When God Doesn't Make Sense

April 30, 2023 Preacher: Thinus Meyer Series: Habakkuk - Trusting God in Troubled Times

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Habakkuk 1:12–17

Habakkuk recognized that Judah needed chastisement for its sin but it was unbelievable to him that God would use the wicked Babylonians to do the correction. He acknowledged God ordained and appointed the Babylonians to be the instrument of discipline but it was incredible to him.  He had a time reconciling God’s actions with God’s moral standards.  God was holy and could not tolerate wrong or even look on evil.  Yet, He would use Babylon, a less righteous nation, to punish Judah, a more righteous nation. This passage deals with Habakkuk's second complaint:

  1. Reverence for God (v. 12)
  2. I Don’t Understand (v. 13)
  3. Knowing God (v. 12-17)

 In Habakkuk’s complaint, he never denies the existence of God.  He knows God is real.  He just doesn’t understand His methods.  Notice carefully, the prophet affirms his faith in God.  He says, “O LORD, are you not from everlasting?”  He is not complaining out of unbelief but belief. Even though he did not understand, he turned to God in faith.  He acknowledged God as the Self-existent One, for he says, “O LORD” (O Jehovah)  Jehovah is absolutely independent of men and everything outside of Himself.  He acknowledges God as the Everlasting One, for he says, “My God” (my Eloheim); that is , the Creator who is strong to do the impossible.  He acknowledges God as the Holy One; that is, the one who is separate from all, totally able to back up His promises with His holy character.  He acknowledges Him as the “Rock” or Stable One because He is a stable God who never changes and is true to His promises.  He cannot be moved from His Word.  He acknowledges God as the Faithful One because he says, “We shall not die.” 

Jehovah-God was as close to the people of God as His covenant with them.  Even if He disciplined them, He would be faithful to them.  He was a faithful God.  He gave His Word and He would not break it.  They would not die.  They would not cease to exist as a nation no matter what the Babylonians might do to them.  

Charles Spurgeon tells the story of a woman who was in a discussion over the assurance of salvation with one of her neighbors.  The neighbor was a very skeptical man and loved to poke fun at her.  Finally, one day when she had spoken on eternal security and how she belonged to the Lord – her future being totally in God’s hands – he said to her, “How do you know that?”  She said, “God tells me that a hundred times in His Word,” and she started quoting verses to him.  Finally, he said, “Suppose God doesn’t keep His Word?”  she quickly answered, “His loss would be greater than mine.  I would lose my soul, that’s true, but God would lose His honor.”  Behind the promises of God stands the character of God.

Getting Started                          

  1. A husband and his wife were watching Avatar on the TV, when their 5-year-old son entered the room. He looked at the TV screen with his eyes wide open, and said, “My Goodness, the Smurfs grew up so fast!” Can you remember any of your children’s or relatives faulty, but humorous reasonings?
  • Read Habakkuk 1:12-17
  1. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

Digging Deeper

  1. Previously in chapter 1v5-11, God answers Habakkuk’s prayer. In chapter 1v12-17, how does Habakkuk respond to God’s answer? What questions does he ask now?
  1. What is Habakkuk’s concern with God’s plan for his people?
  1. What is Habakkuk’s concern with God’s plan for the Chaldeans/Babylonians?

The Heart of the Matter

  1. One of the key lessons we can learn from this passage is the perseverance of Habakkuk. He does not give up on God. He does not walk away from God when God responded with these perplexing answers. How does James 5:16 help us persevere in prayer?
  1. If a young person came to you and asked, “Why does the student who cheats on an exam get an “A” when I am honest and get a “C”?Doesn’t God care? Is He playing games with us? Can God’s promises really be trusted?” - How would you respond?
  1. We learn from Habakkuk that we must not rush to conclusions and say things like, “Because I do not understand what God is doing, God must not be eternal or holy or sovereign or faithful or whatever.” What is a healthier, more helpful approach that you have used before? 

More in Habakkuk - Trusting God in Troubled Times

May 28, 2023

From Trembling to Triumph

May 21, 2023

From Fear to Faith

May 14, 2023

As the Waters Cover the Sea.