my spouse/child/sibling?” It’s not wrong to ask those questions. God knows they’re in your mind, so speak them out to Him. Just always remember that He is God … and He does have a plan, and it’s guaranteed to be the best plan.

In this verse, we read how Habakkuk reacts to the perplexing revelations that we read of in verses 5 to 11— “I am going to do something that you will not believe when you hear about it (v5). I am bringing the Babylonians to power, those fierce, restless people (v6). They spread fear and terror (v7). Their horses are faster than leopards…They come swooping down like eagles attacking their prey.(v 8). “Their armies advance in violent conquest,… Their captives are as numerous as grains of sand (v9). No fortress can stop them—they pile up earth against it and capture it (v10) Then they sweep on like the wind and are gone. (v11)”  (Habakkuk 1:5-11 GNB)

Here, the prophet openly declares his confidence in the Lord. “Holy LORD God, mighty rock, you are eternal, and we are safe from death.”

Like Habakkuk, perhaps now is a good time to acknowledge afresh that your future is actually in God’s hands. Take your time. I’ll wait. 

Some men see things as they are and ask 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask 'Why not?' George Barnard Shaw Share on X

What caused Habakkuk to react in this way?

Although the prophet could not fully understand God’s thinking, he nevertheless expresses his complete faith and trust in Him. Habakkuk was convinced that although many Judaens would die under Babylonian attack, Judah would not be completely annihilated. God was in control. 

The only certainty we have in life is that we will die physically, whether saints or unrepentant sinners. But, praise God! We who have put our faith in Jesus can be sure that “We are safe from spiritual death.”


Because as we put our trust in Jesus, He assures us that none who have opened their lives to Him will ever experience spiritual death. By God’s Grace, we have been quickened by the Holy Spirit, and upon our physical death, our spirits will be united with our Lord in glory. Praise God indeed!

Under God’s direction, Habakkuk came to see that the Babylonian role was to correct, and not annihilate, God’s people.

Why do the innocent also have to suffer?

In the home:

Those of us who are parents or any who have cared for children, at some stage have probably encountered situations where the kids have gotten up to some form of mischief and we have not been able to pinpoint the real culprit.

  • Have you been there? Done that?
  • How did you deal with such a situation?

When our three were growing up, this happened so often that eventually we devised a scheme whereby we created a fourth “child” code-named “Mr. Nobody”. Each month, we gave each child pocket money which we “banked” in a notebook. All four! Each time none of the three owned up to a crime, we put the blame on Mr. Nobody, and he lost some of his funds. At the end of the month, each of our children received whatever was still in their “bank account” – and all that belonged to Mr. Nobody was split between the three. Suddenly, Mr. Nobody seemed to fade away as the children learned to take responsibility for their actions.

At school:

Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work in a school situation. When children are disobedient at school, and the chief culprit doesn’t own up, the entire class is often kept in or punished. That’s just how it works. Kids react by crying, “That’s not fair!” And no, it’s not fair. But it’s life. 

In a nation:

If it doesn’t work in the classroom, it certainly won’t work for an entire nation. Sadly, sometimes God sees a need to punish His children, and some of those who are innocent also get hurt in the process. There is also the possibility that the problems you are facing are God’s means of getting you to admit your own disobedience. Perhaps they are part of God’s disciplining process to help you fall in line with His plans—His good plans—for your future.

How should God’s children react to discipline?

The writer to the Hebrews has this advice to God’s children, “When the Lord punishes you, don’t make light of it, and when he corrects you, don’t be discouraged. The Lord corrects the people he loves and disciplines those he calls his own.” (Hebrews 12:5b,6 CEV)

Despite the bad news of God’s intention to punish Judah via the Babylonians, Habakkuk still could acknowledge God’s sovereignty:

“…You are eternal, and we are safe from death. You are using those Babylonians to judge and punish others.'”

Is there something happening in your life where you cannot understand what the Lord is up? Perhaps you need to try and look beyond the problem to the rock of ages and give God thanks and praise that He is indeed in control, and is working our your life for good—even if you don’t understand.

Is there a particular problem area that you would like prayer for?

Please share this as a comment so that I may pray for you.


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