Habakkuk 1:1-3 CEV
‘I am Habakkuk the prophet. And this is the message that the LORD gave me. Our LORD, how long must I beg for your help before you listen? How long before you save us from all this violence? Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice? Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere? Laws cannot be enforced; justice is always the loser; criminals crowd out honest people and twist the laws around.’
In the opening verses of Habakkuk, we meet a man of God who was in despair over the tough times that the Jews were going through. And he didn’t hesitate to voice his complaints to God about the injustice of the situation.
Living in a violent society, everywhere Habakkuk looked there were problems, hardships, and wrongdoing.
The Message by Eugene Peterson describes the situation very vividly:
Anarchy and violence break out, quarrels and fights all over the place,
Law and order fall to pieces. Justice is a joke.
The wicked have the righteous hamstrung and stand justice on its head.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Habakkuk asked God, “How long must I beg for your help before you listen?”
Questions for God?
- Do we have a right to question God’s actions? Or His lack of action? Think about or discuss this. Seriously? He is God after all!
Habakkuk pleads with God to hear his prayers. All around he witnessed violence and injustice. and He does not understand why God is not punishing those involved.
In desperation he cries out to God:
How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?” (Habakkuk 1:3)
- Do you think it’s okay for him to do this?
- Can you think of a situation that caused you in the past to question why God failed to intervene?
- Did you question God merely in your mind? Or did you actually voice your concern?
- What was His answer?
- Have you felt God questioning some of your actions or failures to react?
Questions for the Present and the Future
I’m certain many of us identify with Habakkuk today. This man of God lived in a society that had gone mad.
- In what way can you identify? List places and situations where you think today’s world has gone mad?
- Why doesn’t God execute judgment against the violence and injustice we see around us?
- What particular situation needs the Lord’s intervention right now?
- What questions would you like to ask God today?
- Why not ask Him right now, in prayer?
We live in tough times. Life is full of situations that have the power to change the whole course of our lives. Our future depends upon the way that we handle these intrusions into our normal pattern of life.
Like Habakkuk, we battle with confusing situations seeking answers. The same God who met Habakkuk’s problem has the answer to ours.
Beth Moore has some wise words for those facing hardships, “Hardships are inevitable for us because God wants to give us eternal victory by working His glory in and through them. Satan wants to bring us defeat by causing us to struggle and fall.” (‘To live is Christ’ – Beth Moore)