Summary: When we are upset with God over his willingness to allow evil to continue to impact us and the ones we love we cry out to God “How long Lord will you allow this pain and suffering to go on! Why did you not stop it! He will respond with the quiet words “Tr
Habakkuk Part 1-- How Long Lord?
Thesis: When we are upset with God over his willingness to allow evil to continue to impact us and the ones we love we cry out to God “How long Lord will you allow this pain and suffering to go on! Why did you not stop it! He will respond with the quiet words “Trust me you will see!”
Historical Background at the time of Habakkuk’s writing:
From Quest Study Bible page 1293
Sin is rampant in Judah. The people worshiped idols, sacrificed their children to pagan gods and ignored God. The wicked King Jehoiakim not only refused to listen to God’s prophets, but he also burned their writings, arrested several of them and even murdered one. Jehoiakim foolishly aligned Judah between two warring superpowers-the declining Assyrian empire and the rising Babylonian empire.
The result of this nation and its leaders rejection of God led to their destruction.
Scripture Text: Habakkuk 1:1-11:
Habakkuk 1:1 (NIV)
1The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.
Habakkuk 1:2 (NIV)
2 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?
Habakkuk 1:3 (NIV)
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Habakkuk 1:4 (NIV)
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV)
5 “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
Habakkuk 1:6 (NIV)
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwelling places not their own.
Habakkuk 1:7 (NIV)
7 They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.
Habakkuk 1:8 (NIV)
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like a vulture swooping to devour;
Habakkuk 1:9 (NIV)
9 they all come bent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.
Habakkuk 1:10 (NIV)
10 They deride kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
they build earthen ramps and capture them.
Habakkuk 1:11 (NIV)
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty men, whose own strength is their god.”
Over the next month we are going to be working our way through an Old Testament book called Habakkuk.
You might be thinking, “Why should we spend the rest of August and study a book that is hard to pronounce and outdated because it was written between 610 and 605 BC.?” You may be thinking like some do today that it has to be out of date with our current culture and time frame. Some think the title is confusing and meaningless to our technologically advanced society of today. There is no relevant teaching for today! But the truth is it is relevant to what ills America today.
Quest Study Bible gives us insight into why we should study and read this book:
Quest: “Have you ever wanted to ask God, ‘If you’re in control, why does evil so often win?’”
An example of this happened to me just last Sunday when I picked up the paper and read of the extremists in Irag who set off car bombs at various Christian churches and killed several people. I said “Why did you allow this Lord?” “How long will allow the Jihad demons to keep this up and do this to innocent people who love you?”
I have also asked this question at other times as well:
Why is it extremist judges can re-write our standard of morality when it comes to abortion, marriage, the Ten Commandments, having “In God We Trust” on our money and even “Under God” challenged in the Pledge of Allegiance.
*Interesting point The Democratic National Committee’s new Senior Advisor for religious Outreach, Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, was one of 32 signatories on a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief backing atheist Michael Newdow, who sought to remove the words ‘Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
If you are seeking the answer to this question then you will relate to a person called Habakkuk. He himself was in turmoil over the advancement of evil in society and how it seemed the righteous were losing the battle. So one day he has had enough and he decides to speak to God on behalf of the people of his day and ask God - even debate with God why he allowed evil to prevail.