Summary: Sometimes things happen in our lives that we have no answer for and we ask "Why,Why,Why?" Here the prophet knows the answer but asks "Why,Why,Why, won’t you listen?"
WHY, WHY, WHY
Introduction: The great theological questions that have transcended through the ages are not only those that are recorded in theological textbooks, and discussed in seminary.
Believe me, I wish they all could be.
It would be easy to prepare when such questions arise if I’d discussed them before.
But we discuss transubstantialism, mellianialism, theocracy, substitutionary atonement, all of which have a place in my preparation for ministry, but where you’re sitting have relatively little if any meaning at all.
In fact big words and heady statements are probably more of a turnoff.
The great questions of the faith that make us search for answers are the everyday questions of life.
We can understand the road of salvation.
We can understand what Christ did for us on the cross and his resurrection.
What we have a hard time understanding is "Why bad things happen to good people?
Why does it seem that God allows the guilty and the sinful to go unpunished, and even advance in this world, and he chastises the Christian.
Why does God allow Christians to fall into sin?
Why did God allow 229 people to die on an airplane.
Why did God allow 160 people to die in Oklahoma, many of them children?
What did the children do that was so wrong?
Why did God to this?
Why did God do that?
Why, Why, Why?
We search for answers, and none seem available.
Many times we wonder, has God made a mistake.
Leslie and I went into Fredericton for the exhibition this year.
I needed to get my yearly fix of dippy dogs and candy apples.
We met my sister Nancy and a group of others there.
While having coffee we were talking about church things as our conversation often does.
In the process of the conversation Nancy said, "I think God made a mistake"
"He knew Adam and Eve were going to sin, He had to or He wouldn’t be all-knowing. Yet He didn’t stop or block the attempt in any way. It would all be different in God had of acted."
The same question is asked by a mother as she looks at her daughter who was just hit by a car driven by a drunk driver.
Senator Robert Kennedy asked the question as he came out of the hospital where his brother Ted was recovering from an accident "I wonder if God has taken a vacation when it comes to the Kennedys?
We are not alone in this quest.
Humanity has been searching for answers like these, since the times of the Old Testament.
While the circumstances for the questions may change, the questions remain the same.
It would all be different if God had of acted?
The reality of the matter is that God does act.
Many times we can’t see the action because we are caught up in the situation.
We also at times expect God to act the way that we want Him to, and can’t understand why He doesn’t.
A good example of this would be Jonah and Nineveh.
Have you ever sat down to a movie, probably a detective, or legal story, see the crook get caught, and say if he only did it my way he wouldn’t have gotten caught.
Armchair coaches are always questioning why the coach of the team cannot see things as clearly as they can.
I’ve even been called to account for illustrations that I have used in sermons.
Why did I use this one when another is so much better.
We’ve all been there.
The book of Habakkuk is a book that graples with that question.
Why doesn’t God act in judgement on the sinful people of Judah?
Habakkuk is surprised with God’s answer.
Dating: The reference to the Babylonians in 1:6 places the book within the seventh century B.C.
It can fall into the dating of any of three kings:
1. Manasseh (697-642 B.C.)
2. Josiah (640-609 B.C.)
3. Jehoiakim (609-598 B.C.)
Theologians point to the Babylonian victory at Carchemish as being a major event in dating the book, described in verses 7-11 and place a date of (606-604B.C.)
Setting: The setting of the time is critical as the sinfullness of the nation is what Habakkuk is addressing to God in chapter one.
Babylon was establishing itself as a world power.
Assyria, the dominant world power of the time was in decline.
As both powers faught each other it provided Judah with a time of prosperity under Josiah.
For Habakkuk the international situation was serious, but more serious was the internal situation of Judah.
When Josiah died, Jehoahaz rose to the throne.
They were immediately invaded by the Egyptians and Jehoiakim as placed on the throne as a puppet king.
Jehoiakim was evil, ungodly, and rebellious (2 Kings 23:36-24:7; 2 Chron 36:5-8).