Summary: When we look around and see so much evil and apparent injustice, how does a person live by faith?
Habakkuk – Living by faith when Life doesn’t make sense
Have you ever looked around and seen the problems, the injustice, the evil in this world and wondered what God is doing!
We can look at the world in general.
We have governments using chemical weapons against their own people.
This weekend we saw terrorists kill at least 30 and injure more than 100 others at a mall in Kenya.
Last week we saw a man kill 12 others in the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
Every weekend, we see violence and killings in our own backyard of Chicago.
Where is the justice? Why isn’t God acting? How long will this continue?
Or we may look at our own lives.
Maybe we are facing what seems to us to be injustices or evil in work places or at our school, or in our neighborhoods.
We may see our co-workers stab others in the back to their bosses and seemingly benefit while those who do right suffer.
We see the bully’s at school not getting in trouble, while the bullied are so distraught that they are forced to leave school and sometimes even harm themselves or kill themselves.
We see all of this seeming evil and injustice going on and sometimes it is so hard to take that we may feel like screaming because it doesn’t seem to make sense to us that if there is a God, why does He allow this!
We may ask
Where are you God?
What are you doing?
Aren’t you a good God?
Where is the Justice!
Maybe you are here today and have thought those same things more than once. Well the fact is that some of God’s own prophets have not only wondered about these things but have actually asked those questions in the pages of Scripture.
Today we are going to read and study Habakkuk and learn about having faith in God when life doesn’t make sense.
Turn with me to Habakkuk.
Habakkuk is found just a few short books before the New Testament, so go to the left of Matthew and it is not too far.
It is only 3 chapters long so it takes up only a few pages.
Habakkuk is writing at a time during the divided kingdom of Israel and he was a prophet to Judah and there was much sin in Judah. People paid no attention to God, and did as they pleased, even sacrificing their children to pagan gods.
So Habakkuk is dismayed by all of the sin that is occurring in the land and he cries out complaining to God about it and he says beginning in chapter 1, verse 2 -
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? 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. 4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
Habakkuk is asking the same questions of God that perhaps some of us here have asked.
Where are you God in the midst of all of this evil?
Where are you in the midst of all of this injustice?
How long until you act?
To Habakkuk, it appears as if God is doing nothing.
But even as Habakkuk complains to God about His seeming inaction, God responds to Habakkuk! Now it is not too often that God so clearly responds to us in our questioning,
and I think that is for a reason. The reason being is that the answer to our questions may be even further beyond our understanding.
Habakkuk is going to feel this way about the answer God gives him.
Let’s continue on in Habakkuk and see what answer God gives to Habakkuk about his complaint about the violence and sin that is going on among God’s people, the people of Judah.
Habakkuk 1:5-7, 11
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. 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. 7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor. …
Then it describes some of the reasons they are feared because of their strength, their violence, and that they care nothing of anyone but themselves.
And God closes his response saying they are “guilty men, whose own strength is their god." (v.11)