Before we get into
the body of Habakkuk, let's set the historical context straight in our mind. I
have written fifteen Old Testament time periods or people on the board. Let's
number them one through fifteen.(1)
Period of Judges
Habakkuk 1:1 - 13
you could talk to God face to face and ask him one question, what would you
In this section Habakkuk asks two questions and receives two answers from
God. I want half of you to listen for the questions, while the other half
listens for God's answers.
Summarize the first question in
your own words?(3)
does God answer?
Who are the Babylonians? How would Habakkuk have
felt as God told him he would use the Babylonians to punish Judah?(4)
Which verse talks about Habakkuk's attitude along these lines?(5)
Why does God allow evil people on a magnitude of 10 to punish people with an
evil factor of 5? Where is the justice in this? For that matter, overall
would you say that God runs a pretty just world?(6)
People say all the time, "that's not fair." Is this world fair?(7)
In what ways can demanding that this world be fair get us into
trouble? Give me an example.
Habakkuk 2:2 - 4
Why do you think God wanted Habakkuk to write things down?
think God ever wants us to write things down?(8)
What experience have you had with keeping some kind of spiritual journal
where you write down key spiritual events?
How does verse 3 answer
Habakkuk's earlier question?(9)
Verse 4 says the righteous will live by faith. What does this mean? Did you
live by faith this week?(10)
Read this passage silently, then I want you to get with the person next to
you and create a modern paraphrase of this passage. It might start something
like, "Though my checking account is overdrawn. . ."
anyone think of a time when you found what it takes to be obedient to this
command-- to rejoice in God even though everything in your life was falling
What does it mean to be "joyful in God"?
enjoy God this week? When was the last time you said to God, "I just enjoy
my relationship with you, God."?
What would you say to a believer
who said, "I don't enjoy God. I obey God. I serve God. I follow God's ways.
But, I don't enjoy God. I enjoy chocolate and football and movies."(11)
Describe the process of coming to be a person who enjoys God.
What is the next step for you? What would have to change for
you to become a person who enjoys God?
Let's close in prayer. As we
pray, I want to invite you to join me in repenting of anything less than
rejoicing in God. I want to ask you to repent of obedience without heart.
That is the stuff of the Pharisees. It doesn't satisfy us and it doesn't
please God. I want to invite you to repent of duty without joy. I want to
invite you to repent of being bored with God. Let's pray together.
1. I will give you fifteen in order here; scramble them and put them on the
board. Talk your way through the story of the Old Testament as you do. Many
believers know the stories of the Old Testament, but they do not know the story
of the Old Testament.
2. Habakkuk was the prophet who
dared to ask God the hard questions.
4. "We may be bad, but we are not
that bad." How can you use someone worse than us to punish us? It is as if
we have a church that is guilty of some sin-- hypocrisy or gossip or something.
We pray, "God, why don't you punish them?" God answers: I am. I am going to have
the Mafia win control of the building through an unjust law suit.
7. It is absolutely not fair. We cause ourselves much grief by expecting
this world to be fair. We were created for heaven, where all will be fair. We
sense this world not being right.
8. Billy Hanks used
to say our problem is not dedication, it is retention. God speaks to us in
glorious ways and we forget. We forget! When God speaks to us in any way, it is
a good idea to write it down.
9. There is an appointed
time when justice will be settled.
10. We throw
around so many religious sounding phrases we forget to ask if we really know
what they mean. I can hardly wait to hear the answers to this one.
11. I would say this person has missed it. Christianity is all about
enjoying God. Our problem is not that we go too hard after pleasure, it is
that we settle for too little. God would give us a magnificent feast at his
banqueting table and we have been content to rummage through the trash cans of
this world's meager offerings. We must repent of settling for too little. We
must allow our souls to be fully satisfied with the spiritual meat that only He