Why a Sermon Series in Habakkuk?
The book of Habakkuk is a conversation between the prophet Habakkuk and the Lord. In this book, Habakkuk issues his complaint before the Lord about the utter destruction happening in Judah. Habakkuk wrestles with the Lord throughout the entire book asking the question, “God, are you good?”
We all go through seasons of victories and valleys. Often our victories are the easiest times to worship God, when his goodness is evident and his blessings abound. However, the valleys are where it proves harder to do that. We lose a loved one, get fired from a job, or have trouble finding a marriage partner. Whatever the valley, it is hard to trust in the goodness of God when all seems hopeless.
Habakkuk learned to trust in God’s faithfulness even while in the deepest valley. The nation of Judah was in economic and spiritual despair. All seemed hopeless. The valley was deep and the end was no-where in sight. In fact, Habakkuk knew that their terrible situation was about to get even worse. We can learn from Habakkuk’s dark valley about how to draw near to God in our loss, anxiety, and fear.
The Book of Habakkuk was likely written between 610 and 605 BC. The prophet Habakkuk decries the sins of Judah but grapples with the fact that God’s chosen people will suffer at the hands of enemies even more wicked than they. God answers Habakkuk’s questions, resulting in continuing faith in God’s wisdom, sovereignty, and salvation.
The Book of Habakkuk begins with Habakkuk crying out to God for an answer to why God’s chosen people are allowed to suffer in their captivity (Habakkuk 1:1–4). The Lord gives His answer to Habakkuk, essentially stating, “You wouldn’t believe it if I told you” (Habakkuk 1:5–11). Habakkuk then follows up by saying, “OK, you are God, but, still, tell me more about why this is happening” (Habakkuk 1:17—2:1). God then answers him again and gives him more information, then tells the earth to be silent before Him (Habakkuk 2:2–20). Then Habakkuk writes a prayer expressing his strong faith in God even through these trials (Habakkuk 3:1–19).
We can trust the God that has proven himself faithful through all of creation. Habakkuk could not see what God was doing. Sometimes it is not evident to us what is going on, especially if we are thrown into suffering for a time or if it seems our enemies are prospering while we are just barely getting by.
The Book of Habakkuk affirms that God is sovereign and omnipotent, and He has all things under control. Ultimately the rise of the Chaldeans was used for the expansion of the Gospel throughout the world. God is who He says He is and does keep His promises. He will punish the wicked. Even when we cannot see evidence of His dominion, God is still on the throne of the universe. You can be confident that He is working all things for the good of the Church and his glory. We just need to be still and know He is at work.
No matter your circumstances – loss, anxiety, or fear - the Creator and Sustainer of life cares for you. In your hurt and in your waiting, He wants your heart. Habakkuk did not choose bitterness, instead he chose to run to our faithful God. We need to stay focused on this: “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:19).
Here are links to the seven sermons preached in Habakkuk: