Week 3- Wrestle and Wait
Hanging On Requires We Wrestle And Wait!
Habakkuk is wrestling with God. Not like “professional wrestling” were everything is staged, and the outcome is already decided before the wrestlers ever come to the mat. This creates tension. Am I really willing to wrestle with God? Can I handle the back and forth exchange this will take? Can He handle my questions? Can I handle His answers? Will I really take the time to be quiet and listen to Him?
Lord, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, you will never die. You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment; you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish. 13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? 14 You have made people like the fish in the sea, like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad. 16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food. 17 Is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?
2:1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
Has there ever been in time in your life where you doubted or questioned God’s goodness? What about your situation made it difficult to reconcile His character with your circumstances?
When faced with blatant evil, are you tempted more to doubt God’s sovereignty (if He is truly in control) or God’s goodness (if He is morally trustworthy with His plans and purposes)?
Have a volunteer read Habakkuk 1:12–2:1.
In light of the previous verses, why do you think that Habakkuk brings up God’s eternal nature and holiness in verse 12 (especially in view of 1:11)?
According to verse 13, why does Habakkuk seem confused about God’s plans to use the Chaldeans? What attribute of God seems to be creating problems for his thinking?
What kind of imagery does Habakkuk use to describe the Chaldeans’ relationship with other nations in 1:14-17? What does this suggest about God’s sovereignty over nations and world history in general (if time allows, see also Isa. 44:24-28; 46:9-10; Dan. 2:21)?
What can we learn from Habakkuk’s recollection of God’s timelessness and holy character in light of difficult circumstances (see 1:12)? Why must we never look at God’s plans separately from His revealed character in Scripture?
What promises of God encourage you when you are going through a difficult time? What promises remind you of His good and trustworthy character?
Praise the God who is sovereign over your circumstances. Reaffirm your trust in the goodness of God. Tell Him you love Him and you trust that He is in control. Give any worries or concerns over to Him. List specific circumstances in your life which you entrust to Him. Finally, thank Jesus for dying to break the curse of sin and for His return that will seal God’s triumph over the whole world.
1:12 Habakkuk reasoned that since God is holy, He must be using Babylon as an implement of his judgment on Judah. All manuscripts literally read “we will not die” rather than You will not die, but HCSB follows a Jewish tradition that says “You” was original and that this verse is one of 18 places where the Hebrew Bible was deliberately changed by scribes. If so, the change the scribes made here aimed to avoid any hint of the unthinkable notion that God (“You”) could die.
1:13 Habakkuk complained that rewarding the more wicked in order to punish the less wicked seemed inconsistent with God’s pure goodness. As bad as the Jews were, they were more righteous than the wicked Babylonian invaders.
1:14-16 Like fishermen who pull in a huge catch of fish from the sea and as a result begin worshiping their net, so Babylon captured hordes of people and thus worshiped its own military strength (cp. v. 11).
1:17 How could a just God allow Babylon’s merciless slaughter of the nations, much less their triumph against His people Judah?
2:1 Habakkuk braced himself for God’s response. Hebrew tokachath (“reproof, reprimand”) is probably stronger than the word complaint suggests: The prophet had presumed to correct God. Alternatively, it may refer to God’s reproof of Habakkuk: “[His] reproof of me.”