Habakkuk: An Unexpected Place to Find Answers
May, 12, 2017 · Courtney Jacob
Far too often these days we hear reports of grave tragedies like terrorist attacks, unjust killings, or school shooting sprees. In horror and deep sadness we watch the news and scroll through our social media newsfeeds, overwhelmed by cries of outrage, questioning, and lament. Most people would never think of the short and unfamiliar book of Habakkuk at such a time. But here at Groundwork, we have chosen to study the book of Habakkuk precisely because of its resonance and timeless message for those awash in questioning and crisis.
Consider the relevance of these opening verses of Habakkuk:
How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. (Habakkuk 1:2-4)
If you’re anything like me, the Old Testament prophets are the last place I tend to look when I have a burning question. My instinct is to check the gospels to find what Jesus had to say about it, the apostolic letters to discover what Paul and Peter taught the early Christian churches, or the Psalms and Proverbs for a bit of wisdom. But as I’ve read and studied the book of Habakkuk in preparation for this series, I’ve been surprised by how much resonance this short prophetic book carries today.
Reasons You Should Read Habakkuk
Still curious if Habakkuk will really resonate with you? Consider the below questions. If you answer “yes” to any of them, then I guarantee you’ll find encouragement and strength for your faith by encountering the prophet Habakkuk.
Do you lament the state of the world or the state of the church today and wish people would hear the truth, repent, and turn back to God?
Do you seek justice for God and wonder why he allows injustice to persist unpunished?
Do you want God to be honored and respected?
Do you desire to know what to do in the face of unanswered prayer?.
Do you need encouragement for living faithfully even when it feels like the world around you is hostile to God and fellow Christians are ignoring biblical truths?
For the next five weeks, I encourage to you study Habakkuk along with Groundwork. You can look forward to:
Unanswered Prayer and the Problem of Evil in Habakkuk - Habakkuk 1:1-17
The Righteous Will Live by Faith - Habakkuk 2:1-4, 12-14
Recognizing Good News in Prophetic Judgement - Habakkuk 2:20
How Big is Your God? - Habakkuk 3:1-16
Praise in Dark Times - Habakkuk 3:17-19
3 Things You can Expect from Habakkuk
As you read and study the rich book of Habakkuk along with Groundwork, you can expect to:
Realistically adjust your expectations for how people will respond to your witness. People will react to you and your faith in different ways. Habakkuk encourages us to be reasonable in our expectations.
Receive the strength to keep praying. The prophet Habakkuk is an exemplary model of this. He’s persistent. He never stops coming before the Lord. And from him, we can learn a lot.
Explore the problem of evil. As bad things happen in the world we naturally ask “how can God let this happen?” Habakkuk gives us the tools to understand how God does not actually cause bad things to happen to us, but can use those bad things for his good purposes.
So, in the midst of your own struggles, questions, and seemingly unanswered prayers, join Groundwork and dig deeply into the wisdom of Habakkuk.