Why God Why?
Sermon Notes: Why God Why? Habakkuk Chapter 1
Who could ever have imagined a year ago that our whole world was going to be stretched, shaken, shattered, closed down by something called coronavirus? They say that in times of crisis people PRAY more. People are wondering, questioning and searching. 1: Does Prayer work? 2: Will GOD listen? 3: Can Prayer change things?
Those are Questions that we battle with as we bring our fears, worries, anxieties, struggles to God in Prayer.
Habakkuk is a prophet who lives in Jerusalem, and he sees his society, who were drifting further and further away from God.
It breaks his heart to see this happening and yet here in Chapter 1 you get a sense in these opening verses, that he has been praying and asking God to transform lives. You can almost hear the frustration in his opening Prayer, verses 1 to 4. ‘How long Lord?” ‘Why God, why aren’t you answering our prayers?’ He verbalizes his disappointment to God when it feels like He hasn’t seen any answer to his prayers.
Do you ever wonder what God is doing or NOT doing in our world right now? Why hasn’t God answered Your Prayers or responded to Your pain?
Habakkuk is really struggling with God, struggling in prayer, struggling to see any sign of God at work in the chaos and brokenness of his city, Jerusalem.
The whole Book is about how Habakkuk comes to see and believe that despite the trouble and hardship, that God is still in control.
Habakkuk has a heavy heart, a real sadness in his heart when he looks at his society and the church of his day. He sees how they are hurting, fighting, lying, deceiving and treating each other. Look at the words he uses to describe life in Jerusalem in verses 1 to4: Two times the word ‘violence’, v2 & 3. The word ‘iniquity’, v3. The words ‘destruction / strife / fighting’, v3. ‘Injustice / broken law courts / bribery’, v4. Those who are trying to live their lives ‘up right’ are being attacked, hounded, surrounded by the wicked, v4. And Habakkuk is obviously distressed and distraught by all of this and that is going on around him.
Matthew Chapter 9:36 describes Jesus’ heart when He saw the crowds of people around Him, ‘Jesus felt great compassion for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great, and they didn’t know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.’
That exactly describes how Habakkuk feels as he looks at the people in his city and in his day. He’s been crying out to God for years and yet he feels like God isn’t his prayers, v2, ‘How long, O Lord, must I call for help but You do not listen?’
Question: What prayers have you been praying to God for ages and still don’t see any answers?
Question: What situation have you prayed and prayed over, and yet you still see NO difference?
It is really difficult when you’ve prayed and prayed and you know in your heart, believe in your soul that God can do something and yet for some reason you don’t see that change.
But God sees the bigger picture and He sees it in ways which we can’t. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’
Maybe as we start this Book of Habakkuk you can identify with him and say, ‘I’m with you Habakkuk, I’m confused, I’m bewildered, I don’t understand Your ways or what You’re doing Lord.’
By the end of the Book, we’ll see that Habakkuk comes to really TRUST God, even if everything is stripped down and taken away from his life.
What a confidence, what a conviction, that when everything in this world is being shaken and uncertain, we have ONE who is unshakable and ONE whom we can truly trust.