During Habakkuk’s time, God’s people turned against him. Strife and violence surrounded the prophet. And yet, God called him to be faithful. In Faith Amid the Ruins, Heath Thomas brings the story of Habakkuk to life—reminding us that although it’s a small book about a lesser known prophet, its themes and importance are anything but minor. When we face hardship and opposition, it’s easy to seek security and stability instead of God’s will. Habakkuk teaches us both about the faithfulness of God and what it looks like to live faithfully before God when life turns upside down.
Faith Amid the Ruins is an extraordinary little book. In it, Heath Thomas reveals the theological center of Habakkuk: God calls us to be faithful even in the midst of the most difficult social and political circumstances, and makes our fidelity possible through his own faithfulness toward us. I can’t imagine a more timely message for global Christians today.
—Bruce Ashford, author of Every Square Inch and One Nation Under God
This is a fine short commentary on Habakkuk for Christian readers who want to understand the fascinating little prophetic book of Habakkuk, and use it as part of their Christian faith and discipleship. Heath not only brings his deep scholarship to it but also his experience as a teacher, a parent, and a Christian leader. The book is an informative guide, but more, a help to self-knowledge and devotion. I recommend it warmly.
—J. Gordon McConville, professor of Old Testament theology, University of Gloucestershire
In his commentary on Habakkuk, Heath Thomas provides an accessible introduction to this short but relevant prophetic book. His theological and interpretive essays orient all readers to the riches of this book and its relevance for the Christian life today.
—Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University
“In the prophet’s day, destruction and turmoil lay firmly on the horizon. His own people had turned away from God, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire came crushing down on his nation and people. Habakkuk wondered where God was in all of this. He struggled, prayed, and pressed toward God in the midst of catastrophe. Far from being a scoundrel, the prophet is a healthy model of faithfulness to God in the midst of suffering. Habakkuk and his book call us forth to a life of faithfulness to God, even in trying times.” (Page 1)
“Gary Smith to argue that the book of Habakkuk is akin to a ‘rare look at the private diary of a confused preacher.’2” (Pages 1–2)
“Habakkuk is a praying prophet who cries out to God in his distress” (Page 28)
“in 1:2–4 he asks God to take notice of the wicked, destructive behavior of his own people” (Page 2)
“uniquely presents an intimate call-and-response format between the prophet and God” (Page 1)
God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Heath A. Thomas (PhD, University of Gloucestershire, UK) is dean of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and Professor of Old Testament at Oklahoma Baptist University. He also serves as the chair of the internationally known Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar. He has served churches in America and the United Kingdom and has taught in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa. He is the author or editor of a number of books on the biblical book of Lamentations and the Minor Prophets, and most recently he co-edited A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation (Baker Academic) with Craig G. Bartholomew.