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Habakkuk 1 (New International Reader's Version)

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1 This is a vision the prophet Habakkuk received from the Lord. Here is what Habakkuk said.

Habakkuk Asks the LORD a Question

2 Lord, how long do I have to call out for help? Why don't you listen to me? How long must I keep telling you that things are terrible? Why don't you save us? 3 Why do you make me watch while people treat others so unfairly? Why do you put up with the wrong things they are doing? I have to look at death. People are harming others. They are arguing and fighting all the time. 4 The law can't do what it's supposed to do. Fairness never comes out on top. Sinful people surround those who do what is right. So people are never treated fairly.

The LORD Gives His Answer

5 The LORD replies, "Look at the nations. Watch them. Be totally amazed at what you see. I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe. You would not believe it even if someone told you about it. 6 I am going to send the armies of Babylonia to attack you. They are very mean. They move quickly. They sweep across the whole earth. They take over places that do not belong to them. 7 They terrify others. They do not recognize any laws but their own. That is how proud they are. 8 Their horses are faster than leopards. They are meaner than wolves in the dark. Their horsemen charge straight into battle. They ride in from far away. They come down like an eagle diving for its food. 9 All of them are ready to destroy others. Their huge armies advance like a wind out of the desert. They gather prisoners like sand. 10 They laugh at kings and make fun of rulers. They laugh at all of the cities that have high walls around them. They build dirt ramps against the walls and capture the cities. 11 They sweep past like the wind. Then they go on their way. They are guilty. They worship their own strength."

Habakkuk Asks the LORD Another Question

12 Lord, haven't you existed forever? You are my holy God. So we won't die, will we? Lord, you have appointed the Babylonians to punish your people. My Rock, you have chosen them to judge us. 13 Your eyes are too pure to look at what is evil. You can't put up with the wrong things people do. So why do you put up with those who can't be trusted? The evil Babylonians swallow up those who are more godly than themselves. So why are you silent? 14 You have made men as if they were only fish in the sea. They are like sea creatures that don't have a ruler. 15 The evil Babylonians pull all of them up with hooks. They catch them in their nets. They gather them up. So they celebrate. They are glad. 16 They offer sacrifices to their nets. They burn incense to them. Their nets allow them to live in great comfort. They enjoy the finest food. 17 Are you going to let them keep on emptying their nets? Will they go on destroying nations without showing them any mercy?
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