Summary: Wait on God when you do not understand Him.

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Habakkuk 1:1-2:1

S: Waiting on God

Th: Where is God when things go wrong?


?: [Inductive]

KW: Complaints

TS: We will find three complaints that Habakkuk has about God.

The ____ complaint is God is…




RMBC 10 February 02 AM


ILL Erma Bombeck

It was Erma Bombeck who said…

“If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?”

Have you ever asked that question?

It gets asked, because often, life does not turn out the way we have expected it to.

It does not unfold according to our own plans.

It just doesn’t seem fair.

And it makes us ask the question…

1. Why is life so unfair?

ILL Notebook: Pain (Barb Johnson [steal])

I like the wry comment Barbara Johnson makes in her book, Splashes o£ Joy in the Cesspools of Life. She says…

The rain falls on the just and also on the unjust, but chiefly on the just, because the unjust steals the just’s umbrella.

ILL 9/11

While we all find healing in humor, none of us laughed on September 11. When the news of the coordinated hijacking of four American airplanes and the resulting death of thousands of Americans (and other nationalities), we were filled with fear, anger and grief. Within minutes, all four aircrafts, commandeered by terrorists, plunged nose first into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, into one of the five walls of the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania en route to further devastation. We were horrified as people leapt from the World Trade Center when the heat became unbearable. To make it worse, we then watched jubilant Palestinians dancing in the streets, celebrating this tragedy.

ILL Lisa Strozyk

We have also felt tragedy close to home this week…

We watched a 32-year-old mother succumb to a lethal enemy this week called cancer. For those of us who knew Lisa, we struggle to find meaning to the passing of one so kind and dedicated to her Lord and to her family. We are filled with fear, anger and grief. Her death makes us mad.

For why is it that evil prospers and God does not intervene?

Why is it that the wicked live lavishly?

Why do the arrogant thrive and fame fall on them?

I am sure many of us have asked such questions.

2. Many of us have been sent reeling by the circumstances of life.

We have been staggered, knocked off our feet.

I have asked such questions in my life.

I have felt the injustice of being lied about and the unfairness of misplaced blame.

I know what it is like to have one’s motivation judged not only incorrectly, but also with the presumption of wicked intent.

I have experienced the brutal act of losing a very close friend who was robbed and murdered.

I suffer the sorrow of watching my son live with a chronic disease.

The frustration of such matters builds in us and erupts like a volcano.

And we shout the question, “Why, God, did You let this happen?”

For we believe that God could rescue.

God could heal.

God could save.

But, He has not.

We don’t understand.


3. We desperately search for meaning when we are disappointed with life.

We are created, I believe, to search for answers when things don’t make sense.

And when it does make sense, we are satisfied.

We get a sense of peace.

We can deal with it, even if we are unhappy with the results.

But, when there is an absence of meaning, the situation is so intolerable.

We feel distraught and we agonize.


1. The context of Habakkuk (1):

Today, we begin a three-week study on Habakkuk.

The first verse says…

The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.

The word oracle means “burden.”

And as we look at this small book, we will understand that Habakkuk certainly is carrying a burden.

Let me share the context…

1.1 History: The Northern Kingdom (Israel) is gone.

Because they consistently failed to follow the Lord, God used the very cruel country of Assyria to carry away the northern kingdom of Israel.

Assyria, though they threatened the southern kingdom of Judah, were unable to conquer it.

Now, as time as gone on, Assyria was in decline.

In the meanwhile, during Habakkuk’s early years, Judah has prospered under the reign of the good king Josiah.

He came to the throne at age 8, and began righteous religious reforms at age 16.

These were glory years for Judah.

The temple was repaired and there was a national revival.

But when Josiah died, things changed, and…

1.2 Setting: The Southern Kingdom (Judah) has made a quick turn from righteousness to wickedness.

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