Summary: It’s easy to praise God when things go our way, but what happens when they don’t.
You ever argue with God? Or complain to God? Wanting to know why He did what He did and why He didn’t do what He Didn’t do? Perhaps you were simply offering him advice on how to run the world. Not necessarily the entire universe but the world, or at least your little corner of the world. Do you have a pretty good idea of what you would do if you were God, the changes you would make and how you would do things differently if you were in charge? Let’s ask a few people what they would do if they were God and see how they answer that question. (e.ssentials CD Vol 4, No. 4)
I’m not sure if your views were reflecting there, but I kind of liked the concept of snow being ice cream.
If you have read through the book of Habakkuk you discover there are a lot of question marks as the prophet asks God what is happening and then asks God to justify his behaviour. Questions that the prophet personally asks but the same questions that no doubt were being asked by people all over Israel. Included in this little book are the responses that Habakkuk receives from God and passes on to the people of Israel.
The book of Habakkuk is a relatively short book, only three chapters. In most people’s bibles it hardly fills two pages. So let’s take a look at the book of Habakkuk. What a great name Habakkuk. When I think of Habakkuk I either think of a cat getting rid of a hairball or a Wookie, which is kind of like a big hairball. Why would anyone name their child Habakkuk, think of the teasing that poor kid got in elementary school.
Regardless, what do we know about Habakkuk other then he wrote this book? Nothing. His name is only mentioned twice in the Bible and those are both in the book that bears his name. The book was written around 610 BC and unlike other books where the Prophet speaks to the people on God’s behalf here Habakkuk is speaking to God on the people’s behalf. The book is actually divided into two very distinct sections. The first is found in Chapters one and two and contains Habakkuk’s complaints to God and God’s subsequent replies. The second section is found in chapter 3, a portion of which Bonnie read earlier, and it is a song of praise composed and sung by the prophet to God.
And while you may never have actually complained to God I’m pretty sure everyone has felt like complaining to God at some time or another. Why did this happen, why didn’t that happen. And some of Habakkuk’s complaints might be how you feel at times. Habakkuk 1:3 Must I forever see this sin and misery all around me? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. Or how about Habakkuk 1:4 The law has become paralyzed and useless, and there is no justice given in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, and justice is perverted with bribes and trickery. It was written 2500 years ago in Israel but Habakkuk could be talking about what’s happening in the Supreme Court these days.
Whenever we question God, no matter how we phrase our inquiry The Question Is: Why? In Habakkuk’s case he had a couple of whys, why did the righteous suffer? and why did the evil prosper? David asked the same question in the Psalms and Job personalized it in the book that bears his name asking why do the evil prosper and I suffer? The word why is used 595 times in the bible so it would appear that there are some questions in there.
Abraham asked why, Moses asked why, David asked why, Peter asked why even Jesus asked why. And so I’m thinking that asking God why isn’t always wrong. As long as we live in an imperfect world and things happen and don’t happen to us the way we’ve planned then we will ask questions. When things happen the way we were hoping they would happen we never ask God why. “Why are things going so well God? I was just curious thought I’d ask.” We don’t do that, things go well and we presume that we deserved it or we were lucky.
Sometimes when we ask “why” the answer is self evident. And many times the answer is one we don’t want to hear. We ask why and the answer is very plain and very easy to understand, “Because you were stupid.” Now I know that you are thinking, “Well Denn that wasn’t very nice.” No, but true. We ask “Why did I have to get that speeding ticket?” “Because you were stupid and were speeding.” “Oh, right.” “Why do I have lung Cancer?” “Because you were stupid and insisted on lighting a noxious weed and sucking the poisonous smoke into your lungs.” “Oh, right.”