Summary: A message for those who have serious questions for God as to why things happen the way they do.
“When God Seems Far Away”
(Habakkuk chapter 1)
I have a message this morning that I think every person here can identify with. And as I prepared this message, I really wrestled with what to say and how to say because I don’t want anything to be taken wrong or misunderstood. I just want you to listen this morning with an open heart as I share God’s Word. In the past few weeks there has been some things take place that has really shaken up a lot of people. Let me ask you this, “Do you ever have questions for God?” I mean, do you ever look around at what’s going on in your life or in the world around you and ask, “God, why is this happening or how could this happen or better yet why are you allowing it to happen or as Erma Brombeck put it, if life is a bowl of cherries what am I doing in the pits?”
I think if we were all honest with ourselves we would have to say that at some point in our walk with the Lord all of us have had questions like this. This morning I want you to turn to the Minor Prophets to the little book of Habakkuk. I ‘ll give you a minute or two to find that. Actually if you go to Matthew and back up 5 books, you’ll find it there. We don’t hear many messages from the Minor Prophets today, but they are great little books. We’re going to be looking at Habakkuk chapter one this morning in a message I’ve entitled, “When God Seems Far Away.” You’ll soon see that the prophet Habakkuk plays a little question and answer with the Lord Almighty (Read verses 1-4/Pray).
Now, as I read those first 4 verses, did you think, “Man, that sounds like today?” So did I! Well, if you’ve never read much in the Minor Prophets, one of the first things you’ve got to understand is this- their message is anything but minor! They deal with some pretty heavy stuff. And Habakkuk is one of those prophets who didn’t just proclaim a message, he asked the tough questions. And he asked them to God. Now, in verses 1-4 here, we see that Habakkuk has a complaint. And really if you think about it, this complaint could very well relate to today. Now, Habakkuk was complaining about Judah at the time. But today he could have been complaining about Jonesboro or Memphis or New York or any city in the world for that matter.
It seems like every time we pick up the newspaper or tune in to the news we see more violence. Someone got robbed, someone got shot or stabbed. Somebody was raped. It just seems to surround us. And you can’t really go to any part of the city to escape it because it’s everywhere. It’s even invading the family. Have you noticed how many kids are killing their parents or Grandparents and parents killing their kids? Folks, we have serious issues in our world today. And one thing we can be certain of is this, the world’s not getting better, it’s getting worse! And one thing seems to stick out in all of this – people just plain can’t get along with each other! And yet we think we’re such an advanced society because we have all of this incredible technology.
But what we’ve done is we’ve forgotten the basics of life. We need to learn to get along with people. That doesn’t mean that we don’t speak up against a sinful lifestyle or not ever say anything because we’re afraid to offend someone. There’s a time and a place to do that. But we do have to live on this planet with other human beings. Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” And the beatitudes tell us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” We aren’t responsible for somebody else’s actions, but we are for our own.
The world is filled with all kinds of perversity. If you can think of it, it’s probably been done. Our whole sense of right and wrong has been perverted. There used to be a time in our country, and it wasn’t so long ago, when righteousness was the majority and the wicked were a minority. But it’s true of us now as it was in Habakkuk’s day, that the wicked far outnumber the righteous. But remember this; this is not something that just came out of nowhere. There has been violence and injustice throughout the history of mankind. Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, this world has mostly been under the control of the devil. That right there explains why there’s evil in the world. So, we don’t really have to question the cause or the source of evil, it’s the devil! Habakkuk knows where it comes from he just wants to know why.