Summary: As God’s people, we must not live by circumstance or sight, we must live by faith!
LIVING BY FAITH?
HABAKKUK 1:1-4; 2:1-4
SUNDAY PM SERVICE AUGUST 4, 2002
INTRODUCTION: Somerset, Pa. – Rescue workers pulled nine miners from the watery, 240-foot-deep shaft where they had been trapped for three days, a jubilant reward for an effort that had been fraught with one gut-wrenching setback after another… I don’t want to use the term loosely, but it was a miracle,” said David Streets, a distant relation of Robert Pugh, one of the miners. Dozens of family members had kept a vigil at the fire hall and had made several trips to the rescue site. Officials met with them every hour to keep them apprised. AS REPORTED BY AZCENTRAL.COM
TRANSITON THOUGHT: Our text for tonight finds us in the reality of the day in which we live. Some might say this is dated material, but after careful consideration all must agree that we share the same frustrations, as did Habakkuk. Habakkuk ponders living within the context of great injustice, violence, strife, and conflict. The end result of his pondering and questioning leads to an understanding of Faith. I want us to ponder for a minute or two the thoughts and actions of this Prophet Habakkuk and how it can help us learn to live by faith!!
THESIS SENTENCE: As God’s people, we must not live by circumstance or sight, we must live by faith!
I. LIVING BY FAITH IS BECOMING SO FRUSTRATED WITH THE PRESENT REALITY THAT QUESTIONS MUST BE ASKED (1:1-4)
A. Can Having faith equal asking questions?
1. There is a deep understanding within this text that not only did Habakkuk believe in God, but that Habakkuk had experience a theophany, a literary form that describes an encounter with God that sees Him as Lord of all the earth coming to reveal himself to his people.
2. Habakkuk’s faith in God, his belief that God did exist and was present, caused him to ask questions. I know you’re there, SO HOW LONG AND WHY??
B. How about those questions, HOW LONG AND WHY?? Would we or could we ever ask such questions?
1. If you say you never have, you might be a red neck, or a liar. You make the call. Habakkuk simply asked the questions that were on everyone’s minds.
2. Habakkuk was so sickened by the moral and physical destruction all around him he desired audience with the living God to know what was going on.
3. If you look deeply into these questions you may see some irreverence!! This is a kind of in your face confrontation.
C. Boiled down, what is Habakkuk asking?
1. Regardless of the sin of His people, why would God allow a greater wickedness to prevail?
2. And, why has God allowed his own people to become so wicked?
3. What is happening is a process that is greatly important. Habakkuk was realizing what God saw and was also seeing it for himself. His EYES WERE OPENED TO THE REALITY OF LIFE AND OF THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM!
4. Back to the Idea of process. God speaks to us on a journey of understanding that comes often from complaint, to accusation against God, to waiting for an answer, to hearing it, and finally to responding. This is how we learn to live!
5. Think about how contemporary all this is: Do with see the law paralyzed. Do we ever feel that Justice never prevails? Do those who stand against Christ seem to have all the power, and those who serve Christ seem to be controlled or immobilized by those opposing Christ?
6. The bottom line appears that Justice, the way things should be in a perfect world, is lacking, perverted, or as the Hebrews puts it: “bent out of shape.”
D. The real bottom line here is not ultimately why or how long will this unjustness prevail, But How long and why is not God acting to solve the Problem! This is a direct statement of Faith. God, You do exist, you are the only God and You are not taking care of Business!
II. LIVING BY FAITH IS BEING SO CONFIDENT IN GOD THAT YOU WAIT FOR AND ANSWER (2:1)
A. Once again, Habakkuk assures us of his faith in the Living God.
1. Look at this language: I will Stand: what we do when someone of respect enters the room. At my watch: I am not slack and sleeping on it. I am watching and waiting!! Anticipating a response. Holding my breath, if you will!! I will look and see. Discerning, investigating
2. He was about the business of seeking God and expecting from God what he sought, an Answer!!
B. There is also this same not of arrogance or confrontationalism toward God.
1. God I am waiting, you better answer. Reminds me of Job and the Psalmists!!