Habakkuk was contemporary with Jeremiah. Certainly he had heard Jeremiah's prophesies. He questions the Lord's using the unrighteous nations to discipline the chosen people. This passage is his question and the Lord's answer.
The first thing God tells him is to write this answer down so that it can be disseminated throughout the land. And a written prophesy is more permanent that a spoken one. People hear and forget. People can read and re-read what is written.
It is written so that we may be reading it now. What was true for Israel in that time is still true for us. Evil will not go forever unpunished. Injustice will be corrected. Wrongs will be righted.
Woe to the greedy. Woe to the power-mongers. Woe to the violent. Woe to the licentious. Woe is me!
Look at what is going on in our own country. Greed, usury, violence, licentiousness are rampant in our society. We idolize celebrity and follow gossip as if it were gospel. We indulge ourselves with leisure, entertainment, food and drink until we are insatiable, over weight and out of shape. The consequences of our self indulgence are upon us physically and morally.
We need to look at God's answer to Habakkuk and change our course.
Help us to see evil as You see it. Let us recognize it for what it is and do all in our power to change it. Keep us ever faithful to You that we may not be led astray into evil doing.
In Jesus' most precious name.