Habakkuk Bible Study – Problem of Evil

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.

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. 

One Nation Under God #2 – Abraham Lincoln Quote

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...
English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. Latviešu: Abrahams Linkolns, sešpadsmitais ASV prezidents. Српски / Srpski: Абрахам Линколн, шеснаести председник Сједињених Америчких Држава. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taken from the book, In God We Trust, by Dr. Richard G. Lee:

Abraham Lincoln, anguished by the ravages of civil war, declared a “Proclamation of a National Fast Day” on March 30, 1863:

Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

… We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

 

 

When I was in high school, probably about 14-15 years ago, I read Jeremiah 18:1-12 and I instantly thought of America, although Jeremiah was talking about Israel.  It seemed to me that America’s history was that of Israel, that God still works with nations as he did in the Old Testament era, that he works and deals with people collectively, as well as individually, that in this temperol age, the actions of one affect the whole, just as Adam’s rebellion brought sin and death to all men, and the second Adam’s act of righteousness brought salvation to all men.

In high school, I saw the signs that we were moving away from being a nation under God, even though my public high school had public prayer led by students blasted over the football speakers, and that we could hear the prayer from outside our locker room as we waited to enter the grid-iron, and before we left our huddle to go the field, right after checking Special Teams’ Rosters, we’d hold hands and say the Lord’s Prayer; even then I saw that we were moving away.  It didn’t seem to be the America that my Grandparents cherished from their youth… reading Abraham Lincoln’s words make me feel even further removed.  In high school, what stood out to me was our acceptance of abortions.

Now it’s the acceptance of all religions as being equally valid and true; such pluralism is what hurt King Solomon’s reign and Israel’s protection in the Old Testament.  I think we always need to accept that there will be religions that stand against the Lord of the Bible that Abraham Lincoln spoke about in his this speech I quoted.  The fight to kill the unborn is as strong as ever.  Now homosexuality is the new fighting ground, and if a person speaks out against the perils of homosexuality, there will be persecution, though that person will be made out to be the persecutor.  Recent mass-shootings indicate the level of godlessness that has swept over our nation.

We reap what we sow, and I agree with Lincoln… I wish we as a nation could turn back to the Lord.  Christians, we must pray for our leaders, all of them!  This is commanded in Scripture – Look it up; it’s 1 Timothy 2:1-7.

Christians we must stand in the gap right now, stand like Ezekiel did.  (Ezekiel 22:30)  Everyone, we must repent.  To echo Lincoln’s words by quoting Scripture, from 1 John 1:9-1:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

The invitation is there… God is drawing you to himself through the work of Jesus Christ.  Repent, believe, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, if you haven’t already received Him.