Lord, what’s going on?
Big Idea: Our God is ok with our asking him, “What’s going on?”, but we may not get the answer are expecting.
Why do bad things happen?
Why are some nations so corrupted?
We see violence, corruption, rioting, hate, injustice, anger …
Where is God? Is he aware of what’s happening?
Why doesn’t he do something?
How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But You do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!”
I cry, but You do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous, that justice has become perverted. Habakkuk 1:2-4 NLT
The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; Look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.
I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands. They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like. Habakkuk 1:2-7 NLT
Their horses are swifter than cheetah and fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey. “On they come, all bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind, sweeping captives ahead of them like sand. They scoff at kings and prince and scorn all their fortresses. They simply pile ramps of earth against their walls and capture them! They sweep past like the wind and are gone. But they are deeply guilty, for their own strength is their god.” Habakkuk 1:8-11 NLT
Watch as Habakkuk practices four imitable disciplines, as he works through God’s reply.
Step 1. Stop and think. Don’t panic or act from human emotions.
The first thing that the prophet considers about God is that he is everlasting. He sits above human time. Are you not from everlasting? Habakkuk 1:12a ESV
Step 2. Remind yourself what you know about God.
Back away from the problem and begin with God.
‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. Jeremiah 32:17-19 ESV
Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. Habakkuk 1:12a ESV
Step 3. Apply what you know about God to the present circumstances.
God is loving, all powerful, all knowing, patient, kind, Holy, faithful, merciful …
Step 4. Be patient.
God doesn’t use the same clock or calendar as we do. Patiently and in faith, Leave the problem with God.
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? Habakkuk 1:13 ESV
I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. Habakkuk 2:1 ESV
And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:2-4a ESV
Every human sits on one side or the other. We trust in human power or we trust in God’s power.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
Psalms 118:8 ESV
God knows what he’s doing. He always has.
But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Habakkuk 2:20 ESV
O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendour covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah. His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels. He stood and measured the earth; looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. His were the everlasting ways.
Habakkuk 3:2-6 ESV
As the prophet considers who God is, how He has always been in ultimate control, and that his timing is always right, he concludes:
I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:16c-19 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 ESV
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