Habakkuk, while often thick with metaphors that can be difficult to understand, actually follows a very simple line of thought.

The book opens with Habakkuk lodging a complaint. He looks around and sees violence and injustice among the people of Israel.

The Lord is quick to answer. Habakkuk is shocked by the Lord’s response.

The Lord says that He has seen the wickedness and so has been raising up the Chaldeans to come invade the land in judgement. “They are dreaded and fearsome.”

Habakkuk is shocked. How can God send an evil nation to punish a nation more righteous than they (Habakkuk 1:13)? How in the world will anyone survive the ruthless conquest of the Chaldeans?

The answer is in Habakkuk 2:4. The righteous will live by faith. When all hell (the judgment of God) is coming down, who can survive? When the chariots and the horses of the enemy are closing in, where is there hope? The wicked, prideful soul will stand and fight, but the righteous soul will cry out to God for refuge.

The faith in Habakkuk 2:4 is a faith to cry out to God and say that if God does not save then there simply is no salvation. It is the desperate cry of a people that if God does not intervene in mercy they will be consumed by His judgment.

Habakkuk’s cry is not that he does not deserve the judgment. His cry is not that he is righteous. His cry is that he is desperately dependent upon God to save.

This is how Habakkuk can end with such powerful confidence.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17–19

Though there is judgment all around, God alone is my salvation.

As we continue to reflect on the story of scripture I encourage you to consider that the beginning and end of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is the fact that we have thrown our entire hope upon the mercy, grace, and power of His Gospel. We are either all in or we are not in Him at all.