Summary: The need to wait for God to work
“Waiting On God”
We get ourselves in a lot of trouble by our impatience. I’ve told you the last few weeks that patience is one of the areas where I struggle. It was one of the areas where Habakkuk struggled as well. Habakkuk lived in Judah during the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, the godly reformer. During his days, the Jews increased their sin and idolatry. Confronted by this wickedness, Habakkuk calls out for answers.
How often in our lives do we cry out for answers, impatiently looking for God to work. We pray, like the story goes, give me patience, and give it to me now. We look at our society, at our own families and lives, and we wonder where God is at, why he does not seem to be working. Let’s learn some lessons from Habakkuk.
I. The Prophet’s Wondering
A. Why God is Silent and Inactive - 1:1-4 [1:9, 2:8,17]
Habakkuk struggled with the problems in his land: violence, injustice, spoiling, strife, contention. He didn’t understand why God was silent. God allowed wrong to occur.
Rabbi Kushner - Why bad things happen to good people - 2 premises - either God isn’t all-powerful or God isn’t good - said God isn’t all-powerful.
But God is both all-powerful and good.
--God answers Habakkuk in vs. 5-11. (Read)
God replies, He is working, the Babylonians are coming
God often works among us, and we are not aware of it.
-Joseph - you meant it for evil, God meant it for good
-Rom. 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
B. How God Can Use Such a Sinful People for a Holy Cause -12-17
Habakkuk struggles that the Babylonian nation, a wicked, fierce people would be used by God. He doesn’t understand God’s workings.
How often do we struggle because we don’t understand the way God works. Often we aren’t patient enough to see what God is doing.
II. The Prophet’s Waiting
While Habakkuk is wondering about these things, God gives him assurances that HE knows best. Habakkuk is to Wait upon God’s working.
A. The Just Shall live by Faith - (vs. 4) -
Those who trust in themselves are puffed up
those who trust in God and are humble are saved
*It takes faith to believe that God is at work, even when we can’t seem to understand what he is doing. The righteous live lives of faith: walking not by sight, but by what they know to be right.
B. The Earth shall be filled with God’s Glory - (9-14)
Habakkuk is reminded that God’s kingdom ultimately will be established. One day everything will be set right. The sins of Habakkuk’s day: covetousness(5), murder (12), drunkenness (15), and idolatry (19) will be set right when God’s kingdom comes.
C. The Lord is in His Holy Temple - (20)
Not only do we live by faith and know God will eventually set things right, we know God today is in charge, he has complete control. God is still on the throne (Is.6)
There is no need to complain about situations when we remember that God is in control.
III. The Prophet Worships
A. He prays - 3:2 - Renew them in our day - Habakkuk prays that he sees that God is at work, and he wants God to continue that work. When we see God at work, let’s pray that He will continue his work - in us, in others, in our society.
B. He Ponders - 3-16 - Habakkuk thinks about how God has worked in the past. If God proved himself faithful in the past, we can trust that he will come through for us in the present and the future.
C. He Praises - (17-19) - I will rejoice
When we see that God is a faithful God working in our behalf, how can we keep from praising him. Even when things look bad, we can continue on with hope.
Concl: How do you deal with life’s problems? Do you have trouble waiting on God to work? Do you have trouble believing that is is going to work? Remember what we see from Habakkuk.
1 - Admit our problems honestly
2 - Talk to God about them
3 - Wait before him in prayer and meditation on the word
4 - When he speaks, listen, obey, and believe.