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Questioning God's Action (Habakkuk 1:5-2:1)

Series: Habakkuk (Faith in Uncertainty)

We began with a helpful illustration last time. Around 1.3 million were killed at the Auschwitz camps during the Holocaust. When Pope Benedict XVI visited this area, his response stood out to me. “In a place like this, words fail; in the end there can only be silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?”

What do you do when everything you expect God to do, he does not do?  Habakkuk is living in Judah among those who are supposed to be God’s people, but they are not living like it. Habakkuk cried to God with no response, so his cry is now, “How long?” How long must I see violence and corruption while the righteous are surrounded by the wicked? We have seen that this is an appropriate response. When we are confused by God, we should pour out our hearts to God instead of leaning on our own understanding. This builds our trust in God as we put troubles in his hands.

Now in 1:5-11 God answers Habakkuk’s cries. We will see today from Habakkuk’s response in 1:12-2:1 that God’s answer was not easy to hear. There is much to learn here. God’s answer teaches us about God’s nature and how God works, while Habakkuk’s response teaches us the attitude we should have as finite humans crying out to the sovereign God. Let’s read the start of God’s response to Habakkuk’s cry about the wickedness in Judah in 1:5.

  • God Sees (1:5; cf. Isaiah 49:14-16 and Hebrews 13:5-6)
  • God Acts (1:5; cf. Psalm 115:3-7)
  • God Acts in Unexpected Ways (1:5-17)
    • God’s timing is not ours.
    • God’s methods are not ours.
    • God is wise and sees the big picture (cf. Job 36:22-31, 37:11-13).
    • God is not God if he is subject to us.
  • Cry out with Respect (2:1)
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