Questioning the Justice of God
I. LONGING for justice in an UNJUST world. (Hab. 1-3)
A. Habakkuk speaks FOR us as well as TO us. (1:1-4,1:12-2:1)
B. We QUESTION the reality we ENCOUNTER. (1:1-4)
C. We QUESTION the METHODS of God. (1:12-2:1)
Lent is a season of ruthless honesty, about ourselves and the world that we find ourselves in. As we look around at all we see, there’s a growing sense of struggle and pain with all the aspects of our world that are broken. Reality seems filled with those who get destroyed day by day by the forces all around us. Why God? Why?
1. Kid’s question: When have you seen a situation that was unfair? What happened?
2. If you could ask any question to God about the world as you see it right now, what would you ask and why?
II. LISTENING to God WITH Habakkuk. (1:5-2:20)
A. Our QUESTIONS are to be EXPECTED. (1:5)
B. Our ASSUMPTIONS are going to be CHALLENGED. (2:2-20)
Since Habakkuk speaks our words to God, it’s important that we listen to God’s answers to him. There’s a notable lack of condemnation about the questions that he is asking. God seems to not mind the inquisition. But God also speaks clearly to Habakkuk and us of things that are a little beyond our scope of comprehension.
3. How do you feel about questioning God? Is there a point that is too far?
4. What assumptions has God challenged in your own walk with Him? What have you learned through those experiences?
III. Some MISTAKES we often MAKE. (Mk. 8:29-33)
A. Being RIGHT on a small SCALE. (2:12-17; Mk. 8:29)
B. ASSUMING we fully UNDERSTAND justice. (2:14; Mk. 8:32)
C. ANCHORING trust in CIRCUMSTANCES instead of God. (3:1-19; Mk 8:32)
D. Living by UNDERSTANDING instead of FAITH. (2:4; Prov. 3:5-6; Mk. 8:33)
As we look back at this on-going dialogue, we can see that while Habakkuk’s questions were well intentioned, they were a bit misguided. There are some mistakes we make as we trust our assessment of reality. This conversation helps us to identify and hopefully move and think differently in the future.
5. Which of the “mistakes” listed do you find to be the most likely in your life?
6. What might God be saying to you through this book of Habakkuk? How will you respond?
IV. SURRENDERING to God through LENT. (Ps. 46:10)
A. This is a time to WAIT and LISTEN. (2:1,20)
B. REST in the large scale DECREE of God. (2:14)
C. Understand BOTH SIDES of surrender. (3:16-19)
Habakkuk speaks volumes to a people who are walking through Lent. In his wrestling with the injustice of the world around him he settles on a place of trust. Hopefully we can learn to do the same.
- What are your desires for this time of Lent? What will you do to lean in to those desires? What practices will help you to do that?
- How can you rest today in the (future) promise of God that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of His glory? What will that look like?