Nahum wrote concerning the future destruction of Nineveh. The book was written at a time when Assyria was at the very peak of her power. No man would have dreamed that mighty Nineveh would fall! But God knows the future, and He gave His message to Nahum to deliver to the frightened people of Judah. This was not a message of warning to Nineveh; they had heard God's warning from Jonah 150 years before. Now God's patience was running out and His judgment would fall.
The message of this book is one of hope for Judah--to encourage them to trust God in an hour of great danger. Each chapter tells us something about God and about the fall of the city. In chapter 1 we see that God is a jealous God, and that Nineveh will fall; in chapter 2 we see that God will judge the city, and that Nineveh's fall will be great. Then, in chapter 3, we see that His great judgment against the city is just, because Nineveh had been warned. She deserved the judgment that fell upon her.
The theme of the Book of Habakkuk could be, "Living by faith." The problem facing Habakkuk was one of wondering why God would allow injustice and violence throughout the land and do nothing about it. The wicked were prospering, while the righteous were suffering, and nothing was being done about it.
In chapter 1 Habakkuk wonders about the silence and inactivity of God. He was puzzled as he looked out across the world of that day and saw injustice, violence, strife, and contention. The whole nation was suffering because of the evils of the government. God told Habakkuk that He was working a work that would amaze him; that He would raise up the Chaldeans to conquer the nation and be His instrument to chastise the people.
In chapter 2 Habakkuk is watching and waiting. He had not become an atheist or agnostic. Rather, he went to his watchtower and began to pray, meditate, and wait on the Lord. God gave Habakkuk three wonderful assurances to encourage and strengthen him during those difficult days. First, in chapter 2:4 He says, "The just shall live by faith." I sincerely believe this is one of the most important verses in the Bible. It forms the text for three New Testament books--Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews. In verse 14 He says, "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord." We know this promise is yet future. There are still the same sins of greediness, covetousness, murder, drunkenness, and idolatry in our world today as were found in verses 5-19, but the promise of God still stands. His glory shall one day fill this earth, for Jesus Christ will return and put down all sin and establish His righteous Kingdom.
In verse 20 God says, "The Lord is in his holy temple." God was and is still on the throne.
In summary, the Book of Habakkuk shows us how to deal with life's problems. We must first learn to honestly admit that there are problems. We must talk to God about them; wait quietly before Him in prayer and meditation of His Word; and then, when He speaks, we must listen and obey.
Index of Daily Devotions