1 I am Habakkuk the prophet. And this is the message that the Lord gave me.
Habakkuk Complains to the Lord
2 Our Lord, how long must I beg
for your help
before you listen?
How long before you save us
from all this violence?
3 Why do you make me watch
such terrible injustice?
Why do you allow violence,
lawlessness, crime, and cruelty
to spread everywhere?
4 Laws cannot be enforced;
justice is always the loser;
criminals crowd out honest people
and twist the laws around.
The Lord Answers Habakkuk
5 Look and be amazed
at what's happening
among the nations!
Even if you were told,
you would never believe
what's taking place now.
6 I am sending the Babylonians.
They are fierce and cruel—
marching across the land,
conquering cities and towns.

7 How fearsome and frightening.
Their only laws and rules
are the ones they make up.
8 Their cavalry troops are faster
than leopards,
more ferocious than wolves
hunting at sunset,
and swifter than hungry eagles
suddenly swooping down.

9 They are eager to destroy,
and they gather captives
like handfuls of sand.
10 They make fun of rulers
and laugh at fortresses,
while building dirt mounds
so they can capture cities.
11 Then suddenly they disappear
like a gust of wind—
those sinful people who worship
their own strength.
Habakkuk Complains Again
12 Holy Lord God, mighty rock,
you are eternal,
and we are safe from death.
You are using those Babylonians
to judge and punish others.
13 But you can't stand sin or wrong.
So don't sit by in silence
while they gobble up people
who are better than they are.

14 The people you put on this earth
are like fish or reptiles
without a leader.
15 Then an enemy comes along
and takes them captive
with hooks and nets.
It makes him so happy
16 that he offers sacrifices
to his fishing nets,
because they make him rich
and provide choice foods.
17 Will he keep hauling in his nets
and destroying nations
without showing mercy?