Daily Encouragement

December 18 – Who Is the “Doubting Thomas” of the Old Testament?

Habakkuk 1:1-3:19
Revelation 9:1-21
Psalm 137:1-9
Proverbs 30:10

Habakkuk 1:1 — J. Vernon McGee has an interesting take on Habakkuk:

I call him the doubting Thomas of the Old Testament because he had a question mark for a brain. His book is really unusual. It is not a prophecy in the strict sense of the term. It is somewhat like the Book of Jonah in that Habakkuk told of his own experience with God—his questions to God and God’s answers.


You’ll notice that Jonah reads easier than Habakkuk – Jonah is in prose (story-form), and Habakkuk is in poetry (thought rhyme, not sound rhyme).

Habakkuk 1:4 — Most Bibles don’t include the quote marks to indicate the dialogue going on in this book:

  • Habakkuk 1:1-4 – Habakkuk’s 1st Affirmative Constructive: “Judgment doth never go forth” (in contrast to Nahum’s recitation of judgment, Habakkuk says, “Why isn’t it happening yet?”).
  • Habakkuk 1:5-11 – The LORD’s reply: “I raise up the Chaldeans”
  • Habakkuk 1:12-2:1 – Habakkuk’s response: “The wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?”
  • Habakkuk 2:2-20 – The LORD’s reply: “Because (Babylon) hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee”
  • Habakkuk 3 – Habakkuk’s prayer: “Revive thy work! … Yet I will rejoice in the LORD”

Habakkuk 2:4 — ”The just shall live by his faith” is quoted in Hebrews 10:38, Romans 1:17, and Galatians 3:11.

Revelation 9:3 — Some people have identified the locusts with helicopters, and Revelation 9 with the gulf war. While the breastplate of iron and the sound of wings could fit, the heads, faces, hair, teeth, and tails don’t seem to fit. We need to make sure we’re reading the text, and not reading current events into the text (Nahum’s traffic prophecy).

Revelation 9:16 — In addition to the locusts, a 200-million-man army is heading to slay a couple billion people (Revelation 9:18). Yet, in spite of this, we see the same situation as in the Old Testament.

Revelation 9:20 – “… yet repented not” of their 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th Commandment sins.

Psalm 137:8 — Sounds a bit like Habakkuk – weeping about the suffering coming to Israel (Psalm 137:1), and looking forward to the Babylonians being destroyed.

Psalm 137:9 — Sounds a little harsh, even for the Old Testament. GotQuestions.org notes that it shows a) total destruction, b) it will be a fulfillment of Isaiah 13:16, c) it is an expression of intense emotion, and d) it is restrained – the Psalmist is not engaging in revenge himself (Romans 12:17) but leaving it to God.

Proverbs 30:10 — An ancient warning against “tattle-tales.” John Gill notes:

Doeg the Edomite accused David to Saul, and the Pharisees accused the disciples of Christ to their Master, (1 Samuel 22:9) (Matthew 15:2); the apostle’s advice is good, and agrees with Agur’s, (Romans 14:4).


It also seems to address the universal problem of pride. Many of us try for superiority by any means, yet God continually warns about trying to puff ourselves up.

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