Andy found a bumper sticker at a New Age trinket shop in Ashville, NC. The sticker reads, “There are in the end three things that shall last, faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.” This statement comes from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:13 to be precise. However, the sticker has no citation to the Bible verse, AND faith, hope, and love are spelled using various religious symbols. What do the makers of this sticker intend to convey stripping the Bible citation and incorporating all of these religious symbols? Andy has created a discussion guide for this episode. He uses this guide to discuss this sticker with two of his high school students. One of the students has a very original analogy to share concerning club entrance and eternal salvation too. Enjoy!
This is a Bible Study that I wrote designed for group discussion reading the book Habakkuk. I think we all ask questions about why God allows suffering, pain, and evil. Our questions are nothing new, as you’ll see from this study of Habakkuk.
Read Habakkuk 1:1-4.
Can you relate to Habakkuk’s complaint to God? How do you see his complaint as a modern day problem or a question that you have concerning God’s action, or apparent lack of action?
Read Habakkuk 1:5.
What type of work would you expect God to be doing in response to such a complaint?
Read Habakkuk 1:6-11 to see the type of work God is claiming he will do.
Read Habakkuk’s response to God in Habakkuk 1:12-2:1.
Is that how you would respond to God?
Vs. 13 – It’s good to see that we are not the first people to have questioned the existence of an all-powerful, loving God and the existence of evil.
Vs. 2:1 – When you pray to God, especially about troubles, do you stand at the watchtower?
Read or skim through Daniel 10:1-14. How long did Daniel pray to God before he heard the answer to his prayers? What can we learn about Daniel and Habakkuk when it comes to prayer and waiting for God’s reply?
Read Habakkuk 2:2-4.
God will end the suffering but it will seem slow to us.
What does 2 Peter 3:1-13 say about God’s slowness? Why is he being “slow” in ending our suffering and fulfilling all of his promises? What promise awaits us?
Vs. 4 – The righteous shall live by faith! What is the object of our faith? How does the object of our faith relate to our righteousness and how does the object of our faith provide an answer to the problem of evil in the world?
Read Habakkuk 2:18-20.
Do we turn to our inventions for safety, help, and prosperity?
Habakkuk 3:1-16 – Habakkuk reflects on a terrifying manifestation of God’s glory and power, he prays for mercy, and is confident in God’s ultimate deliverance. Much in our lives brings anguish, fear, and feelings of helplessness to our hearts. God humbles us under his mighty hand, but he does so in order to exalt us in him.
Read Habakkuk 3:17-19 to see Habakkuk’s final response in his dialog and struggle with the Lord.