Habakkuk 1

1 This is the message Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk Complains

2 Lord, how long must I ask for help
and you ignore me?
I cry out to you about violence,
but you do not save us!
3 Why do you make me see wrong things
and make me look at trouble?
People are destroying things and hurting others in front of me;
they are arguing and fighting.
4 So the teachings are weak,
and justice never comes.
Evil people gain while good people lose;
the judges no longer make fair decisions.

The Lord Answers

5 “Look at the nations!
Watch them and be amazed and shocked.
I will do something in your lifetime
that you won’t believe even when you are told about it.
6 I will use the Babylonians,
those cruel and wild people
who march across the earth
and take lands that don’t belong to them.
7 They scare and frighten people.
They do what they want to do
and are good only to themselves.
8 Their horses are faster than leopards
and quicker than wolves at sunset.
Their horse soldiers attack quickly;
they come from places far away.
They attack quickly, like an eagle swooping down for food.
9 They all come to fight.
Nothing can stop them.
Their prisoners are as many as the grains of sand.
10 They laugh at kings
and make fun of rulers.
They laugh at all the strong, walled cities
and build dirt piles to the top of the walls to capture them.
11 Then they leave like the wind and move on.
They are guilty of worshiping their own strength.”

Habakkuk Complains Again

12 Lord, you live forever,
my God, my holy God.
We will not die.
Lord, you have chosen the Babylonians to punish people;
our Rock, you picked them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too good to look at evil;
you cannot stand to see those who do wrong.
So how can you put up with those evil people?
How can you be quiet when the wicked swallow up people who are better than they are?
14 You treat people like fish in the sea,
like sea animals without a leader.
15 The enemy brings them in with hooks.
He catches them in his net
and drags them in his fishnet.
So he rejoices and sings for joy.
16 The enemy offers sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to worship it,
because it lets him live like the rich
and enjoy the best food.
17 Will he keep on taking riches with his net?
Will he go on destroying people without showing mercy?

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